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Hello there, fellow beer drinker!
Let me guess…
You want to spice up your favorite beer and heard that there’s this thing called a Shandy.
And you might’ve also heard that it’s refreshing and perfect for when you still want a beer under the summer heat.
… you have no idea how to make it. There’s no need to fret, my friend – we got you!
In this short yet loaded article, we’ll teach you how to make this refreshing summer drink called Shandy. We’ll be talking about:
- Exactly what they mean when they say Shandy or Summer Shandy beer;
- What ingredients you’ll need and the easy steps to make one;
- Tips to help you make this cocktail as authentic as possible – the way the British do it; and
- Lots more!
If you want to know how to turn ginger beer into cocktails that you can enjoy in the summer, this article will come in Shandy!
You’ll enjoy every minute from when you start to make this recipe up until you serve it.
So let’s get those drinks mixed…
What is a Shandy?
A shandy is a beer cocktail – one that’s probably the easiest to make of all beer cocktails out there.
It’s also known as a summer beer cocktail because of its refreshing qualities.
People call it by many names. When you go from one country to another, you’ll have to explain to the bartender what you want because not everybody calls it a Shandy.
You might walk around Germany and hear bar customers ask for a Radler. And when you go to France, they’d be asking for a Panache.
They all mean and want the same thing.
And that is…
… this cool and refreshing drink is made of beer and lemon-lime soda. No fireworks nor spices. It’s just your favorite beer and sparkling lemonade!
It’s believed to have originated in Britain sometime in the late 1800s. And it’s sweet and fresh, so it quickly became popular – even now.
But, would you believe it?
Even with a recipe as simple as that, people can still get it wrong! Maybe they got lost in translation when Summer Shandy was introduced from Britain to America.
But let’s forget about how that happened. Because what’s more important is this – we know how to make Shandy the traditional way, and we’re going to teach you!
Shandy Recipe: Ingredients
No two Shandy recipes are the same. But we tried to stick to original and traditional as much as we could.
And these constitute our best Shandy experience so far:
Beer constitutes half of the recipe. But what kind of beer would work best?
There’s no particular beer that would make a Shandy. The most common ones are ginger beer, wheat beer, pale ale, and lager.
But you may also use pilsner beer if that’s the available one.
If you’re not into alcohol, you can use non-alcoholic beer and make it a mocktail. The only thing we have against that is that Shandy is supposed to be an alcoholic drink.
But you do you!
The other half of the recipe consists of lemon and lime soda.
Others use sparkling lemonade or sparkling lemon soda. It would yield the same taste and effect when mixed with beer.
Shandy should be refreshing. And lemon soda is as refreshing as can be. That’s why we strongly suggest that you stick to lemon and lime.
Besides, its sour-sweet flavor mixes with the bitterness of the beer perfectly.
We understand that sometimes you want to do some experiments with your tastebuds. And also, other times, you just have other stuff in your kitchen cabinets that turns out to be useful too.
So, here’s a list of alternatives to lemon-lime soda that you can use to make Shandy:
If you have lemon juice lying around your kitchen and don’t know what to do with it, making a Shandy is one of the best things!
It will be enough to give your mix that sour-sweet flavor.
Since it doesn’t have that sparkling feel that’s distinct about Shandy, you’ll have to add soda water to it first.
The original Shandy recipe uses lemon and lime, so adding this to the mix would be better.
Shandy has been around since the 1800s. So, naturally, the recipe has evolved and now has a lot of variations.
Shandy recipes vary in the juice that they add to the beer. And one of our favorites is grapefruit juice.
It has the right sweetness and goes well with the taste of the beer.
Since it’s juice, you’ll have to convert it into grapefruit soda first.
If all you can find is lemonade mix or lemon flavor – that’s perfect too! It will still give you the right Shandy taste.
You just have to mix it with a glass of water and some sugar first, like the good old lemonade that your mother used to make for you after school.
Make it into sparkling lemonade by adding soda.
If you’re not going to use sparkling lemon soda, you’ll have to spice up your juice with soda water.
It will work with either lemon, lime, or grapefruit.
To make it look like the classy cocktail that it is, you might want to garnish your Shandy with a lemon slice.
(But you should garnish with grapefruit wedge if you mixed the beer with grapefruit instead of lemon.)
Shandy Recipe: Step-By-Step Guide
Shandy recipes are no rocket science. It’s super simple, easy, and affordable. With just a few quick steps, you’ll have a light and refreshing cocktail in front of you!
Chill the ingredients
Before anything else…
Put the ingredients in the fridge for a few hours. They have to be cold but not frozen.
When you think the beer and lemonade are ready, get a pint glass and chill it for a few minutes too. This will help keep your drink cold as you mix them.
Then you can proceed…
Fill about half of the chilled pint glass with chilled beer.
Make sure to tilt the glass as you do it to prevent the bubbles from escaping. You’d want your Summer Shandy as carbonated as possible.
Add lemon-lime soda
Still tilting the glass, add the lemon-lime.
Shandy is a cocktail of equal parts. So, it’s half beer and half lemonade.
This is the safest proportion – tested and proven to taste good.
You can play with it as much as you want. You can try a 60-40 or 75-25 ratio in another glass. Soon, you’ll find what works best for your personal taste.
When all ingredients are in, stir gently to mix the flavors.
Don’t be too hasty! Being slow and patient keeps the drink carbonated and cool.
And there you go!
You now have a Summer Shandy in all its sweet and cool glory!
You can have this cocktail with any food you like – from pizza to pasta. And serving it under the summer heat, beside the beach, with a cute little garnish would enhance the experience.
There’s nothing left to do but to try it, and enjoy!
Tips on How to Make a Summer Shandy
Remember what we said about how people still do something wrong when following simple recipes? We weren’t joking!
There’s this super common mistake that even professional bartenders often commit. And it’s called ice.
So, my friend here’s a tip – Do not add ice to your Shandy! You wouldn’t put ice on your beer, would you? The same goes for beer-based drinks.
The earliest known Shandy recipes are said to use ginger beer. So, if you can get some of that, it’s best to start your Shandy experience with it.
That way, you’d be closer to knowing how it should’ve tasted originally and adjusting the flavors and proportions the way you like it.
When you mix beer with lemonade, it doesn’t matter which comes first. What matters is that you should do it as gently as you can.
If it bubbles up as you pour any of the ingredients, its carbonated goodness will lessen. It would feel less fresh even if you serve it right after making it.
You know what they say – patience is a virtue. But the prep time isn’t that long anyway, right?
Easy-peasy, wasn’t it?
Who knew that the ginger beer and pale ale you’ve been ignoring could make wonders with lemonade?
That’s why Summer Shandy is so popular – it’s easy to make, affordable, and tastes amazing! It’s a great thing to add to your menu and impress your friends and family.
There’s less alcohol in it than other drinks, so you can have more!
Let’s raise a glass to that!