We’ve got a special treat today on the blog. It’s a guest post from cocktail enthusiast, and owner/head chef at the The Pizza Co. here in Kansas City, Alex Potts. Alex is a longtime friend, but also an amazing chef, and when I heard from his sister Claudia (my bestie) that he was also experimenting with all kinds of fun cocktail recipes, I immediately enlisted his help. He’s whipped up a refreshingly delightful blueberry and brandy shandy recipe, perfect for these last weeks of summer. Now here’s more from Chef Alex.
The “shandy,” originally “shandygaff” is a drink with variations all over the world. It is traditionally a beer based drink cut with European style lemonade, similar to Sprite or 7-Up in the United States. In many regions it is mixed with ginger ale or other soft drinks in order to maintain its carbonated qualities.
With that in mind, we are going to take some liberties with our shandy recipe. It’s been a long summer, school is about to start and we all need a little pick-me-up to get us through this last month. In my opinion, a shandy is definitely best enjoyed during the summer months, but once fall hits, don’t be afraid to substitute in some apple juice and add some rum!
This recipe is perfect for berry season! First we will make the sparkling lemonade by muddling some berries, adding the citrus juice and sugar and topping it off with the sparkling water. Once we have the lemonade ready we can make our cocktail.
Here’s what you’ll need for the lemonade:
- 20 each ripe blueberries
- 10 oz. granulated sugar
- 10 fluid oz. lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
- 10 fluid oz. sparkling water
Muddle the blackberries in a pitcher with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon until broken apart. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar becomes a nice purple color. Pour in your lemon juice and stir until the sugar dissolves (this could take some time since the mixture is still at room temperature, just keep stirring or if you have some time to spare, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes, the sugar will dissolve into the juice over time). Top off with the sparkling water and gently stir the mixture together. Taste! If it is too tart , add more sugar or water and if it is too sweet add more lemon juice.
P.S. If you do not like the blackberry pulp in your lemonade, strain the mixture before adding the sparkling water. I personally like the little bites of blackberry in my drink, but some prefer it without.
Now it’s time to mix your cocktail:
- 4 fl oz. sparkling blackberry lemonade
- 1 fl oz. decent brandy
- 3 fl oz. Wheat Beer (I prefer the citrus notes in Boulevard Wheat for this drink, but anything decent like a Hoegaarden would work nicely)
- A few blackberries and a lemon rind for garnish
- 1 fl oz. sparkling wine or champagne for extra bubbles
- 2 dashes angostura bitters (optional, but brings a complex flavor to the cocktail, if you have some around, try it!)
Create your cocktail base with the lemonade and add in the shot of Brandy. Top that off with the beer and some of the sparkling wine if so inclined. Dash in the bitters if you have it and stir gently just to incorporate, we don’t want to lose any bubbles. Enjoy on a hot summer day!
A big thank you to Chef Alex Potts, this cocktail is AMAZING, and I love that he (unlike myself) can give us some insights into the recipe. Hope he’ll become a regular guest! And if you’re a Kansas Citian who loves pizza as much as I do, check out his restaurant The Pizza Co.