Move over Blue Moon, there’s a new brew on the block this summer – Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy – or Leinie’s for short. What Blue Moon did for the orange, Leinie’s is doing for the lovely lemon.
I think I had my first Leinenkugel last summer, but it didn’t really hit my radar until this year when I realized it is the perfect summer quaff. Technically not a beer per se, Leinenkugel is a shandy, which, I learned just this weekend, is a lemonade/beer hybrid. And, like all things awesome (in this Anglophile’s humble opinion), the shandy is brought to us by way of Great Britain.
Although here in the States you can get good bottled shandies like Leinenkugel’s or Shock Top’s Lemon Shandy (and believe me, I have), I think my next endeavor behind the bar will be to do as the British do and create my own. There, they fashion shandies by mixing 2/3 lager or pilsner with 1/3 lemonade to create the most crisp, cool, refreshing summer brew. The British lemonade is different from the yummy lemon, sugar, water beverage we make here. Theirs is more like a tart lemon soda sometimes used just for mixing with “spirits”.
Now, I just happen to keep the fridge stocked with real British lemonade – Fever Tree British Lemon, to be exact, which I keep on hand to mix with little Pimm’s to create sensational summer cocktail. But that’s a story for another post. As soon as I decide which of my favorite brews to use, I’ll be mixing up a little summer shandy of my own.
In the meantime, Leinenkugel’s is my new go-to outdoor summer treat; light, citrusy, bubbly, refreshingness with a low ABV. Not too heady, just right for a little buzz while rocking in the hammock or sunning by the pool.
As far as I’m concerned, what’s good enough for Blue Moon is good enough for Leinie’s, so I had to give it a go as a cupcake. I was not disappointed. The flavor of Leinie’s really shines through, deliciously accented by a bright lemon buttercream. Easy enough to whip up, why not try a batch for your next summer cook-out. You won’t be disappointed.
LEINENKUGEL’S SUMMER SHANDY CUPCAKES
Like the Blue Moon cupcakes, these start out with a box mix. Follow the directions on the box, but substitute the water with Leinenkugel’s. I use Betty Crocker, so I’ve listed the ingredients called for on the box. Other brands may vary.
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
1/2 cup vegetable oil
grated peel from 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients in large bowl of stand mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or as directed, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
LEMON BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
juice and grated peel from 1 lemon
Cream butter in large bowl of stand mixer. Add 4 cups confectioners sugar, lemon peel, and 1/2 lemon juice, on low speed until blended and then at high speed for 4-5 minutes, adding more juice and/or sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frost and decorate as desired.