Lilac Shandy

Colleen Graham's Lilac Shandy Drink Recipe

Shannon Graham

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Syrup: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
181 Calories
1g Fat
38g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 181
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 20mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 3g
Calcium 69mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lilac season is short, so take advantage of it by mixing up a beautiful lilac shandy made with fresh lilac flowers. The fragrant purple blossoms only appear in spring, making it a perfect time to add this recipe to your personal cocktail menu. It's a light, refreshing beertail that has an amazing floral flavor ideal for a lazy day in the garden or a backyard barbecue.

A popular mixed drink of beer and lemonade, the shandy is a great base that begs for experimentation. This variation came about when playing with lilac simple syrup and using it to make lilac-flavored lemonade. The next step was, quite naturally, to try it in a shandy and it worked very well.

As all shandies go, this is a simple recipe and all you need is beer and lemonade. In this case, you'll sweeten a fresh-squeezed lemonade with lilac syrup instead of plain syrup. Add a light, spring-like beer to the mix and a beautiful purple cocktail is ready for you to enjoy!

Ingredients

  • For Lilac Simple Syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar (white)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups lilac florets
  • For Lilac Lemonade:
  • 1 cup lilac simple syrup
  • 1 cup lemon juice (fresh)
  • 2 cups water (distilled)
  • For the Lilac Shandy:
  • 6 ounces light beer
  • 6 ounces lilac lemonade
  • Garnish: 1​ slice lemon

Steps to Make It

Make Lilac Simple Syrup

The first step to this shandy is to create a lilac simple syrup. It's pretty easy, but it does take about 1 day from start to finish. This will be one of the most aromatic DIY projects you will undertake, so it's not "chore" in any way!

Surprisingly, the syrup is a brown color. It gives the drinks it's mixed into a lovely shade of pale purple, just like the flowers.

Lilac Syrup Recipe
S&C Design Studios
  1. To make lilac syrup, you will need to forage lilac flowers, remove the florets from the branches, and rinse off any dust and debris. About 4 cups of florets will make 2 cups of syrup.

  2. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and stir in 2 cups of granulated sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add 4 cups of lilac florets, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before removing it from the heat.

  3. Patience is required for the delicate lilac flavor to develop fully. Let the flowers steep into the syrup for at least 8 hours before testing the flavor then straining them out (a fine-mesh strainer is required for this job) and bottling the syrup.

Make Lilac Lemonade

With the lilac syrup ready, it's time to make lilac lemonade and it's super easy. This will make a larger batch (about 4 cups or 32 ounces) than what is needed for a single shandy. However, this is a once-a-year project, so it's best to take advantage of the opportunity and make as much as you want. Until you add alcohol, it's a delightfully flavored lemonade that the entire family can enjoy.

  1. In a pitcher, combine the lilac syrup, lemon juice, and water.

  2. Stir thoroughly and taste; add a little more water, syrup, or juice to suit your taste, stirring after each addition. Store in the refrigerator until it's time to pour a drink.

Make the Lilac Shandy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Fill a pint glass half-way with the beer of your choice.

  3. Top with lilac lemonade and give it a quick stir.

  4. Garnish with a lemon slice.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Any light-colored beer will work perfectly here. Something like Corona is an excellent choice, though many of the pale ales and light lagers would work as well. You might also try playing with any of the spring and summer releases from craft breweries because they should have a nice, light profile that's perfect for this drink.
  • As long as your lilac lemonade and beer are cold, there's no need to add ice. If you like, fill the serving glasses with ice rather than the lemonade pitcher to avoid dilution.

Recipe Variation

Try this same recipe any time of year with lavender. Simply make lavender simple syrup, turn that into lemonade, then add beer for a beautiful lavender shandy! It will have a slightly lighter floral flavor than the lilac version.

How Strong Is a Lilac Shandy?

Like all shandies, the lilac shandy is going to be half the strength of the beer you pour. For instance, if you go with a 5 percent ABV beer, the shandy will be a very mild 2.5 percent ABV.