Hello my friends! You are just going to have to trust me on this one.
The first time I had a panaché (pan nah SHAY), a popular French drink that is simply a combination of a light beer and a citrusy soda like 7-Up, it was in Orlando at Disney World, on a typically hot May afternoon.
My friends and I had been wandering the park for hours. My legs were tired. I was tired. If I had been 3 years old I would have been on the verge of meltdown requiring a nap or time-out.
My dear French sweetheart found us a table in the shade and ventured off, returning with a platter of glasses filled with ice, a few beers, and a few cans of 7-Up. Now, if the thought of mixing 7-Up with beer makes your head want to explode, you're not alone.
But we were tired, our resistance down. We had a taste and with it, every reservation vanished. I can now tell you that on a hot day, there is no better drink in the world.
Because a panaché is truly refreshing.
Not cloying sweet like straight soda. You can drink several glasses before you even notice that there is a touch of alcohol from the beer in it.
In France it isn't usually served with ice (in general ice in drinks isn't as popular in Europe as it is here) but in my Frenchman's opinion, it's even better with ice, and I agree.
I was going to wait until Bastille Day to share this with you, it being a French favorite and all. But here we are, it's 104°F (40°C) in Sacramento today, and is forecast to be well over 100°F all week. Our friends in Arizona have it even worse (117° in Phoenix, yikes!).
Wherever you are, stay cool. And try a panaché!
Update: Many readers have commented that this combination is known as a "Shandy" in many parts of the English speaking world, and goes by other names in other countries as well. ~Elise
- 1 part beer (not a dark beer, but a light one, like a Bud, or Miller)
- 1 to 3 parts 7-up or Sprite
Fill a large glass with ice. Pour beer into the glass to the quarter-way to half-way mark, depending on the proportions you prefer. Top with 7-up or Sprite. Drink.