July 4th is one of the largest beer drinking days marked on the calendar, with beer sales estimated to reach over $1 billion this year.

Don’t just swig beer from the bottle, mix it up. Here are some classic beer cocktails that have been around forever and are so easy to make to help you switch it up this July 4th.

Lemon Shandy

Lemon Shandy

Photo Courtesy of Traveler Beer Co.

Lemon Shandy

Dating back to 17th century Europe, the back-in-fashion Shandy is a refreshing beverage made by mixing citrus juice or soda with beer. Mix it up or buy it from Traveler Beer Co.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Fresh Mint Sprigs
  • 4 Three-inch Strips Lemon Zest
  • 1 Chilled Beer

Preparation: In small saucepan bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and stir in zest. Cool sugar syrup to room temperature. Transfer syrup to a small pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice, and mint. Chill lemonade until cold. Pour 1/4 cup lemonade, or to taste, into each of 4 chilled beer glasses and top off with beer.


Michelada

Michelada

Photo Courtesy of Don Robertos

Michelada

A cerveza preparada from Mexico used to cure hangovers and made from beer, lime, and assorted sauces, spices, and peppers. Blend your own spices or buy a mix from Don Robertos.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups light Mexican beer
  • 1/4 cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, rinds reserved
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Maggi or Soy Sauce
  • Salt (Rimming the Glasses)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (for Garnish)

Preparation: Place enough salt in a wide, shallow dish to cover the bottom. Rub the rims of the two glasses with reserved lime rinds and dip the glasses into the salt. Fill the glasses with ice and set aside. Place the lime juice, beer, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and maggi or soy sauce in a pitcher and mix to combine. Pour into prepared glasses, top with a few grinds of pepper, and serve.


Snakebite

Snakebite

Photo Courtesy of T.W. Pitchers’ Brewing

Snakebite

Popularized in the UK in the 1980’s, this drink combines equal parts lager and hard cider. Make it or buy it from T.W. Pitchers’ Brewing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Hard Cider, Chilled
  • 8 oz. Lager, Chilled
  • 1/4 oz. Black Currant Liqueur (Optional)

Preparation: Pour the cider and beer into a chilled glass, layering the lager on top of the cider if desired by holding a spoon over the glass and slowly pouring the lager over the back of the spoon. Top with black currant liqueur, if using.