Equal parts light beer and lemonade create the easiest drink and can be modified in several delicious ways. Mildly sweet with a hint of tang and so very refreshing!
Crisp and refreshing with a hint of sweetness, there’s something special about a Shandy on a warm evening.
The 2-ingredient drink is effortless to mix and offers a lighter alternative to the usual cocktail.
This drink also earns bonus points for its flexibility. Recently, I cooked for a group that included a good many who drank alcohol, several whom did not, as well as several gluten-free eaters.
The rising popularity of really good zero-alcohol and gluten-free beers made this Shandy an appealing option for all. As a drink that covers so many bases, it seemed worthy of a mention here, especially during the season of backyard barbecues, graduation celebrations, weddings, pool parties, and the like.
What exactly is a Shandy?
A Shandy is simply beer mixed with a lemon (or lemon-lime) flavored beverage. The drink is typically made with equal parts of each ingredient, although it may be adjusted to taste.
In England, where Shandies are popular, the cocktail is often made with carbonated lemonade. Since a similar beverage is not widely available here, people in the States often use Sprite, 7-Up, or–my favorite–lemonade.
As a bit of trivia, in Germany, the beer and citrusy soda mixture is referred to as Radler. In France and Canada, the lager-lemonade combo is known as a Panaché.
Whatever the name or variation, these drinks are intended to be refreshing. Accordingly, light beers work well, complementing their liquid counterpart rather than overwhelming it.
While you could experiment with dark or hoppy beers, I recommend lighter brews like pilsners, saisons, golden ales, and lagers for the classic crisp drink.
Traditionally, Shandies are not served on the rocks, but you may absolutely add ice if you prefer. (I often do.)
Your favorite store-bought lemonade works perfectly. (For locals, I’ve used good old Turkey Hill lemonade, and it make a great Shandy.)
If you’re inclined to squeeze your own lemons, this Homemade Lemonade Concentrate will make it easy to enjoy a Shandy at a moment’s notice.
Which are the best non-alcoholic beers? The linked post lists our favorites. My favorite gluten-free beer for this drink is mentioned in the recipe notes.