Last week I had to interview another local food writer for an upcoming project. He suggested we meet at Union Bear and I jumped on it. It was a warm, sunny day, and I remembered their killer indoor/outdoor bar.
Sitting outside with the sun at my back and a cool breeze pouring through the West Village, I worked my way through a few of the local taps. Deep Ellum had a blonde I liked much better than their hyper-hoppy Dream Crusher. Then there was a Great Scot from Peticolas that was rich brown and malty. With the weather this nice I would have liked to work my way through as many taps as I could. Except I was working.
Enter the shandy.
When the bartender pulled open a plastic container of lemonade spiked with rosemary, I jumped and asked him if he'd make me a shandy with it. Every culture has its own methods for diluting alcohol. I've already written about my steadfast affection for the michelada, which I still believe to be the greatest beer cocktail of all time. But the shandy should enjoy some time in the spotlight too.
Union Bear's version isn't on the menu, but if you ask nicely I'm sure they'll come up with something similar. Mine was lemony with a hint of herbs and vaguely effervescent. You can make them with lemonade, or any sweet neutral soda (Sprite works) and a light crisp beer with a simple flavor profile. You can drink these all day if they aren't too sweet.
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Come to think of it, today's a good day for it. The Devils are taking on Manchester City shortly. A shandy and a flat-screen would go perfect together.