Summer Shandy Beer
On a hot day, nothing beats my Summer Shandy Beer! It’s also known as a beer cocktail, a mix of wheat beer and fresh squeezed orange juice. It is light, crisp and just the right amount of sweet. You can also try using different citrus juice, like lemon and grapefruit for a different flavor.
A Healthy Twist
Typically, a Summer Shandy Beer is made with equal parts wheat beer and juice or a fruity soda, which makes for a very sugary drink. The traditional English shandy is made with equal parts beer and 7-Up® or Sprite®, leading to a very sweet, high calorie beverage.
Alternatively, my Summer Shandy Beer uses just 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice and 8 oz of beer. The fresh juice gives a burst of tangy flavor, while also providing a significant source of vitamin C. My version is a bit more alcoholic than the traditional version so feel free to adjust to your preferences.
You could also use fresh squeezed lemon juice. Warning-it will be more tart! You may want to mix in a tablespoons of sugar per 3 ounces of lemon juice to cut the tartness. You can also try a mix of lemon and lime juice.
If you are making drinks for a crowd or if squeezing citrus does not fit into your Summer vibe, substitute with orange juice or lemonade. Many grocers sell fresh squeezed juice, which is the tastiest option. I have never used grapefruit juice, but I think it would be just as good!
If you are using a different kind of juice, make sure you read the label to see how much added sugar is in the product. Another popular option is San Pellegrino Limonata, a sparkling fruit drink made with real lemons.
What Type of Beer?
My Summer Shandy is made with wheat beer, the most readily available option in the United States is Blue Moon®. Pick a beer that is light and refreshing. You could also try using a blond lager, Pilsner or Hefeweizen.
Making your own Summer Shandy Beer, is much tastier than the pre-made options available. The fresh citrus juice can be adjusted to your preferences and if you need it to be sweeter you can add honey or agave.
Shandy vs Radler 1
According to the food experts at www.eater.com both a “shandy” and a “radler” refer to a delicious beer cocktail. The difference is that a shandy encompasses a more diverse set of sweeteners, such as ginger ale, ginger beer, and any kind of citrus soda. Compared to a radler that typically only uses citrus sodas.
The name “shandy” comes from “shandy gaff” an old British name that was first used in the 1850s to describe beers mixed with ginger ale. The word “radler” means cyclist in German because the drink was made for the thirsty patrons of a Bavarian bar. The drink was created in the 1920s by a bartender that was running out of beer, so he mixed it with lemonade!
Keep it Cold
When the temperature ticks into the 90s here in New York City, and the air is thick with humidity, a cool and refreshing beverage is essential. Keeping my Summer Shandy Beer cold can be a challenge so keep important and there are a few tricks! Adding ice is an option, but I find it waters it down and dilutes the flavor.
A classic option are beer mugs to keep in the freezer. There are many styles, and I prefer a classic glass beer mug. Your future self will thank you, when you pull out those frozen mugs from the freezer!
Another option is reusable ice cubes. They can be used again, and again and will not dilute the taste of my Summer Shandy Beer flavor! The ice cubes come in a variety of colors and make the drink extra fun and festive.
During the hot days of Summer I always crave a Summer Shandy Beer. Cutting the beer with fresh squeezed juice cuts the alcohol content and makes it light and refreshing. Feel free to play with the ratio of juice to beer and the type of beer. Make sure to drink responsibly. Enjoy!
- Perozzi C. Radler or Shandy? The Perfect Beer Cocktail For Summer. Eater. Published June 17, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/6/17/8778791/radler-or-shandy-the-perfect-beer-cocktail-for-summer
- 8 ounces wheat beer
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Splash of almond extract optional
- Garnish: orange slice
- Combine beer, juice, and extract. Stir. Serve with orange slice