But what to drink for the toast?
What we need is a nice summer drink that might be consumed in the UK.
And once again, I remember a beverage from one of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks mysteries. No less than Adam Banks himself was stopping at a pub for some afternoon refreshment, as he frequently does, and he ordered a Shandy.
"What in the world is a shady?" I said.
Well, according to Wikipedia..."A shandy, or shandygaff, is beer mixed with a soft drink, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or apple juice. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, usually half-and-half."
I must say, as a person who likes beer, this sounded vile. But I needed to do my research! As always, just for you my dear readers.
So off I went to the liquor store to get some supplies for my test.
There are a large number of bottled shandys, so I bought a couple of them and then some regular beer..many sites suggest a white wheat beer to mix with lemonade to make a 'homemade' version. Then I threw a ringer in, with a beverage from the Evil Bud Beer Company, the Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, sort of a mixture of beer and margarita. Hmmm..
So, how did the taste test go? First, the bottled shandys.
Their site describes it like this..."Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy is crisp wheat beer brewed with natural lemonade flavor which makes it a perfect summertime refresher for those sun-splashed summer days."
It does seem very popular by the amount the store had on hand, in bottle and cans. It did certainly taste like lemon, I will say that.
It smelled like beer and tasted like fake lemon. Odd.
OK, I think I missed the ginger part.
Tasted OK, but nothing to write home about.
So, lets try a homemade shandy! 1/2 lemonade...half beer. And by far the best. Lemony in a nice way and yet still a flavor of beer. So IMHO, if you want to explore the shandy world, make your own as the first try.
Quick, easy, cheap.
I will say, I expected to hate it.
And I did not.
It is tasty. Sweet. Not quite a margarita, not at all a beer, it's a malt beverage flavored to taste like a margarita.
If you like Mike's Hard lemonade you may like this. It is similar with a bit more fizz.
BUT...do not be fooled but the "Light" on the label. This is a sugar packed drink, contains 8% alcohol by volume with 220 calories and 29.1 grams of carbohydrates per 8oz serving.
So that 24oz can they sell would have 600 calories! And at 8% ABV, that is a lot of booze.
So, what did I finally decided about this whole shandy issue?
Personally, I doubt I will drink any of them again.
When I want a beer, a want a beer.
When I want Lemonade, I want lemonade.
And when I want a delicious, icy cold Margarita..well, you get the idea!
Still, I do have three more cans of that Lime-a-Rita in the fridge..and I hate to waste...
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.