Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cheap Drinks: Turbo Shandy!

The Topic: Warm Evenings and Cool Drinks

The Dish: Ok, I'm already lying to you a little bit. Here in San Francisco, the evenings aren't exactly what I would call warm, especially considering how hot the Midwest gets in the middle months (I miss you, scorching summer!). But I like to think that if I act like it's hot outside, the weather will follow my wishful thinking. Regardless, the city does have its warm spells, and just knowing that it's nearing the end of May makes me want to sit on a patio and enjoy a drink with some friends and a boombox. Red wine doesn't do it for me in the summer, and cheap whites often tend to not be vegan-friendly. Beer is
almost there with the satisfaction, but not quite. The solution? The Turbo Shandy.

My friend Lucy introduced me to this creation—a standby at her local watering hole outside of London, it apparently hadn't gained popularity stateside when she was visiting. She happily informed me that made of half beer and half Smirnoff Ice (stop laughing), the Turbo is a total hit. It might sound weird, gross, or like a blasphemous act towards your favorite beer, but trust me. If it's a cold, refreshing, summery drink you want, then throw together a Turbo Shandy and sit back. It's summertime!

Lucy's Turbo Shandy

For my favorite variation, I prefer classic Smirnoff Ice accompanied by the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life. Big on Smirnoff's green apple flavor? PBR loyalist? Mix it up any way you like for a surprisingly delicious drink. Be careful with these babies—they go down easy and are more potent than they seem.

Serves 2

What You Need:
  • 2 tall glasses, chilled
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Smirnoff Ice, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) can Miller High Life, divided
What You Do:
Into each glass, pour half of the beer, careful to avoid the dreaded foam. Top off each glass with half of the Smirnoff Ice, and serve.

The Final Word: If springing for a 6-pack of each beverage seems too pricey, then go the budget-friendly route. When I'm low on cash, a 32-ounce of each sets me back around $5 (feel free to try a cheaper beer—the taste should be masked just fine), and automatically limits the total servings possible. Cheaper and more responsible? I'll drink to that.


  1. I LOVE SHANDIES!! *ahem* my hubby is vegan AND british, and introduced me to them. sooooo good. my shandy of choice is stella artois and lemon-lime soda (more of a traditional shandy), but turbo shandies are quite delicious too.

  2. Can't wait to try this, sounds good

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I rarely love the taste of beer by itself, so any mix options are appreciated.

  4. Thanks for sharing that! I'll give it a go next time I have the chance. Another great and easy & cheap shandy made from Miller is:

    1 can Miller High Life
    Juice of 4 squeezed oranges (more or less to taste)
    Serve cold

    Makes for a great cheap shandy, which is especially appealing for a college kid like me.