Local Libations: Sparkling Spiked Shandy – a.k.a: The Triple “S”
Well… I took the easy way out. Lemons. Lemons and beer, to be more precise. I’m a tried and true native of the Midwest, and nothing speaks louder than beer for a nice Summer (Fall, Winter, or Spring) libation! We are blessed with almost countless local microbreweries. The Midwest brewing roots extend back into a German heritage that figured out how to use beer in any way possible. In my mind, the pinnacle achievement is the shandy. So, when I saw lemons in Kat’s Persian Cucumber Cooler I jumped at the chance to invent my Triple “S,” or Sparkling Spiked Shandy.
CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.
About the idea of this libation: the ‘shandy’ (the spiked lemonade) in the following recipe can stand alone as a beverage. It’s amazing. Seriously, my wife thought it was delicious, and that speaks volumes. But, we have such great beer around here, I could not pass up the opportunity to take it to the next level. I went with Bell’s Oberon because wheat beers made with summer in mind pair incredibly well with fruit. Spiking the lemonade sort-of takes away from any low-alcohol benefit for a summer cocktail, but it gives the drink a bit of that Boilermaker feel. Additionally, shandies come in quite a few different shapes and sizes. You can use lemon, ginger, carbonated soda, oranges… the list can stretch long. I love citrus, and seeing how lemons were the obvious baton, I went with it… However, I encourage you all to use your imaginations; there’s a lot of room for creativity here.
On ingredients: the beauty of this concoction is that it is ridiculously simple. I used local beet sugar, club soda, and beer, a regional honey bourbon liqueur that is out of this world (I am no particular fan of this brand but this description sums up the impressiveness: Jack Daniels Honey), and lemons (from family in Florida!). About the club soda: if you do not know about Faygo, then you’ve never really visited Michigan. We’re borderline psychotic about our pride in Faygo, and the website (and theme songs – try reloading the page) alludes to the… um… ‘pride’. It’s not for everyone.
The spiked lemonade is a tangy, sweet, and effervescent refreshment with a wonderfully honeyed smooth bourbon feel underneath. It’s like drinking sunshine. Coupled with the always stellar Bell’s Oberon, you get crisp, malted, lemony goodness that is unrivaled as refreshment on a hot summer day! This drink is best made in pitcher size – to share among a group of friends (or soon-to-be-friends).
The Triple S
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 8+ pint glass servings
Tools: pitcher, measuring cup, knife, juicer, pint glasses
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey bourbon or similar sweetened whiskey
- 3-4 lemons
- 1 liter club soda
- good beer (wheat, pilsner, IPA, just stay away from ales in this one)
1. Combine the bourbon and sugar in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until the mixture becomes clear. You’re dealing with heating a high proof alcohol, so be careful and remove immediately when the simple syrup is created (you want to keep your alcohol intact!). This creates about 3/4 cup of honey bourbon simple syrup.
2. Find a nice spot (I used my front porch) to enjoy the weather during the rest of the preparation.
3. Juice the lemons to create 3/4 cup lemon juice. You can filter the pulp out, depending on your preference.
4. Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and the entire bottle of club soda in a pitcher.
5. Stop here and simply drink the spiked lemonade. If you want the shandy, continue to step 6.
6. Pour equal parts beer and spiked lemonade into a pint glass, and garnish with a lemon.
7. Sit outside in the sun, drink your shandy, and relax into a summer’s day