An ice-cold beer is nearly unsurpassed for its ability to refresh on a hot day. But dressing up your beer with some citrus juice, spiking it with some booze, and garnishing it accordingly makes that beer even better. This sophisticated beer cocktail is known as a Shandy.
Traditionally, a Shandy is a simple mixture of beer and lemonade, or some other complementary non-alcoholic ingredient, such as ginger ale, but bartenders have jumped at the opportunity to elevate their favorite brews with an array of liqueurs, spirits, and juices alike. The result: thirst-quenching crushers with a spectrum of flavors that appeal equally to beer-lovers and the occasional beer drinker.
Shandies are fairly straightforward to make and will change the way you think about beer-based cocktails. These are 11 to try.
This drink, which appeared on a menu at San Francisco’s Homeroom, eagerly embodies the classic Shandy template of beer and citrus. It combines the bar’s homemade limeade with a local Fort Point Beer kölsch ale for a citrusy and slightly bitter result that’s so simple to make it could be trouble—in a good way).
This balanced beer-tail appeared on the menu of David’s Club at the Hilton Orlando and employs the use of beer’s best friend: bourbon. The sweet corn-and-grain notes of bourbon marry excellently with the crisp lager base, both of which are paired with maple syrup and fresh lemon juice for an autumnal-leaning Shandy that’s both refreshing and delicious.
If you love the Aperol Spritz and other aperitivo-style cocktails, then this drink is for you. While it definitely pushes the boundaries of what most would call a Shandy, it does have a healthy pour of beer in it, so it makes the cut. The bittersweet cocktail’s flavor profile is driven by a few ounces of an IPA and an Italian aperitivo, along with orangecello, soda water, orange bitters, and salt. The end result is somewhere in between a spritz and a Shandy, but it’s so delicious that you won’t think twice about the identity crisis it’s suffering.
While lemon and lime are two of the more traditional citrus fruits found in shandies, grapefruit is arguably beer’s best friend. The Stone’s Shandy embraces the vibrant and juicy bitterness of ruby-red grapefruit by infusing the fruit into vodka before including freshly squeezed lemon juice and peach bitters to a pale ale. If the infusion is too much of an undertaking for you, simply add some grapefruit juice to the cocktail with vodka, and it’ll be just as delectable.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
This version of a Shandy served at Boston's Coppa uses both green and yellow Chartreuse with a lager for a luxurious serve with a dominant herbal-floral depth. For brightness and to put the drink into the Shandy category, lemon juice is also added alongside simple syrup for balance. Chartreuse, beloved by bartenders and drinkers the world over, isn’t a particularly cheap cocktail component, but it renders this drink a flavor-bomb definitely worth whipping up.
Speed Rack cofounder and Llama Group beverage director Lynnette Marrero embraces a DIY mindset for this Shandy. The base spirit and choice of citrus are left up to you: opt for lemon, lime, or grapefruit, and any clear spirit of choice (tequila, white rum, vodka, gin, or any other you like). Once you’ve locked in your citrus and choice of alcohol, Marrero suggests using a sour beer syrup for some funkiness and sweetness to balance the citrus, which is then topped with a refreshing lager. With a little preparation ahead of time, you can make this drink over and over again, all summer long.
This teal-blue Shandy named for Jacksonville, Florida, Jaguars owner Shad Khan is like the Long Island Iced Tea of shandies: It has a little bit of everything. Developed by bartender Josh Strickland of Restaurant Orsay, this drink marries a local rum and beer from Jacksonville-based Intuition Ale Works with lemon juice, honey syrup, blue curaçao, and orange bitters. It’s juicy, bittersweet, and looks like a Florida ocean. What more could you ask for?
The ultimate bourbon Shandy, this drink marries Old Forester 100-proof bourbon with a hoppy IPA, grapefruit and lemon juices, simple syrup, and fresh marjoram for a thirst-quenching banger of a cocktail. The key to this Shandy’s distinct flavor profile is the depth that’s provided by the freshly muddled marjoram.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
Most popular in western Europe, especially Germany, the Ginger Shandy is one that forgoes the use of citrus in favor of gently spicy ginger ale. Ginger beer would also be a suitable pairing for this cocktail, and if you’d like to add your own personal flourish on this two-part drink, then may this Shandy be the blank canvas upon which you dash a bit of this and a pour of that, or just simply enjoy it as-is. Both options are encouraged.
At first, this cheekily-named Shandy may just seem like a play on the name of the infamous rapper, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Its punny name comes from the nickname given to one the Northwest’s most popular cheap brews: Rainier Beer. A staple at most Pacific Northwest dive bars, Rainier (aka Vitamin R or Ranye) is often served with a shot of whiskey or tequila for bar industry workers after their shifts. Utilizing this dollar-per-can beer, the Ranye West is a take on the famous Aperol Spritz using Rainier lager, Aperol, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters. Who says cheap beer can’t be classy?
This is another unadorned Shandy recipe, except this version marries a grain-forward wheat beer with a salted peach syrup. It definitely stretches the definition of what could be considered a Shandy, but it’s a delightful drink nonetheless. Shandy sticklers can consider adding a half-ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice for brightness and correctness all in one.