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The Easiest End-Of-Summer "Cocktail" You'll Ever Make

Beer + Ginger Beer = Exactly what you want to drink a million of on a fading summer afternoon.

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I know everyone's excited about new school supplies and wearing pants, but let's just slow down: Autumn's going to be around for a while. In the hopes of shining on a few more long, languid, sunny days, here's a cocktail so easy to make, it's practically insulting. It's called the shandy.

Ready for the recipe?

• 1 small bottle of fridge-cold lager
• 1 fridge-cold can of ginger beer

Pour the lager into a tall glass and then top up with as much ginger beer as you like. Makes 1.

This is my kind of recipe.

Also called a shandygaff, a shandy, at its most basic, is any beer diluted with any citrusy soda. (You can sub in apple cider for the soda, but then it's called a Snake Bite.) Yes, that's two ingredients, total. (Great!) And there are no proportions; just mix it to taste. (Even better!)

I discovered it recently thanks to Nigella Lawson's appropriately titled cookbook Forever Summer. "For that real, deck-chair-bound summer feeling," Nigella prescribes, "drink in a reclining position." And that's exactly what I did.

I picked up two very different lagers for the taste test — Guinness Black and Yuengling, both readily available — stuck two Gosling Ginger Beers (leftover from this glorious summer day) in a backpack, and headed to a friend's place with a deck.

First up was the Guinness Black Lager (note, this isn't the traditional Guinness Stout you may know). The ginger beer lightened up the lager's deep maltiness nicely, rendering an otherwise aggressive beer perfectly drinkable for a sunny afternoon. And drink them we did.

Next up was the Yuengling. This was my friend-with-a-deck Bridget's shandy of choice. I liked it too — the ginger spice shining through the solid, cold beer made me think that first lager may have been overkill, and I wondered whether a good old Budweiser would even be better. We've got one last summer evening to find out.


• Doesn't get much easier than this. Just follow the recipe and get outside!

• Don't forget cups.

• Leave a note if you try it with a Bud.

And just for kicks, here's pretty Nigella showing us the appropriate way to coddle tomatoes in September.

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