Now that the weather is heating up, nothing smoothes the taste buds quite like an ice cold beer.
A refreshing twist to this beer craving is a summer shandy, which is beer and lemonade mixed together.
There are many versions of the summer shandy throughout the world. The word shandy is short for shandygaff, which is a British term for beer mixed with ginger beer or ginger ale. In Germany, this drink is known as a radler, a 50/50 concoction of beer and lemon soda (similar to Sprite or 7-Up). The radler was made in Bavaria, by a pub owner named Franz Xaver Kubler. He was afraid he was going to run out of beer for passing cyclists, so he mixed a drink made of half beer and half lemonade. He claimed the lower alcohol content would make for an easier, but still enjoyable ride home for the cyclists.
Bottled summer shandies have become increasingly popular. Companies have been introducing them as seasonal summer beers, which creates high demand for them during the warmer months. Some of the most popular summer shandies on the shelf are:
- Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy – 4.2% ABV
- Shock Top Lemon Shandy – 4.2% ABV
- Curious Traveler Shandy – 4.4% ABV
If you want to make your own summer shandy, it is a very simple process. First you’ll need to choose a beer. When choosing a beer to make a summer shandy, lighter tends to be better. Using a lager will create a lighter shandy, but its crisp taste will be refreshing. A wheat beer is a little heavier, but its smooth taste pairs great with lemon as well. If you’re looking for a more distinctive taste, then using a pilsner works as well.
Once you choose your favorite beer, it’s time to mix in the lemonade. Fresh lemonade mixes better than lemonade from concentrate. You can use other mixers, such as sparkling lemonade or lemon soda, depending on how sweet you want your shandy.
Usually shandies are a 50/50 mixture of beer and lemonade, but you can mix it 60/40 or 70/30, depending on your taste. Once these ingredients are put together, make sure to stir the mixture gently. Shaking it will cause the beer to foam up. Add ice if you don’t mind watering down the beer. It will keep the drink crisp and cool while you’re enjoying it. Otherwise, use a frosted mug.
Whether you’re looking to try a summer shandy or make your own, Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, Massachusetts has everything you’ll need. Our extensive collection of diverse and eclectic beers will allow you to experiment with your summer shandy concoctions. Visit us today, and speak to our knowledgeable staff on which beer will refresh your taste buds best this summer.