Summer Shandy

This two-ingredient Summer Shandy is just the thing for a hot day with a pool party! You’re going to love this delicious drink that is tart and refreshing.

Two glass jars of orange-colored drink garnished with lemon slices and mint leaves, placed on hexagonal coasters.

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About this Summer Shandy Recipe

If you love to enjoy a nice cold beer on a summer day, then you’re going to love this summer shandy cocktail recipe! Add in the zesty lemon flavors of your favorite lemonade and you’ve got a perfect beverage for those sun-splashed summer months.

This fun cocktail is essentially a beer version of an Arnold Palmer. Instead of sweet tea, use a traditional wheat beer — or just your favorite beer! Then you’ve got a fun, bright cocktail with a wonderfully crisp taste.

I have fond memories of this summery beverage too. I remember my grandparents enjoying an ice cold shandy on their patio on hot summer evenings. Isn’t that just a picturesque dream? Sitting in a comfy chair, watching the sunset and sipping on a cold cocktail.

Serve this fruity beer at picnics, cookouts, parties or simply as a nice evening beverage. If you’ve tried a Leinenkugel summer shandy craft beer, then you’re going to love this recipe! It’s just as tasty and is so easy to make!

More lemonade recipes: Limoncello LemonadeLynchburg LemonadeWatermelon Lemonade

Why you’ll love this recipe

Next time you pickup your favorite beer, throw this recipe together for something extra refreshing and flavorful:

  • This a super affordable cocktail since it’s just beer and lemonade! Two ingredients that you can buy at a great price.
  • It’s really easy to make this beverage for parties. Serve a large crowd with this yummy lemony beer.
  • A summer shandy pairs with so many different foods so it’s great for cookouts. It’s really versatile too, so you can make fun adjustments to the recipe as needed!
A tall glass of iced peach lemonade garnished with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint, surrounded by lemon slices and mint leaves. A bottle and another glass are partially visible in the background.

What is a shandy?

A shandy is the perfect summer beer cocktail! Traditionally, it’s a 50/50 mix of wheat beer and fresh lemonade. However, you can create tons of fun different combinations.

Some recipes, especially British ones, call for lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade to be used instead of lemonade. This is totally fine to use, but I prefer lemonade! Beer is fizzy enough to me and the lemonade tastes fresher.

You can use any kind of lemonade too! Flavored lemonade like strawberry lemonade or blueberry lemonade — or even limeade — will work for your own unique take on this cocktail.

If you want to make this with juice, you’re probably looking for a radler, which is more of a German thing. (A lot like the beermosa, to be honest.) But if lemonade is your thing, then you’re going to love this!

A tall glass of iced tea garnished with a lemon slice and fresh mint leaves, placed on a hexagonal coaster with additional tea and lemon wedges visible in the background.

History of the Summer Shandy

The summer shandy was made popular by the brand Leinenkugel in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. When it hit shelves in 2007, it was an immediate hit. It quickly became a national favorite and even won a Silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Fruit Wheat Beer category in 2012.

Leinenkugel’s iconic summer shandy beer is made from their traditional weiss beer natural lemonade flavor. With this recipe, you can remake a Leinenkugel summer shandy beer — perfect for summertime.

A glass of a light orange beverage garnished with a lemon slice, cucumber slice, and mint leaves, placed on a coaster with bottle caps and a lemon wedge nearby.

Tools & glassware 

To make this drink, you’ll need a jigger to measure out the two ingredients. And the only other thing that you need are glasses to serve the drink!

Since the recipe is essentially 50/50 lemonade and beer, you can use whatever kind of glass you want, but a pint glass is most common.

Best beer for a Summer Shandy

Wheat beers and light lager beers are the best to use for a summer shandy. Dark beer and stouts are not commonly used in this cocktail. Pilsner would also be a good choice for this recipe!

If you’re not sure what brand to choose and what is best, then check out my beer 101 post.

Instructions

There’s only three steps to making a shandy! Follow these super easy instructions and you’ll be sipping on your beverage in no time:

A liquid being poured from a measuring cup into a clear glass on a white surface.

Fill a glass halfway with chilled lemonade.

A light-colored beverage is being poured from a glass bottle into a clear glass on a white surface.

Top with a light beer.

A bottle is pouring a light amber liquid into a clear glass.

Then garnish with a lemon wedge, sprig of lemon — or nothing at all — and serve immediately!

A hand places a slice of lemon on the rim of a glass filled with an orange-colored beverage.

Tips & tricks

Zesty lemons and crisp beer, what’s not to love? Follow these few tips and tricks for the best results:

  • If you’re serving this on an especially hot day, feel free to add ice. It’s not traditional, but it’s a great way to keep it cold! A chilled glass is also a great way to enjoy it.
  • For the best flavor, use homemade lemonade. Store-bought lemonade will work too but won’t have as bright and fresh of a flavor.
  • Want a bubbly version? Add some ginger ale, soda or sparkling water. You can also make this drink sweeter with some simple syrup or honey.
A tall glass filled with an orange-colored beverage, garnished with a lemon slice and mint leaves, placed on a hexagonal coaster. A second identical glass, bottle, lemon wedge, and mint sprig are nearby.

Food pairings

Need some tasty fresh food pairing ideas to serve with this drink? I love to choose brighter foods, like cilantro pineapple salsa and homemade pita chips. It’d be great with chips and guacamole too.

Burgers and grilled chicken would be a tasty pairing too. Yummy appetizers like chicken wings and popcorn shrimp are also great.

Easy BBQ chicken sandwiches and shrimp quesadillas would be a wonderful meal with a summer shanty.

FAQ

Are a radler and a shandy the same?

These two cocktails are similar, but not the same. Both use a light lager as a base and are mixed with something fruity. But a shandy is mixed with lemonade, while a radler can be mixed with any type of fruit juice!

What does shandy beer taste like?

Some people say it reminds them of fruity pebbles! It has a light, tart flavor and with a slightly bready flavor from the wheat beer.

Two glasses of an orange-colored drink are garnished with lemon slices and mint leaves. A bottle with the same drink is in the background, alongside two bottle caps and lemon slices.

More Beer Recipes

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Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Two glass jars of orange-colored drink garnished with lemon slices and mint leaves, placed on hexagonal coasters.

Summer Shandy

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Have some leftover homemade lemonade? Use it to make this amazing Summer Shandy!
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

  • 4 ounces lemonade cold
  • 4 ounces light beer such as a lager, wheat beer or pilsner, cold

instructions

  • Fill a glass halfway with chilled lemonade.
  • Hold the glass at a 45° angle, and pour in the beer. Aim for the side of the glass, slowly righting the glass as you pour.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge, sprig of mint or nothing at all and serve cold.

notes

If you’re serving this on an especially hot day, feel free to add ice. It’s not traditional, but it’s a great way to keep it cold! Using a chilled glass is also a great way to enjoy it.
For the best flavor, use homemade lemonade. Store-bought lemonade will work fine, but it doesn’t have as bright and fresh of a flavor. Feel free to use flavored lemonade like strawberry or blueberry if you like! 
Prefer a bubbly version? Use sparkling lemonade instead. You can also add some ginger ale, soda or sparkling water. You can also make this drink sweeter with some simple syrup or honey.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 drink

amount per serving:

Serving: 8ounces Calories: 90kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Protein: 0.3g Sodium: 12mg Potassium: 24mg Sugar: 14g Calcium: 5mg Iron: 0.03mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!
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