beer and food

Shandy – the easiest, most refreshing beer cocktail ever!

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Is there anything more refreshing than an ice-cold lager on a hot day?

Yep! How about an ice-cold shandy instead? We promise this super-simple beer cocktail will have your tastebuds tingling in no time at all.

A shandy is the easiest mixed drink ever to make. Just two ingredients. Beer and lemonade. In equal parts. That’s it! 

Its simplicity is what makes a shandy both so delicious and so versatile.

Four steps to a perfect shandy.

1.    Take a bottle of your favourite beer. A lager is your traditional choice.

2.    Half fill a glass. Any glass will do.

3.    Top up with lemonade. That’s the soft drink, carbonated, fizzy soda type of lemonade.

4.    Enjoy! 

Did you know that shandy has different names depending on whereabouts in the world it is served?

In Germany you would order a “radler” - literally meaning “cyclist” in German. The refreshing mix of lager and lemonade is a popular refreshment for hot and sweaty cyclists.

In France, Switzerland and Belgium a shandy is know as a panache (pronounced pan-a-CHAY). It’s simply French for “mixed”. Self-explanatory but, as with most things French, sounds sophisticated and rather gourmet.

Twice as good - Tinker your shandy

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If you’re like us at Tinker Tailor you’ll want everything to be twice as good. So naturally we recommend you try two versions of a shandy. One Tinker-ed and one Tailor-ed! 

Your Tailor-ed shandy is classic and refined. Take our refreshingly crisp Lager and simply add the best lemonade you can find (we recommend Foxton Fizz). And that’s it.

For your more Tinker-ed, slightly experimental version you’ll love to use our Vienna Lager. A Vienna Lager is not your typical lager and it makes for an amazing shandy. Firstly, you get to admire the glorious red-copper colour that is characteristic of this style of beer. And secondly, the malty flavour of a Vienna Lager combines perfectly with the sweetness of lemonade. Add a slice of whatever citrus takes your fancy to the side of the glass for a jaunty garnish. 

Four more ways to pimp up your shandy

Now you’ve got a shandy in your hand you’ll probably start thinking about ways to change it up a bit. To Tinker with it!

The beauty of making your own shandy (or any beer cocktail really) is that you are in total control of the end result. A little bit more or less of either of the key ingredients, or changing or adding ingredients and you’ve created a drink custom-designed for your tastebuds.

Here are a few of our favourite variations:

Change the ratio 1

For a lighter, sweeter and even lower alcohol version try adjusting less beer and more soda. 25:75 works really well. Or maybe even just a splash of beer in the top of a tall glass of lemonade. Known in the Netherlands as sneeuwwitje (snow white) for the white, foamy top the beer creates.

Change the ratio 2

If you want your shandy to be more beer-y you simply, (you guessed it!) increase the amount of beer. Congratulations you’ve created what is referred to in England, Scotland and Wales as a lager-top.

Go more alcoholic

Give your classic shandy a bit of a kick by adding a shot (or two) of spirits. With a dash of Grenadine we’ve made a Biere Monaco. Or why not try a Southern Shandy by adding a shot of peach brandy. My personal favourite is a Campari Shandy. Just as it suggests – with a wee tipple of Campari and a wedge of lime.  

Change the mixer

Lemonade is the traditional soda of choice for a lager, but why not experiment with ginger beer or ginger ale to create a Shandygaff (another name for a ginger shandy). Use cola as the mix to create a Colabier or Diesel (with or without a shot of whiskey!) Add a nip of blackcurrant cordial for a bitter, sweet and tart concoction.

That should give you plenty of inspiration.

Remember you can always keep it really easy by going back to the tried and true, original shandy.  

Half beer. Half lemonade. Twice as good!