Cool relief, part two

It isn't exactly revolutionary hot here in Victoria these days but it is pleasingly warm. I mean, this morning I sat outside in my plaid pajama shorts and ate some oatmeal pancakes with blueberries I had just picked the day before, and it was not bad, no not bad, at all.

But still, you may find yourself in need of a refreshing beverage every once in awhile - something to drink in the deep of late evening or the swelter of midday. Indeed, if you floated on your inflatable turtle in the middle of calm, cool lake all afternoon long and now find your cheeks in a perpetual state of high blush, this is just the ticket. It's delicious and hardly more complicated than pouring a beer into a glass, and did I mention it has a great name? Well, it does.

When you combine beer with carbonated lemonade in the U.K. it's called a Shandy; if you use ginger ale or ginger beer it's called a Shandy Gaff. In South Africa you've got a Rock Shandy, while in France it's a Panaché. Germany is arguably the king of Biermischgetränke (or beer-based mixed drinks) - there's Alsters and Radlers, Potsdamers and Bismarcks. It gets complicated because depending on what kind of beer you use (such as a pilsner or a stout), and what you mix it with (ginger ale, lemonade, coca-cola), and in what proportion, you've got a different drink with its own particular name.

Anyway, what I can tell you is that I drank this and have no plans to stop for those 28 days we've got left in August.

Lemon Lager Top Shandy

I used a pilsner here - Czechvar, to be precise - which I can highly recommend.

12 oz (1 1/2 cups) lager beer, chilled
4 oz (1/2 cup) lemonade, chilled

Pour the beer into a chilled pint glass, top with lemonade and imbibe.

Makes one refreshing drink.

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