Thinkstock / Nikolay Tsuguliev
When warmer weather rolls in and the temperatures start to rise, a sure bet to beat the heat is an ice-cold beer or cocktail. But why settle for one or the other? Enter the shandy: a beer-based cocktail made up of equal parts beer and a fruity or fizzy mixer.
You might remember the shandy — or Radler (as the drink is known in Germany), or panaché (as the French call it) — from your semester abroad in Europe, where it has been a popular beverage throughout the warmer months for years. The word shandy first popped up in Europe in the late 1800s as a shortened version of shandygaff, which referred to beer cut with ginger beer. The story behind the creation of the first Radler — which means "bicyclist" in German — has a bit of a folklore feel to it. Sometime in the early twentieth century, the legend goes, a tavern owner in Germany was quickly running out of beer as his bar was slammed with thirsty cyclists after a long day’s ride. Thinking on his feet, the tavern owner stretched his supply of beer by cutting it with the lemonade that no one seemed to be buying, and voilà! The Radler was born.
Nowadays, shandy cocktails have skipped the pond and landed stateside, steadily growing in popularity. No longer relegated to ginger beer or lemonade mixtures, the shandy has transformed into a beer-based cocktail that’s mixed with any fruity and fizzy additions your heart desires. Refreshing, light, and with a bit of bite from the added mixers, a shandy is your solution to sweltering summer temperatures. Read on below for modern spins on the venerable shandy cocktail and, while you’re at it, make a couple.
Big Blue Beer Shandy
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Giants fans will love this take on the shandy, created with their team in mind. Rye and blood orange play up peppery and tart flavors, while the pretzel stick garnish acts as a salty, playful nod to German cuisine.
Dance with the Devil Shandy
This shandy recipe has all the makings of a perfect summer cocktail. Beer, jalapeño, and flavors of grapefruit mingle to create a drink you’ll be sipping through the whole summer.