Beer-Lemonade is the Official Drink of Summer

July 25, 2012

A beer and lemonade concoction sits on Marc's desk.

It is hot in NYC this summer and while boozy summer cocktails still have their place, for my money, the official drink of this summer is Beer+Lemonade, variants of which are called a Shandy and Radler. Not only is it delicious, but it is refreshing.

The lower alcohol content doesn't overwhelm and the citrus-y flavors just hit the spot in the evening or the daytime, and will help on the preventing hangovers front. This might not be a party drink, but it is definitely a summer drink.

According to the linked Wikipedia article, Radlers trace back in Germany to a gastronomer in Munich by the name of Franz Xaver Kugler, who is credited with their invention in 1922. But it also notes that references to Radler predate Franz by ten years, so he may have been just the best PR person at the time. Here's how I make my Beerade:

Marc's super-simple recipe for Beer + Lemonade, Radler, Shandy, or whatever:

If you have lemonade, just mix it 50-50 with beer and a couple ice cubes in a large glass. Otherwise -
  1. Get a big glass, 20oz is good.
  2. Fill with about 8oz of water. Add a heaping tablespoon of white sugar and three tablespoons of lemon juice concentrate. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add about 3-4 ice cubes and stir well again.
  4. Pour a lager over the ice cubes, give a small stir, and voila!
You can use any lager. Right now I have a case of Kirin Ichiban so I'm using that. In the past I've used Budweiser which works fine as well. Experiment with different beers! I might not use a porter, but many different beers will add different notes to the final result.