The classic shandy is an easy and ultra-thirst-quenching cocktail made with half-beer, half-lemonade and that's about it, but bartenders are varying up the standard combo with all kinds of mixers or add-ons, from soft drinks to fruit juice to bitters. Here are some of our favorite newfangled shandies, plus a recipe you'll want to make (and riff on) all summer.
Where: The Mermaid Inn, New York City
What: Watermelon liqueur, lime juice, Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer.
How: "We have this new watermelon wheat beer that we're really excited to introduce and showcase. Both the beer and shandy are clean and crisp — perfect for sipping in the warm weather with seafood," says drink creator Michael Bunting, manager at The Mermaid Inn, Upper West Side. Photo by Patty Lee.
Where: D&T Drive Inn, Houston
What: Homemade lemonade, lager beer, bitters.
How: D&T Drive Inn in Houston uses the standard lemonade and beer combo but throws in a curveball by serving the shandy frozen (pictured above, left of the frozen sangria). The drink is finished off with a dash of herbal bitters and a lemon wedge. Photo courtesy of D&T Drive Inn.
Where: Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Chicago
What: Wheat beer, lemonade.
How: The bar at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago slings rotating beer cocktails year-round, but beverage director Emilie Sharboneau’s refreshing spin on a shandy, which unites Belgian wheat beer with housemade lemonade, is a menu mainstay. Photo courtesy of Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap.
Where: Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Austin
What: House-made ginger lemonade, vodka, craft beer.
How: The menu at the casual joint features inventive burgers alongside milkshakes, brews and specialty cocktails, including an ice-cold summer shandy made with a gingery lemonade and vodka (plus beer, of course). Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy.
Where: Independence Beer Garden, Philadelphia
What: Peach liqueur, fresh lemon juice, Goose Island 312 Urban wheat ale.
How: This peach-infused version of a shandy is sweeter than most, but the fresh lemon juice adds a bright, tangy flavor burst. “It’s one of those refreshing drinks perfect to enjoy on a summer evening...and it isn’t too sweet,” bartender Tracy Brickner tell The Feast. Photo courtesy of Independence Beer Garden.
Where: Queen Vic, Houston
What: IPA pale ale, 8-year cask-aged amber rum, lemon, honey, bitters.
How: “It’s a super simple drink, but the contrast of the bitter hoppy beer with the molasses and nutty flavors of the rum creates a perfect balance," says beverage director Samantha Porter. "I am not much of an IPA person, but the ingredients harmonize into a bright and lively drink.” Photo courtesy of Queen Vic.
The Fresh Prince of Beirut
Where: Committee, Boston
What: Greek tsipouro (pomace brandy), lemon, honey, Beirut Pilsner beer.
How: In case the drink's name alone doesn't hook you, here's how beverage director Peter Szigeti describes it: “The Fresh Prince of Beirut is the perfect summertime drink for guests looking for an approachable yet refreshing cocktail, with a mix of flavors that takes a classic shandy to the next level."
The Fresh Prince of Beirut recipe:
2 oz tsipouro
¾ oz honey
¾ oz lemon juice
1 Beirut Pilsner (or any Pilsner you like)
Stir tsipouro with honey and lemon juice. Pour over ice in a highball glass and top with the beer.
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