“Assume Nothing!” A mantra for The Crown as we worked towards opening our doors in March of 2019, the phrase became a Menu section, encouraging our visitors to drop their preconceptions and be open to new and delicious experiences. And now it’s the title of a recipe series, for you to recreate at home. Here’s to a year of assuming nothing!

Cold Brew Shandy

A perfectly refreshing coffee lemonade with a hint of basil.


  • 4 oz Basil Lemonade 
  • 4 oz Cold Brew Coffee


The shandy is a 1:1 mixture of lemonade and cold brew. Pour 4oz of lemonade over ice and top with 4oz of cold brew. The difference in densities means that the cold brew will float on top of the lemonade, making for a beautiful drink!

For this recipe, you’ll want to have some cold brew on hand. The lemonade and basil syrup goes well with lighter roasts, so consider cracking open your sweeter, more floral, and citric coffees.


Basil Lemonade:

Ingredients for syrup:

  • 5 lbs Lemons  
  • 500g white sugar 
  • 500g filtered water 
  • 1/2 bunch of basil


  • 1/2 qt Lemon Juice  
  • 1/2 qt Basil Simple Syrup  
  • 1 gal of water for charging (if you don’t have a CO2 charger, just use sparkling water!)  

To make the Basil Simple Syrup, use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to filtered water. Add these two ingredients together in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Once the sugar is fully dissolved, bring the heat down to a simmer and add fresh basil to the pot. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the basil, and voila! Basil Simple Syrup! Set this aside to cool. 

Juice the lemons. You can do this by hand with any citrus press, which is less convenient if you’re making a lot of juice. To conserve time, you can also use a juicer.  We have a Breville Juice Fountain and it works great!

If you’re using a juicer like the Breville, it will remove most of the seeds and pith chunks via centrifuge, but the juice still ends up with some floaty bits.  I juiced the lemons whole, pith and all, and was left with a pale yellow, milky looking lemon juice with just a touch of pith (at the Crown, we remove the zest to make oleo saccharum). Use a mesh strainer and cheesecloth to filter any remaining seeds and pith out of this juice concentrate (a time consuming but necessary step to avoid clogging a keg line), or choose to leave the pith in the concentrate if you’re at home mixing by cup and don’t mind some pulp.

Cold Brew:

  • 78g coffee
  • 600g cold water

At the Crown we make our cold brews in big Toddy systems using 5 pounds of coffee and 4 gallons of water. The coffee is ground coarse and steeped in big paper filters for 1824 hours before being drained. If you don’t want to make 4 gallons of coffee all at once, it’s easy to make cold brew in a French Press or other smaller device with the following recipe: 

Add the coffee to your press, cover with the water, stir to break up any clumps, and then cover and refrigerate for 12-16 hours. At the end of the steeping time, press and drain. Save for your shandy, or any other cold brew recipes. This recipe can be easily scaled up: the approximate ratio of 1:8 will work for any amount of coffee. 


At the Crown we make oleo saccharum from citrus peel, which leaves us with a lot of leftover fruit. Most of the time, we use that fruit to make delicious shrubs. When that fruit is lemons, however, this is the perfect opportunity to make delicious lemonade!  

We made a delicious, sparkling Basil Lemonade, and the sweet and lightly herbal drink was begging for some experimentation. I’ve always loved a summer pub-favorite drink called the Shandy, traditionally made mixing beer and lemonade. We gave this drink a whirl with our cold brew for a refreshing twist without the alcohol, and the results were delightful and perfect for a pick-me-up on a hot afternoon!