Sweater season is just around the corner, so I'm making the most of the last weeks of summer with these incredibly bright and fresh summer shandies. Mint, cilantro, lime, cucumber, and tequila come together in an herbaceous, margarita-like, striking green sip. This 2 minute recipe is practically begging to be enjoyed in the last lingering hours of late evening sun.
I can always get behind a really good shandy, but the summertime feels particularly suited for juicy additions to ice cold beer. If you have fresh watermelon juice, add it to a wheat beer and see what I mean. Or better yet -- fresh squeezed pineapple and a crisp IPA. The combinations are endless, and your own personal taste should be your ultimate guide.
When I want to really ramp up the vacation vibes (better enjoy them before they're gone, right?), I turn to the tried and true base of a classic margarita -- tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime. Adding cucumber, cilantro, and mint makes for a lighter, smoother, more sessionable drink. And if you like to spice things up, you can add a jalapeño to the blender as well -- just remove the seeds first, or the heat will be overpowering.
I like serving these with a salted rim, and often go the extra mile by chopping some fresh cilantro and cracked pepper directly into the salt. The sharper the knife (my set from Alessi is fantastic), the less bruising you'll get, which means brighter, cleaner flavors. But honestly, a chilled pint glass will do you just fine if you don't have time for fancy salts. These glasses from Libbey are actually stackable, which makes them easier to store in my tiny kitchen.
(1) In a blender, combine everything but the beer and blend on the highest speed for 5 seconds.
(2) Strain through a fine mesh strainer into two chilled pint glasses (optional: salt rim -- I chop fresh cilantro into my salt just before rimming the glass).
(3) Top with beer and serve immediately with lime, cucumber, or cilantro garnish.