Most of us are familiar with the popular summer beverage known as a shandy. The combination of beer and lemonade is tangy, refreshing, and an easy way to elevate ale.
But traditional shandies have been around forever, and if you’re like us, you want to serve friends and summer soirée guests something a bit more special. We tapped Robert Krueger, head of the bar program at popular Williamsburg, Brooklyn spot Extra Fancy, for his favorite non-shandy beer cocktail recipes.
“Sour beers are popular right now, and are cool to use in a cocktail because they act as substitutes for citrus and provide a nice level of acidity,” says Krueger. “You can easily add fruit or syrup to a tart beer, like a Gose [a German beer with hints of lemon, coriander, and salt], or a Berliner Weisse [a sour wheat beer].” Below, check out the recipes for three of Krueger’s go-to summer beer cocktails.
1 oz Mezcal
1/2 oz hibiscus syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
Orange peel, for garnish
For the Hibiscus Syrup
2 tbsp dried hibiscus leaves ($14; iherb.com)
1 cup sugar
1. To make the hibiscus syrup: steep hibiscus leaves in 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of sugar. Mix and strain.
2. To assemble cocktail: Shake the first three ingredients in a mixing glass with four or five ice cubes, and pour all into a rocks glass. Top with Budweiser.
Santa Catarina Shandy
1 1/4 oz Cachaça ($27; caskers.com)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz honey syrup ($7; webrestaurantstore.com)
Leipziger Gose ($6; luekensliquors.com)
Pink peppercorns, for garnish
1. Add the Cachaça, lemon, and honey syrup to a mixing glass with ice and shake well.
2. Pour into a Collins glass and add five or six cubes of ice.
3. Gently pour the beer into the glass so it doesn’t foam over. Stir briefly and grind pink peppercorns over the top to garnish.
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz puréed melon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
Berlinerweise (such as Fritz Briem or Bell's Oarsman) ($7; sandiegowine.net)
Orange peel star, for garnish
1. Shake all ingredients except beer and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
2. Top with the beer and garnish with the orange peel star.