The Curious Case of the Shandy

A large box arrived at my desk the other day. But it wasn’t a book (although I did receive Josh Schonwald’s The Taste of Tomorrow, which looks like a great read). Instead I found a pint glass, bottle opener, and one bottle of Curious Traveler Shandy, compliments of the House of Shandy Beer Company (must be 21 to enter site). What’s a shandy? The accompanying letter describes it as a “rejuvenating and beguiling concoction of beer and lemonade.” I promptly stuck the bottle in the fridge and the pint glass in the freezer for a few more days (assuming my colleagues would exercise some restraint).

Still, I’m wary of trendy gimmicks: Remember Zima? Tequiza? Bud Light Lime? Bud Light Lime-a-Rita? Lemon-lime-infused drinks, in particular, can leave one grinding teeth from all the sugar. Plus, my first experience with a “shandy” was 23 years ago at a Shakey’s Pizza in the Philippines—and those shandies were a mixture of beer and Sprite. But one of my older colleagues said he drank shandies at Oxford—as readers no doubt know, the shandy has been around since at least the 1600s, so a gimmick it is not.

Yesterday I finally poured myself the Curious Traveler Shandy into my Curious Traveler frosted pint glass and braced for the smack of over-citrusized beer. It didn’t happen. Quite the contrary, the shandy bore only hints of lemon (it’s brewed with lemon peel) and was astonishingly smooth and light. It’s very drinkable. And the good news is it may be heading to a bar near you.

And don’t forget, you must be 21 to drink Curious Traveler Shandy. (I’ve been advised to point this out.) And drink responsibly.

3 thoughts on “The Curious Case of the Shandy”

  1. Was that Shakey’s Pizza by any chance in Angeles City? Spent a little bit of time there in the late seventies & early eighties, drinking Negra San Miguel (that was the only place around to get it then). Never had a shandy but my wife was fond of the Pilipino style you describe.

  2. @Mike Wright, Bacolod City, actually. Never had the Negra San Miguel but did try Red Horse, which is their version of Thunderbird.

    1. Good one on the Thunderbird comparison. I always suspected they just mixed Ginebra San Miguel with San Miguel Beer castoff to make Red Horse. Drinking one was like an endurance test.

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