Refreshing American style lemonade beer cocktail with an optional vodka infusion, fresh fruit and mint garnish. Make it with strawberry lemonade for even more flavor.
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While the Germans have their radler beer lemonade and fruit flavored soda summer shandy, both highly carbonated and made with citrus sodas – this summer beer lemonade is all about non-carbonated American style lemonade. Served chilled it is a first rate thirst quencher with high marks when it comes to taste. The beer’s role is to enhance the mouthfeel of the drink and balance the lemonade’s flavors – you will hardly notice the alcohol by volume.
You can strenghten it by adding vodka without interfering with the flavor base and create a lovely fruited vodka punch with the bright flavors of lemons and fresh strawberries. We prefer strawberry lemonade but you if you would rather go classic simply use regular lemonade.
- Beer. The beer’s role is to provide mouthfeel and balance the lemonade’s flavors. To that end select a beer style that is light, with solid malty backbone, low bitterness and herbal or citrus hops aroma. Among the most suitable styles are:
- Czech pils
- Munich Helles lager (sweeter than German pilsner, darker than Czech pils)
- other pilsner style lagers (some American versions are hopped with citrusy American hops)
- American craft lagers
- American blonde ales
- American wheat ales with their clean yeast, high carbonation and citrus notes
- Lemonade. Use your favorite American lemonade whether it is homemade or made by a brand you trust. Depending on how sweetened the lemonade is you may want to add a bit of sweetener to the drink.
- Sweetener. Our go to is agave syrup and we only add it in the event that we are using homemade lemonade which we intentionally do not make very sweet. With store bought we find that adding sweetener is unnecessary. Simple syrup is another option if you have it on hand, see tip below for strawberry flavored simple syrup (it will also give your beer lemonade a dramatic pink color).
- Vodka. The easiest way to fortify your beer lemonade without altering the flavors thanks to vodka’s taste neutrality. Add it to enjoy a fabulous summer vodka punch.
- Fresh fruit and mint. At a minimum add lemons slices and if using strawberry lemonade – strawberry slices. We garnish with a stalk of fresh mint for the coolness sensation its aroma brings about as you sip your drink but do not muddle the leaves to extract more essence.
TIP: You can prepare a strawberry simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries. Bring to boil then simmer over medium-low heat until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy. You can either strain out the strawberry bits or leave it as is and add it to the beer lemonade with the fruit, to taste. Be sure to allow it to completely cool down either way.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are chilled.
- Fill a one liter pitcher or carafe just less than half way with beer, allow the foam to dissipate and top with an equal amount of lemonade. You can alter the ratio of beer to lemonade and skew it towards the beverage you want to dominate.
- Add vodka (if using) and mix.
- Taste the beer lemonade and if needed add a bit of sweetener.
- Add a few slices of lemon and strawberries (if using). Stir.
- Pour in prepared glasses with ice (optional) and fresh fruit slices. Garnish with mint (optional).
TIP: As a general rule of thumb mix 1 part beer : 1 part lemonade : 1/4 part vodka (if using).
Enjoy the Beer Lemonade Vodka Punch
A beer lemonade is a classic low alcohol day drinking craft beer cocktail you can easily enjoy a few of, especially if further diluted by a couple of ice cubes (just be mindful of the sugar content since it will elevate your glycemic index).
The vodka punch version is a bit more tricky, understandably, so enjoy it responsibly – chances are you will not be able to tell there is alcohol in it until you actually feel its effects. So as thirsty as you might feel don’t chug down three in the course of twenty minutes. Cheers!
TIP: Serve with cocktail sticks so you can easily get to the fruit.
Other Beer Cocktails You Might Like
- 12 oz light, low bitterness beer (such as Czech pilsner or American wheat ale*), chilled
- 12 oz American style lemonade**, chilled
- 3 oz vodka (optional), chilled
- 1-2 tbsp agave or simple syrup (optional***)
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced, chilled
- 6 large strawberries, thinly sliced (optional), chilled
- fresh mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- In a carafe or pitcher with capacity of 1 liter pour the beer, then once the foam dissipates add the lemonade. Add the vodka if using and stir.
- Taste and if needed adjust sweetness level by adding agave or simple syrup to taste. Stir.
- Add a couple of slices of fresh fruit, stir again. Prepare glasses with more fresh fruit slices and ice cubes (otpional, if all ingredients were well chilled you can enjoy without ice).
- Pour the beer lemonade in the glasses and garnish with fresh mint. Serve with cocktail sticks to facilitate enjoying the strawberries.
*refer to the body of the post for more beer style suggestions that work in this mixed drink
**homemade or store bought, regular or strawberry
***add after tasting the drink to adjust sweetness to desired level. For tips on how to make a strawberry simple syrup which will give your cocktail a dramatic deep pink color refer to the body of the post
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 3gSugar: 53gProtein: 2g