Endlessly Adaptable Shandy

published Sep 16, 2021
summer
Shandy Recipe

This refreshing shandy recipe only takes five minutes to whip up.

Serves1

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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summer shandy in five types of glassware with lemon wedges and beer caps
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

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shandy

I wanted to become your personal shandy travel guide and offer a variety of different shandy variations using different beers and various mixer options from assorted countries. Get ready to pack your bags and grab your passport, because when it comes to shandies, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.

Since the name shandy comes from the British “shandygaff” I decided to start our journey where it all began. My British version uses Samuel Smith, a British Lager, and combines it with ginger beer. This is a bit of a diversion from the lemonade mixer we are used to, but ginger ale or ginger beer were originally the mixers of choice.

Crossing the pond, an American version of the shandy should be prepared with a classic American lager, such as Budweiser. Shandies can be made with store-bought prepared lemonade, your favorite homemade lemonade, or even a lemonade mix. For this version, I simply scooped some Countrytime lemonade and mixed it with water, blended it with the beer, and sipped it out of an old-fashioned canning jar. It’s the perfect no-fuss casual drink.

Traveling back to Europe, an Italian-inspired shandy is prepared with an Italian sparkling lemon soda, such as San Pellegrino Limonata, and combined with Peroni, an Italian lager. The extra bubbles from the sparkling lemonade give the shandy even more effervescence and a dash of elegance.

Next, we can bike over the border and head to Germany for a radler. A radler is another variation on the shandy and got its name from an innkeeper outside Munich in 1922. As the story goes, on a warm June day when 13,000 cyclists arrived in the small town of Deisenhofen, an innkeeper started to run out of beer so he blended it 50/50 with lemon soda. Radler is German for cyclist, so the name stuck. My version is served out of a beer stein using a Bavarian-style hefeweissbier and mixed with grapefruit juice or grapefruit soda.

Finally, we finish our journey with my personal favorite: the Bohemian shandy. You can’t go wrong with an iconic Czech pilsner such as Pilsner Urquell mixed with chilled lemonade in a graceful pilsner glass. Plus, a lemon twist on the rim adds just a touch of sophistication to this humble beverage.

What Kind of Beer Is in a Shandy?

Pale ale, wheat beer, or a light lager work best when making a shandy. Dark beers or stouts are not usually used in shandies.

Best Mixer in Shandies

A shandy typically uses lemonade or carbonated lemon soda. But the best mixer depends on your own personal taste and the beer you choose to use. Other variations include the following:

  • Cola
  • Orange soda
  • Ginger beer
  • Ginger ale

Alcohol Ratio in Shandies

In a shandy, beer is combined in a 50/50 ratio with a non-alcoholic lemonade or lemon soda. This effectively cuts the alcohol amount in half. In fact, you can even eliminate the beer altogether or use non-alcoholic beer to create alcohol-free shandies known as “rock shandies.”

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Shandy Recipe

This refreshing shandy recipe only takes five minutes to whip up.

Prep time 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

Basic Shandy Recipe

  • 6 ounces

    chilled lemonade or sparkling lemon soda (3/4 cup)

  • 6 ounces

    chilled wheat, light lager, or pilsner beer (3/4 cup)

  • Lemon slice or lemon twist, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pour 6 ounces chilled lemonade into a chilled pilsner or 12-ounce glass. Top with 6 ounces chilled beer. Garnish with a lemon slice or lemon twist, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Variations

Italian Shandy: Pour 6 ounces chilled Italian sparkling lemon soda into a chilled pilsner glass. Top with 6 ounces chilled Italian lager. Garnish with a lemon twist.

German Radler: Pour 6 ounces chilled grapefruit soda into a chilled stein. Top with 6 ounces chilled Hefeweissbier. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

British Shandygaff: Pour 6 ounces chilled ginger beer into a chilled pint glass. Top with 6 ounces chilled British lager.

American: Pour 6 ounces cold water and 1 tablespoon lemonade mix into a chilled Mason jar. Stir to dissolve, then top with 6 ounces chilled American lager.

Bohemian: Pour 6 ounces chilled lemonade into a chilled pilsner glass. Top with 6 ounces chilled Czech pilsner. Garnish with a lemon slice.