Amanda & Merrill

Radler and Spicy Chips

July 23, 2010

Radler and Spicy Chips

- Amanda

If you've never had a German radler, which resembles a British shandy -- beer + lemon soda -- don't let the summer pass without drinking one. And while you're at it, why not make the world's easiest bar snack? Seasoned potato chips. Buy chips. Invade your spice rack. Mix. (The urban equivalent of a recipe from White Trash Cooking.) Then eat a few chips and drink your radler, and you'll be happy you made both.

Shop the Story

Summer Radler and Spicy Chips

Serves 4

For each radler:

  • 4 ounces chilled wheat beer
  • 4 ounces chilled lemon soda (or half lemonade, half club soda)
  • Lemon wedge

For the Spicy Chips:

  • 9 ounces lightly salted potato chips (I like Kettle Brand)
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground chipotle
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt


To make the radler, combine the beer and lemon soda in a chilled pilsner glass. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the radler, then drop it in.

To make the chips, put the chips in a bowl, add the spices and salt and toss with your hands to mix, until the chips are lightly coated with the spices.

Head out to your patio, deck, or stoop and enjoy the early evening.

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • ryanm
  • mrslarkin
  • Erin from Long Island
    Erin from Long Island
  • MissGinsu
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Sagegreen August 6, 2010
I think one reason the Germans are so fond of adding flavors to their beers is because the purity laws restrict the brewers from adding any. You could never find a blueberry beer bottled in Germany.
ryanm July 27, 2010
It could be a North/South thing--pilsner up here in Berlin, wheat beer down in Munich. I think the difference is that a pilsner Radler will end up a bit lighter and more refreshing, and a wheat one a bit more filling and sweet. Of course, in these parts they're served in amounts/glasses far less dainty than the one you pictured.

And yes, Amanda, I think a pork-knuckle contest would be a lovely challenge for Food52....
Sagegreen July 27, 2010
In the north the drink is called an "Alsterwasser" and is made with a pilsner; wheat beer in the south with the Radler.(The Berliner Weisser is a very sour wheat beer btw. My summer working part-time as a "Kellnerin" in Staufen while learning German at the Goethe Institut there taught me many things during college years).
gwimper January 8, 2013
Hmm in Stuttgart if it was mixed with Hefeweissen it was called a Russn, and radler was always made with pils. Living in the boonies now, and I can't get my Russn only Radlers (bleh)
mrslarkin July 26, 2010
Sounds very delicious! I'd also try it with my fav Xochitl tortilla chips.
Erin F. July 25, 2010
I always thought you needed to heat the chips to get the spices to stick to them? Or is it just me? Otherwise I feel like the chips and seasoning never really seem like they are truely united
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
I didn't need to, but if you want to play it safe, heat them a little -- good idea.
MissGinsu July 25, 2010
I love the cycling reference. That's splendid, since a shandy/radler is exactly the sort of thing I'd want to drink after a long, hot bike trek. The chips would be nice as well. Restore some of that lost salt. (Or at least that's what I'd tell myself while munching them.)
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Yes, this combo is really just like Gatorade. Tastes better tho.
DCfoodgrl July 25, 2010
Love this idea. I've done the chips before and recently discovered a "lemon beer" made by Lienenkugel (which I don't presume I spelled correctly). It's called Summer Shandy. However, I think I like the idea of doing one up myself. Seems a whole lot easier than I would have thought. Thanks!
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Yes, and you can play around with the proportions to make them to your liking.
aromes July 24, 2010
Thanks for this post. Very useful
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Glad you thought so!
ryanm July 24, 2010
Enjoy your Weisse, Sagegreen! Maybe to round out your Berliner repast some Currywurst should be had? Better yet: Eisbein? Now there's a new contest for Food52: pork knuckle.
Sagegreen July 24, 2010
That's why I let Berlin 'inspire' my recipes, instead of trying to recreate theirs, other than the drinks. I do love the cuisine from both the Alemannische and Bavarian regions though.
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Is that a dare, ryanm? :)
ryanm July 23, 2010
cheese1227 is right: a Radler made from lager or pilsner is *completely* different from one like this made from wheat beer. I'm in Berlin right now, and can promise that nothing bearing the name Radler has wheat beer in it. Also, it's also worth toying with proportions; here in Berlin you'll see more two-thirds pilsner to one-third Sprite. Sounds dubious, but is really unbeatable on a hot day.
Sagegreen July 23, 2010
You could have a Berliner Weisse Mit Schuß on the Alte Liebe! I just found everything to make one with Waldmeister here in Massachusetts. I envy your location.
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Really? My memory of it in Munich is with wheat beer. Maybe it was lager. Anyway, I've been making them with wheat beer, but you can probably make it with any beer you like. Thanks for weighing in from Germany!
Midge July 23, 2010
Sounds totally refreshing and I am coveting the glassware!
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
It's from Dansk, which has sadly closed.
cheese1227 July 23, 2010
It's important to distinguish whether your are talking about a lager shandy or a bitter shandy. The first is for thirst (they go down mighty easily) and the latter is for savoring the moment in which you actually feel overheated while being in the UK!
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Thanks for the clarification. Was referring to lager shandy.
Lizthechef July 23, 2010
It never entered my mind to spice up "sore bought" chips - just the easy snack with drinks I need for my al fresco dinner party tomorrow night - thanks, Amanda.
Lizthechef July 23, 2010
"Store bought" - learn to type, Liz...
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Yes, it's a great cheat -- and as Merrill pointed out to me, you can also do it with popcorn.
MrsWheelbarrow July 23, 2010
Nice! And thank you for the background notes, Sagegreen.
Sagegreen July 23, 2010
This is a great combination. The radler was thought up during the Roaring Twenties when bicycling was becoming a popular sport in Bavaria by innkeeper Herr Kugler . Kugler had bought a huge inventory of lemon soda for this new bicyclist market, but that proved uninteresting to them. So Kugler cleverly combined the soda with beer to create the appeal and deal with his inventory. The German word for cyclist is "Radler,"
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Thanks for this!
dymnyno July 23, 2010
I am famous for my fennel chips...just put the chips in a bowl..put in the oven for a few minutes...grind some fennel seed in a coffee grinder and take the chips out of the oven and sprinkle the fennel over the chips and distribute evenly over the chips.
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Am definitely going to try these!
jdkjd July 23, 2010
So wierd, just last night I decided to sprinkle potato chips with lime juice and kosher salt and it was the best snack.
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
That's our telepathy feature.
lastnightsdinner July 23, 2010
I love this. Think I'll give it a test drive this weekend :)
thirschfeld July 23, 2010
I'm good with a PBR and a lemon, hold the soda. But I like the chip idea.
Amanda H. July 26, 2010
Like your style.