Purists, drink elsewhere. These juice-spiked beer cocktails are insanely refreshing.
Cocktail purists often dismiss the traditional shandy – a simple two-ingredient refresher made from equal parts beer and soft drink or juice – as a lightweight cocktail pretender. Not so at The Handlebar in Tempe, which elevates the form with its namesake Handlebar Shandy and Chill. Inspired by a lemonade-based version of the shandy (hugely popular in Germany, where it’s known as a radler), the cocktail is an elegant thirst-quencher with a touch of complexity. The magic formula combines small-batch Reyka vodka from Iceland with wheat ale, orange bitters and IPA beer syrup for a drink that’s lemony, tart, faintly bitter and altogether refreshing. A sprig of rosemary, propped up at the edge of the pilsner glass, hits the nose with piney aromatics while echoing the hoppy notes of the syrup.
The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Build the cocktail in a pilsner glass, adding ice, 1 oz. Reyka vodka, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. IPA beer syrup* and 2 dashes of orange bitters, topping the cocktail off with a non-fruited wheat beer of your choice and adding that all-important sprig of rosemary for garnish. Lightweight? Maybe, but also a heavy puncher.
For the syrup: Combine 12 oz. IPA and one cup sugar in a saucepan over low heat, reduce by one quarter and let cool.
680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
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