The Friday Tipple: Sake Shandy

Surely the Shandy was born from those two summertime favorites, lemonade and beer. Common across Europe, the Shandy in its many forms (beer with Sprite, beer with 7-Up, beer with Coca-Cola) is often an accepted low-dose cocktail for the kiddies on special occasions — no sickly-sweet Shirley Temples need apply.

In the Good Booze test kitchen, we tried out a commercial sparkling lemonade with our beer, but it wasn’t quite right (ah, how we sacrifice for you, loyal Boozers). Inspired by the Wicked Pickled Ginger Syrup, we opted instead to make a puckery fresh lemonade sweetened with the pickled ginger syrup — which led us to think of sushi, and, ultimately, of our favorite Japanese libation, sake. Like beer, sake is a beverage brewed from grains (rice); it has the warmth of whiskey wrapped in the subtle smoothness of a rich wine. The flavor is so hard to describe that it has its own word, coined, of course, by the Japanese: umami, which basically means “Man, that’s so good, I can’t even describe it.”

Tart and fresh with a spicy ginger undertone, the Sake Shandy is a staycation in a glass. Kampai! 

Sake Shandy

1/3 cup fresh chilled lemonade, sweetened to taste with Wicked Pickled Ginger Syrup

1/4 cup chilled dry sake (we like SakéOne’s Momokawa Silver — it has nice apple-y undertones that complement the plums)

1 ripe plum, cut into chunks

A few slices of pickled ginger (use the leftovers from the syrup recipe!)

Chilled Japanese beer (we used Kirin)

The key to this drink is for the ingredients to be nice and cold. Put the plum chunks, ginger slices, and sake in the bottom of a tall chilled glass and place it in the freezer for about 5 or 10 minutes. Then add the lemonade and pour the cold beer over the top, preferably with a nice frothy head of foam. You don’t need to wear a silky kimono to enjoy this, but it doesn’t hurt either.

No time to make the pickled ginger syrup? That’s cool. Grate a little fresh ginger into the lemonade — not too much, though, because it can overwhelm quickly.

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  1. […] syrup is luscious and peppery, with a distinct tang of vinegar. It will take a star turn in The Friday Tipple this week, but, more importantly, it would be amazing drizzled over creamy vanilla ice cream, as a […]

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