Sorry for the delay everyone. I had an eye doctor appointment and, as a result, I spent most of the afternoon with my eyes dilated and unable to see much on the computer. But, now I’m back and it’s time for a beer – specifically, a Leine Summer Shandy.
I have my brother-in-law, Brian, to thank for my new summer drink. Last summer he visited us in California and raved about the Summer Shandy. Jeff and I spent the rest of the summer on the search for the elusive beer in SoCal. Once we returned to Chicago, in February, we searched again – and again no luck. Then Cubs Opening Day (yes, it’s capitalized on purpose – it’s a holiday at our house), we spotted it in the bar – the Summer Shandy season had begun! Leine Summer Shandy mixes wheat beer with lemonade (the Leinenkugel site has a much more elaborate description) for what tastes like summer in a bottle!
We have since learned that Summer Shandy is only available from April – August. Supposedly it is sold nation-wide but we never saw it in SoCal – let me know if you find it outside of the Midwest.
For those who can’t find it, I wanted to supply a recipe to make your own. In searching for a recipe, I came across what may be the history of the Shandy, aka the Radler, on The Splendid Table Web site (The Splendid Table is on Minnesota Public Radio and I loved listening to it when I lived in the Twin Cities. Lynne Rossetto Kasper is over the top in her love of food – in a good way).
Here’s Lynne’s take on how this yummy beverage came to be: The story goes like this: in 1922, an innkeeper in Bavaria didn’t have enough beer to accommodate the bicyclists and other guests, so he cut the beer with lemon-lime soda and it was a hit. He named it “radler,” which means “cyclist.”
And here’s the Shandy recipe from Epicurious:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- four 3-inch strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 fresh mint sprigs
- chilled beer, such as pale ale
In a small saucepan bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and stir in zest. Cool sugar syrup to room temperature. Transfer syrup to a small pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice, and mint. Chill lemonade until cold. (Makes about 4 1/2 cups lemonade.). Pour 1/4 cup lemonade, or to taste, into each of 4 chilled beer glasses and top off with beer.
Or, the easy-peasey way to do this – mix 1/2 a can of light or wheat beer with 1/2 a can of lemon-lime soda and splash of lemonade.