Many beer enthusiasts can recall early encounters with mixed drinks resembling a shandy. The basic beer mixed with a non-alcoholic beverage fits in as well at a barbecue as it does at a bar, and its simple preparation – an even split of lager and lemonade, in many cases – is easy to recreate at home.
For shandy lovers whose cocktail-making skills sit somewhere between fresh-squeezing fruit juices into a local lager, and topping a can of Tecate with a squeeze of lime, shandy occupies a safe, happy middle ground.
While canned and bottled shandies are available, some inventive shandy variations are popping up on beverage blogs and bar menus across the country, from the San Francisco-based Crafts and Cocktails hospitality blog, to Lupa Osteria Romana trattoria in NYC.
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Below are six of our favorite shandy recipes, provided by brewers, bartenders, and beverage professionals across the U.S.
Sfizio Spritz Shandy
Developed by: Mike Schnebeck
Mike Schnebeck, head brewer at Fort Point Beer Co. in San Francisco, recently created a shandy that features Sfizio, Fort Point’s new Italian-style Pilsner. “It’s a nice in-between for someone who is looking for a refreshing drink that isn’t too sweet,” he says.
- 1 ounce Aperol
- ½ ounce Amaro Nonino
- 1 Fort Point Sfizio
- Orange peel
- Fill a 17-ounce bodega glass with ice.
- Add Aperol and Amaro Nonino.
- Top with Fort Point Sfizio.
- Garnish with orange twist.
Caitlin’s Spirited Shandy
Developed by: Caitlin Johnson
Austin, Texas-based blogger, Catilin Johnson of Big World, Small Girl blogs about craft beer and hosts the 512 Brewed Craft Beer podcast. Her favorite shandy features RAYS, a Texas-made fruit spirit, and Austin-made beer from Live Oak Brewing.
- 2-4 ounces RAYS Ruby Red Grapefruit
- 8-10 ounces Live Oak Hefeweizen
- Combine RAYS and Hefeweizen in a pint glass.
- Mix and adjust to taste.
Grapefruit Calidad Shandy
Developed by: Jordan Gookin Hardin
For a refreshing summer shandy, L.A.-based beverage specialist Jordan Gookin Hardin of Alfred, Inc., suggests utilizing one of the “new, U.S.-brewed, Mexican-style lagers on the market.” He recommends Calidad Beer for the base, and uses grapefruit juice to avoid a shandy that’s too sweet.
- 3 ounces grapefruit juice
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce Demerara syrup (1:5 ratio sugar to water; use hot water to dissolve)
- 6 ounces Calidad Beer, or to taste
- Grapefruit wedge
- Fill a tall glass with ice.
- Add grapefruit juice, lime juice, and Demerara syrup.
- Mix lightly and fill the glass with Calidad beer.
- Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Developed by: Christopher Longoria and Nora Furst
To matchmake beer and vodka in a still-sessionable shandy, cocktail consultants Christopher Longoria and Nora Furst created this recipe for Seven Stills Brewery and Distillery in San Francisco. “This cocktail is refreshing, complex, and low-ABV, meant to be enjoyed on the patio, sitting in the sunshine,” Furst says. “This is a beautiful way to offer something to the amaro and beer lover alike.”
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 1 ½ ounces Cappelletti
- ¼ ounce Seven Stills California Courage Vodka
- Pinch of salt
- Seven Stills Five Pound IPA
- Orange slices
- In a tall Collins glass, add lemon juice, simple syrup, Cappelletti, Seven Stills California Courage Vodka, and salt.
- Add ice.
- Top with Seven Stills Five Pound IPA.
- Garnish with orange slices and serve.
Developed by: Nicole Gampino
Bartender and craft cocktail specialist Nicole Gampino of Century Grand in Phoenix likes to add a peachy touch to her shandy, which makes this recipe a refreshing summertime sip.
- 12 ounces Allagash White
- ¾ ounce lemon
- ½ ounce agave syrup
- ¼ ounce peach schnapps
- ½ ounce Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
- Add all ingredients to a pint glass, mix, and serve.
Developed by: Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell
Cocktail Bandits Hospitality bloggers and co-authors of the book “Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture Through Cocktails,” Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell keep their shandy simple but specific. “Charleston is home to the Recovery Room, a bar that sells more cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon than any other bar in the world,” Reaves and Caldwell told VinePair. Because of this, they built a shandy around it.
- 1 part Cannonborough Honey Basil Soda
- 1 part Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Fill a chilled pint glass halfway with PBR.
- Top with Honey Basil Soda, and serve.