Beer Cocktail Taste Test: What’s the Best Shandy?

by Billy Broas

My girlfriend Sarah felt bad that I always shoot videos alone. Either that or she just wanted one of the delicious beer cocktails I’m always making.

In this video, Sarah joins in to try a couple variations of the Shandy beer cocktail, known as the Shandygaff in the U.K. The Shandy is made with a beer and either lemonade or ginger ale. We tried both versions to see which comes out on top.

In the end, my preference for lemonade and her preference for ginger ale decided the victor. A split decision!

Besides learning a new drink, I also learned that when your girlfriend joins in on a beer video you should cheers her and not the camera. Hey, I told you I’m used to doing these things alone ; )

How to Make a Shandy

This one is simple. You will need:

  • A light beer. Remember though, light doesn’t mean no flavor. Go with a microbrewed Czech style pilsner, like Blue Paddle from New Belgium.
  • Either ginger ale, ginger beer, or lemonade.

Mix equal parts together in a pint glass.

Have you had a Shandy? How did you make it? Should only Sarah do videos from now on with me as camera operator?

More Beer Cocktails:


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete July 27, 2010 at 11:08 am

Looks good Billy, I will give these a try this weekend. I have never mixed beer with anything so i’m very curious what they taste like. The good thing about these is I have all of the ingredients already.


Jorge July 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

I probably would’ve cheers the camera myself… maybe it’s a guy thing?


Adam July 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’m sure the shandys (shandies?) taste good, but wouldn’t the beer by itself taste better? There’s nothing wrong with a beer cocktail, I just can’t picture myself pouring lemonade into a perfectly good beer. Blue Paddle by itself is light and refreshing.


Scott-TheBrewClub July 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I’ve been tempted to try the Leinenkugels ready-made Summer Shandy, and your video created a ‘Duh’ moment for me. Why not just make my own with my own beer choice! I’m not a fan of ginger ale either, but my wife has some on hand so maybe I’ll give that a try as well.


Billy Broas July 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

@Pete Hope you like it. Yes the ease and availability of ingredients is the best part. I mean I love the michelada too but it’s kind of a pain to make.

@Jorge Yea we had a good laugh. I shoulda done the double cheers – camera then girlfriend. But it made for a good blooper.

@Adam That’s really an argument against beer cocktails in general – why ruin a perfectly good beer? I see your point, and for me it’s just about exploring different flavors and trying new things. The depth and complexity other ingredients can add keeps me hot in pursuit of new ventures. In reality though, I only have 1 beer cocktail for every 99 beers. I would also not mix a special or very expensive beer. So it’s fun to explore, but the vast majority of the time beer is best as beer.

@Scott I’d glanced at that beer at the store but it never really clicked that it was a shandy. Thanks for pointing that out – I’ll have to try it and see how it compares. Let me know how you like the home made version. Yea ginger ale is kinda gross, but if you dilute it in a beer it’s not nearly as bad.


Scott-TheBrewClub July 30, 2010 at 8:19 am

Well, I had one just last night from Saranac. Its cleverly called, wait for it…. “Summer Brew”. Anyway, its a lager/lemonade mix that was OK. It was completely flat, (no head, no bubbles either) and I though it was just OK. Looking to make my own perhaps this weekend. :-)


Ryan Conklin August 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Try this Stella shandy-ish cocktail.
Tall Stella glass filled with ice, 1/4 shot or I Tablespoon of St. Germaine’s Elderflower liquer, juice of two lemon wedges and top with Stella. I also like this with a full shot of absolute citron in the cocktail as well. This second cocktail was named Sky Walker. Interested to see what you think about these.


The Fledgling Brewer August 27, 2010 at 10:18 pm

So glad you kept the awkward ending in there. Haven’t had a beer cocktail before but may try one after seeing this series.


Claudine July 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

I use Sprite for mine, that’s how I’ve always had it and how my parents always have theirs.


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