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.
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.