Summer is good in Seattle. Although I am not one for hot weather, Summer 2015 has really felt like well, summer. Usually, the season gets started in late June and concludes mid-September. We have a few days in the upper 80's and the stores sell out of fans. This summer started in May and hasn't quit. It has been in the 80's and 90's and I dare to say it has glimpsed 100F a day or two. Very unusual. It rained for 30 minutes today and half our office went outside to see it and take a deep breath. It was like running out your front door to chase the Ice Cream Truck.
Very few places have air conditioning in Seattle so you try to get to the water on very hot days. If that's not an option you find a place to have a cool drink outside. (When you don't have fans or air conditioning in your home, even sitting outside when it's 95F feels like a respite.)
Luckily, we have Shandys. Shandys make summer bearable. I discovered them a few years ago at a restaurant here called Westward. Perhaps you have heard of it - it is kind of a big deal. Westward ranked #5 on Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants in America 2014. The chef, Zoi Antonitas, was named one of Food & Wine Best New Chefs of 2015. She also happened to be on season 4 of Top Chef but that was a long time ago. ANYWAY - they have this great outdoor set up right on Lake Union with a perfect view of downtown Seattle from their umbrelled Adirondack chairs. Their Shandys come with a Ras el Hanout salted rim...OMG!
I digress. A Shandy, traditionally, is a blonde lager mixed 50/50 with carbonated lemonade or limeade. (Although I guess if you want to go back far enough in England - it was beer and ginger ale.) Whatever. They are refreshing and delicious and you can have twice as many because they have half the alcohol! (This is not the official opinion of Tovolo.)
I recommend having your Shandy with fresh oysters on the half shell, a beautiful Spanish Sardine bruschetta, and a good friend. Preferable under an umbrella in an Adirondack chair. (They are also not to be missed poolside. There are a number of beer companies bottling the Shandy like Shock Top and Leinenkugel.)