Ginger beer is one of my favorite warm weather beverages. When I was pregnant, I drank the tongue-spanking Reed's Extra Ginger Jamaican-style ginger brew on a daily basis. It was something non-boozy to sip while simultaneously settling my morning-sick stomach. Now that I don't have to worry about intoxicating a fetus, I can add ginger beer to my favorite beer beer for a delightfully potent potable.
The Shandy traditionally mixes beer and lemonade or citrusy soda, but I think a spicy, nonalcoholic ginger beer is the perfect mixer. For my palate, I like a fruitier, maltier beer like a tart lambic with a zippy ginger brew.
But since I was going all fruitcake on this, I thought I'd try a shandy with hard cider instead of beer. Ginger and apples are best mates, after all. I mixed semi-dry Wandering Aengus Wanderlust, and had a major "Eureka!" moment. The slap of extra sharp ginger beer really gives the drink a wake-up call, and that's pretty much the whole point.