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Bartenders Shout Out The Freshest Shandies And Radlers To Sip This Summer

Few beverages are more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a glass of ice-cold, fizzy lemonade. Beer is in the running though, that’s for sure. This is why the shandy (or radler) is so beloved this time of year. To put it simply, the drink is a beer mixed with lemon-lime soda pop. It’s summer in a glass.

Brass tacks: Across Europe (where this is from and enjoyed endlessly this time of year), it’s literally just local beer cut with Sprite or 7-Up (and sometimes Orange Fanta, Coke, or any other cold, fizzy drink on hand). The two terms for this drink are strictly regional. “Shandy” is from the U.K. while “radler” is from Germany and refers to the bike riders (“radlers”) who’d stop for a refreshing beverage on long summer rides. They’re both concoctions of beer and lemon-lime soda with a 50/50 pour of each in a beer glass. Historically, all of them were made on the spot by the folks pulling the beer with various regional deviations.

More recently, big brands started selling pre-made radlers or shandies which cut beer with sweetened fruit and/or citrus sodas before bottling or canning. That’s where the current American craft beer versions stem from.

To sort through the seemingly endless options of crafty radlers and shandies hitting the shelves as the summer heats up, we reached out to some bartenders for advice. The eight options below are great introductions to the style. That being said, we’re not stopping you from going old school and just cutting your favorite beer with your favorite lemon-lime, orange, or grapefruit soda.

Burgkopf Grapefruit

Burgkopf

Craig Schoettler, executive director of beverage and corporate mixologist for MGM Resorts

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $7 (16-oz. can)

Why This Beer?

Most radlers and shandies are pretty low alcohol, Burgkopf comes in at 7.5 percent ABV. You get the refreshing grapefruit flavor along with a good value for your spend.

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

Leinenkugel

Hadi Ktiri, beverage manager at Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences in New Orleans

ABV: 4.2%

Average Price: $9 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

It’s hard to beat the crisp, refreshing flavors of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. It’s thirst-quenching, crushable, and filled with lemon and lime flavors. I also like to mix up my own with Paradise Park Lager from Urban South Brewery and some freshly mixed lemonade. It’s an easy way to seriously elevate your day drinking beverage game.

Narragansett Del’s Watermelon Shandy

Narragansett

Daniel Yang, lead bartender at Rosina inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $11 (six-pack, 16-oz. cans)

Why This Beer?

I don’t drink too many radlers or shandies. But if I had to choose, it would be the tasty Del’s Watermelon Shandy from Narragansett. I love watermelon anything, so it stands out for that reason alone. It’s extremely refreshing and easy to drink, which makes it a great shandy to enjoy poolside during the summer.

Left Hand Peach Beerlini

Left Hand

Evan Hosaka, lead bartender at Electra Cocktail Club inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

ABV: 4.1%

Average Price: $11 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

I’m not the biggest fan of the radler and shandy styles in general. But a very approachable radler for someone just starting is Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Peach Beerlini. It’s light, fruity, and filled with peach flavor.

Stiegl Radler Grapefruit

Stiegl

Slava Borisov, mixologist at Travelle at The Langham in Chicago

ABV: 2.5%

Average Price: $13 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

My favorite choice is Stiegl Radler Grapefruit. This radler has bright pink grapefruit and orange notes with an outstanding malt aftertaste. It is not only a great refreshing drink but also a delightful component for your cocktails. Using Stiegl Radler Grapefruit in your paloma (instead of grapefruit soda) will enrich the cocktail recipe and make it shine.

Owl’s Brew The Blondie Radler

Owl

Juyoung Kang, lead bartender at The Dorsey inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

ABV: 3.8%

Average Price: $12 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

Owl’s Brew Radler The Blondie has this dusting of sweetness that balances out the tart and bitterness most radlers have. The Blondie has tea and citrus flavors on a wheat beer base. It’s like an Arnold Palmer made with beer instead of water.

Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler

Boulevard

Ethan Skaggs, bar manager at Gris-Gris in New Orleans

ABV: 4.1%

Average Price: $10 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

I would recommend Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler because of its thirst-quenching qualities and impeccable lemon zest that can almost read as lemon candy. This product has a super-strong ginger aroma with honey and breadiness pervading through the palate.

I think what makes this radler stand out is its subdued crispness when considering the acidity of the lemon and the spice of ginger.

Great Divide Roadie

Great Divide

Hayden Miller, head bartender of Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

ABV: 4.2%

Average Price: $9 (six-pack)

Why This Beer?

Great Divide Roadie is an awesome, light grapefruit radler without overbearing sweetness. With a lower ABV, it also is more crushable for bike ride cheers from coast to coast.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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