Summer Shandy with Lemon, Thyme, and Belgian White Ale
Lemonade and beer! Oh yes..
The month prior to moving from San Diego to Brooklyn was a bit of a whirlwind. One of the highlights: the Food Network took over my house and yard for a few days to film a commercial featuring Sunny Anderson. While I generally stayed away from the house during production, I did manage to sneak a few peeks behind the scene while simultaneously dodging members of the camera crew. What an experience! I never knew how many hours and people went into a single commercial.
The two segments were released a couple of months ago and look great, though they make me miss my house! You can check them out here and here.
One of the recipes Sunny made was lavender lemonade – simple and delicious – which, of course, led me to thinking about Summer Shandys.
Most of the premixed Summer Shandy beers I’ve tried are entirely too sweet for my taste, which is great reason to make them from scratch. I played around with different flavor combinations, but the recipe that follows stood out above the rest. It’s refreshing with a citrus forward tartness that’s balanced by a mellow sweetness and underlying woodsy notes from the thyme. The blueberries are mostly for garnish, but I love the slight perfume they add to the nose and the way they taste after a shandy soak.
Makes: 4 Summer Shandy drinks with leftover simple syrup
3 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice
4pk Allagash White
blueberries for garnish
To make simple syrup, combine water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add thyme sprigs; allow to cool. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. The thyme should be left to steep for a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
To make shandy, add 2 to 3 tbs. thyme simple syrup (based on desired sweetness) and 1/4 cup lemon juice to a tulip glass. Stir to combine. Add a large ice cube or two, top with 10 ounces Allagash White, and garnish with a few blueberries.