Summahhhhhhhhhhtime! Finally. Shandy season is upon us. Whoever came up with the idea of adding fruit juice to beer deserves a medal. This is a bit of a departure from your typical shandy as it doesn’t actually involve any juice. In this example, a complex savoury syrup is muddled with strawberries to yield a sweet and spicy summer sipper.
This drink will quench your thirst after a long day of gardening, sunning yourself or swimming.
The Black Pepper Balsamic Syrup is a really dynamic component that lends plenty of spice and a hit of acidity. I’m going to toy around with it in other applications and see what I can come up with. Right now I’m thinking about how it would taste drizzled over some meringue, strawberries and graham cracker crumble.
In spite of its many virtues, do me a favour and don’t cut corners on straining the syrup through cheesecloth before incorporating the balsamic and then into the cocktail. Yes, I know this is annoying.
Have you ever topped your meal with a dusting of freshly cracked pepper and then accidentally inhaled and nearly choked to death as the flakes of fresh pepper hit the back of your throat upon taking your first bite? You and me both, kid. That will happen when consuming this drink if you choose to bypass this critical step.
Bonus points for chilling your beer glasses before serving. Double bonus points if you muddle with a custom monogrammed muddler like mine.
Now that we’ve covered the cocktail, I would like to address some of the questions I’ve been getting from friends, fans and followers. Questions like, “Is that real food photography?”, “Did you take all of those photos?” “How did you get so good-looking?” Just kidding, no one has asked me that last one, everyone knows I got it from my Mama.
But to assuage your concerns, there is no fake food photography on this blog. Sadly, I don’t have the financial means to afford to pay someone to do my dishes (which would be the first chore I’d gladly outsource), let alone pay someone to take pictures of my food.
All recipes featured herein and have been prepared with my own two hands, sometimes with the offered or coerced assistance of a sous chef (read: dining companion). All photos featured on the site are my own, unless otherwise credited. I shoot on a Canon EOS Rebel T5i (you can get the newer Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR here) with a 50mm lens and I primarily use natural light. If you have specific questions about any of my photography or would like me to take pictures of your food, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you find an occasion to enjoy this little tipple over the upcoming Victoria Day Long Weekend because if May 24 is about one thing, it’s drinking beer.
Summertime is shandy time. Mix it up this year with this Peppered Strawberry Balsamic Shandy. Spicy, sweet, slightly tangy and thirst-quenchingly refreshing. This drink cries out for slow sipping on a sunny patio.
- ½ cup strawberries washed, hulled and chopped
- 1 oz Black Pepper Balsamic Syrup
- ice cubes
- 1 can wheat beer
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 4 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
In a beer glass, combined ½ cup washed, hulled and chopped strawberries and 1 oz Black Pepper Balsamic Syrup, muddle. Add a few ice cubes, stir then top with wheat beer. Garnish with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
Combine ½ cup each sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir in 4 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper, cover and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth; stir in 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Chill before use.
Recipe from: St. Onge, Christopher. "Sarawak Sipper." Food & Drink. Early Summer 2018.