Beer snobs and hops-loving purists might
turn up their noses, but few things are more thirst-quenching on a hot summer
day than aShandy.
A drink that traces its roots back to
19th-century English pubs, a Shandy traditionally consists of half beer
(typically a light lager of some sort) and a carbonated beverage topper like
lemon soda or ginger ale. Making the original beer cocktail (or “beertail” for
those who love a good portmanteau) is essentially foolproof and a good
training-wheels exercise for anyone nervous about making their own cocktails at
What’s more, the possible variations are
endless. Toying with the beer-to-soda ratio and playing around with various
types of bubbly beverage make a whole world of options possible depending on
personal preference. Western European countries have been serving up a variety
of takes for centuries, from the French demi-peche (beer with a shot of peach
syrup) to the Italian tango, which mixes beer with a gooseberry cordial.
In German-speaking countries, a play on a
Shandy known as a Radler is a summertime staple, traditionally consisting of
50-50 beer and sparkling lemonade.
“Our radler is a combination ofRadebergerpilsner
Radeberger pilsner is a German beer from Radeberg, close to Dresden. You fill the glass one-third full
with Sprite, then add Radeberger pilsner on top,” says Gloria Lee Friedrich of
& Spaand itsOleander Barin
Baden Baden, Germany. “An alternative twist is to mix the beer withBionade, an organic fermented soda from Bavaria that has
interesting flavors like elderberry, lemon bergamot and more.”
Below are four bar-based takes on the
shandy, plus three styles you can find in your local beer aisle. Whether you’re
popping a top or whipping up your own, let’s christen this year the Summer of
This version of a Shandy has the added one-two
punch of both Yellow and GreenChartreuse, creating an herbal depth to the drink that
plays nicely with lager. This drink also serves as a stellar gateway cocktail
for those still on the fence about Chartreuse, tiptoeing into all of the
nuances of the botanically driven liqueur without overwhelming the palate.
Some Shandies go easy on the lemonade vibes.
Others, like this one, embrace it with open arms. Ruby-red-infusedvodkamakes
this drink a spirit-driven delight, while the peach bitters add a soothing dose
of juiciness to round out the drink’s flavor profile. If you’re looking for a
drink to serve at your next brunch, or batch into a punch for a party, look no
At Homeroom, they call this drink a “booze
experiment,” but don’t let that dissuade you from making it. It’s the ideal
drink to whip up for those completely green to mixing cocktails—no lab coat or
protective eyewear required. If you’re feeling particularly mad scientist, add
in an ounce of grenadine for a super summery cherrylimeade
Stiegl’s play on a German Radler skews heavily
in favor of citrusy notes, with a blend of 40 percent Goldbräu lager and 60
percent grapefruit soda. Delightfully zippy, it’s refreshingly palatable and
could prove to be a strong gateway drink for those skeptical about beer-based
This drink’s effervescence is one of its most
compelling features, with a 50-50 split between hefeweizen (a sparkling German
wheat beer) and grapefruit juice. A more beer-forward beverage than many other
Shandies and Radlers, this one is for the craft beer aficionado in your life.
A Rhode Island–heavy collaboration between
Narragansett Brewing Company and beloved lemonade companyDel’s,
this Shandy is like sipping a boozy, fizzy lemon ice. It would be an ideal
drink for sipping at the shore during a clambake.