Shandies are dandy

Orange wheat shandy

When the mercury starts to rise, people begin their quest for a refreshing beverage to sip after participating in their favorite summertime activity. A shandy is the perfect drink to quench a heat-fueled thirst, but it's great almost any time.

Shandies can be simple mixtures of beer paired with lemonade, soda, fruit juice, ginger beer, or another beverage, but they can also be transformed into complex drinks by adding herbs, spices, or liqueurs. More popular in Western Europe than in the US & Canada, shandies are starting to develop a larger following in the latter countries, perhaps due to the rising interest in craft beers.

Variations on the shandy have colorful and quirky monikers. Radlers, which originated in Germany (radler means cyclist in German), commonly consist of a 50:50 mixture of beer and sparkling lemonade or lemon soda. In New Zealand, the names 'reldar' (radler spelled backwards) and 'cyclist' are used because a large corporation trademarked the word Radler.

A Panache is a draft beer mixed with carbonated lemonade served in French-speaking areas of Switzerland and in France. One variation called a diesel has different meanings depending on whether you're in continental Europe or in the UK. In the former, a diesel usually means draft beer mixed with cola; in the latter, it refers to combination of lager and hard cider and thus isn't quite a shandy, which technically should have a non-alcoholic component.

One great attribute of a shandy is that it can turn an otherwise nondescript beer into something quite a bit more tasty. Some drinks that might fit this bill include a Spicy apricot shandy from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and a Campari shandy from indexed blog Food52. For a real heat-beating twist, you can even turn your shandy into a popsicle.

Photo of Orange wheat shandy from Martha Stewart Living Magazine

1 Comment

  • milgwimper  on  6/2/2015 at 12:13 PM

    Don't forget the Russ, which is a mix of a weisen with lemonade/lemon soda. So refreshing, on a hot day.

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