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Local Libations: Sparkling Spiked Shandy – a.k.a: The Triple “S”

2011 July 8

By Chad Veeser

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


  • Chad

    I’ve known Chad for a long time, and I have to say this is one of his best creations to date…

  • Andrew States

    That last picture rules.