I'm guessing a great many of us attended some sort of function in the past couple of days where meat was grilled, sun was soaked up, and refreshing beverages were served. I was lucky enough to spend Memorial Day doing all of the above. Enter my friend Amy. Amy contributed the cocktail portion of our BBQ yesterday, and I'm very glad she did. Amy's known for coming up with delicious concoctions of all sorts, and her Gin Shandy's were no exception. I asked her to pass on the recipe with a guest post, and she kindly obliged.
Guest Post by Amy -
Memorial Day weekend, you are the devil! It's typically easier if your friends have their barbecues on SUNDAY so you get the full recovery day...but if you're not given that luxury, you've gotta show up with a drink that can pull the triple-duty hangover cure/ sunny day beverage/ I'm not gonna throw up at the office tomorrow. Hello, Gin Shandy. I will wear all kinds of white and drink up your business all day long. I just paid a big vet bill this weekend for my cat who had worms soooo it wasn't exactly the best time to be shopping for party supplies. The good news is that you don't need a top shelf gin for a good shandy. A) Because by the time I show up to the BBQ everyone is slightly tipsy, hot, and thirsty for some non-beer action and B) Because the magic shandy cauldron of awesome masks the taste of any mid-shelf gin, if it bothers you snobs. I went Beefeater- not plastic, not the end of the world, not too spendy. Hendrick's is good, or you can go for the old Tanqueray stand-by. But really, your money is better spent on a top shelf ginger beer and a tart lemonade.
Here's where the toil and trouble happens:
Equal parts (easy!)
- Ginger Beer (Bundaberg or Reed's)
- Lemonade (Santa Cruz is good, but a bit sweet for me. Newman's Own, Odwalla, or fresh-made are all good options if you're making a last-minute major grocery store stop, depending on your tastes.)
Ice it all up in a cute lookin' pitcher and call it a day (though you have to keep an eye on it because the ginger beer will go flat pretty fast. Feel free to splash in some club soda to bubble it up occasionally.) Best enjoyed out of a mason jar. A lot of recipes will recommend approximately 3/4 of a cup of gin, 12 ounces of ginger beer and 1 cup of lemonade, but I don't really understand math or conversions. Especially when math involves putting less booze in a thing or measuring liquor in cups. How many jiggers go in a shandy? Who knows. A damn tasty amount is what I know.
Garnish with a lemon wedge or a strawberry slice. I prefer a tarter drink, so I'd suggest squeezing some fresh lemon into each serving.
Be careful. Our soldiers didn't give their lives so that you could have a day off to sit outside and drink a strong ass cocktail that tastes like a Capri Sun.