The shandy is a great summertime drink. It is refreshing, couldn’t be easier to make and is a nice way to enjoy your favorite beer on hot days.
What is a Shandy?
A shandy is nothing more than a mixed drink of beer and lemonade. It is a popular way to dress up the average glass of beer, particularly in the summer, and is sometimes called a shandygraff or radler.
The average shandy uses equal parts of beer and lemonade, though these proportions can vary. You may want to add a little less lemonade with a wheat beer or choose to use more when mixing with a light lager. The preference is going to be a matter of personal taste and will probably vary with each style of beer.
- Fill a standard pint glass half-way with beer.
- Fill it the rest of the way with lemonade.
More Tips for Making a Great Shandy
Wheat beer and light lagers create the best shandy and are preferred. Pilsner is always a favorite shandy base as well. One of the best ways to choose a good shandy beer is to begin with those light, refreshing beers that you enjoy most in the summer.
Just as the quality of the beer is important, so is the quality of lemonade.
Sure, you could use one of those popular lemonade mixes or purchase a pre-mixed bottle from the store, but the best lemonade is going to be made from scratch.
Now, if homemade lemonade scares you, you should know how easy it really is to make at home. Fresh lemon juice, sugar and water: that is all you need and it mixes up just as quickly as any of a powdered mix. It also produces a more refreshing lemonade with natural flavors and you know exactly what is in it.
Squeezing fresh juice is probably the one step that keeps people from enjoying fresh lemonade, but that is easy as well. Maybe you can even get the kids to help and reward them with an afternoon lemonade party, saving your portion for a shandy, of course.
What About Shandy Beers?
It has been quite popular in recent years for brewers to release a summer shandy or radler beer. Many of these retain the lemon flavor of the shandy recipe, though a few opt for grapefruit or other citrus fruits and a few add ginger for a nice contrast.
Shandy beers tend to be lighter in alcohol as well, so these are good daytime sipping during the summer months.
There are too many shandy beers on the market today to note here and they do vary greatly in quality. Unfortunately, some of them have too much citrus for the average beer drinker’s liking so it is best to tread lightly when exploring the options.