Panachè (aka the "Shandy")


“Slow down, you move too fast 
You got to make the morning last 
Just kicking down the cobblestones 
Looking for fun and feeling groovy”

                                                  -Feeling Groovy (59th St. Bridge Song)

If you have noticed things here have been a little bit slow here I will assure you that this dilatory state has been of my own design.  Therefore, please excuse me if I forgo the traditional (and slightly narcissistic) round of apologies expected of bloggers when they fail to post as frequently as they once did.  I embrace my digital holidays.

This purposeful (albeit only temporary) deceleration was a coping mechanism for my burgeoning awareness that too much of my life lately has been sped up and/or put on a deadline of some kind.  Everything these days, whether it is a task or a text message, has a due date or requires my immediate attention.   Technology has made the various demands of modern living not more intense and more vocal.  We are now available to everyone else around the globe 24 hours a day and they want an answer right way.  
When was it decreed that every text message, email, or voice message had to be returned immediately? Just because the phone rings does not obligate you to answer it.  

“I just sent you a text.   Didn’t you get my voice mail?   Are you there? I know you are there.”
 I  count on some downtime for the requisite reflections my brand of blog posts require and it just hasn’t been there.  And when it was there I apparently forgot how to use it.   My free hour was consumed with guilt and anxiety of all that I wasn’t doing during it.  Distractions and guilt were so intense  I couldn’t focus long enough to write anything coherent!

“Did you see what I posted on my Facebook?   I tagged you and you didn’t respond!”

I’ve still been cooking.   Just not posting.  The only reason I had time and focus to cook is because my stomach is on a deadline.   Things with deadlines always get top priority.   But the ramblings and random stories I like to attach to the pretty pictures just couldn’t reveal themselves to me with all the noise.    

Yup, there is nothing like a deadline to keep your mind focused on output but since blogging doesn’t really have one its priority sank lower and lower.   This meant that ‘my next post’ just never got written.  When your inner world is so crowded with external distractions that you can’t formulate new thoughts or sentences its time to take a time-out.   And so I did.  And it felt good.


The only way I was going to be ok with a blog time-out was if I could also take some urgency out of some other “hurry up” and “rush” type demands that surrounded me.  (Within reason of course. I still have to earn a paycheck!)    How many of these things really weren’t so urgent after all?  Was it society or was it really me who had anointed “speed” and “productivity” a superior value for modern life?    

I am here to reassert “slow” and “procrastination” as just as good a value as well.  Evidently this too is not a unique thought as an entire movement has grown up around it in various regards.   

Picking up the laundry can always wait until tomorrow.   Did I forget to check my email all weekend long?   Ooopsie.   Yes, I know you sent me a text message but I was enjoying my time with someone else and couldn’t answer it.   You don’t get to interrupt that.  Oh, and I turned my phone off.   Its been so long since I’ve done that I had forgotten that this is actually allowed.   I read a book. 

Those decisions that you think need to be made right now will often take care of themselves if you wait long enough.   Delays and procrastination might be causing you anxiety and guilt but if properly utilized they can be considered a skill or a sign of strength if you think about it.   How many times has your second idea or inspiration been far superior than your first?    How many times has someone else’s idea that came after yours been far better?

“Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Maybe its because you didn’t take the time to even consider it?   Inspiration and good ideas can’t be rushed.   I recently read that when Hemingway was asked by a fan how to best write a novel he replied, “you begin by cleaning the refrigerator.”    Consider that!

I understand that all that I’m trying to say here is not all completely on point.  Or is it?   During the time I turned on my computer and sat down to write this post I checked my email 10 times.   I received 3 texts from friends, all of which required an immediate responce before I could resume.  I then remembered an important task that I forgot to complete at work.  One that could have just as easily waited until Monday but I decided I needed to complete it now so that it wouldn’t be waiting for me next week when I returned.   Then I thought of something fun to tweet which I didn’t want to forget so I tweeted.   Yes, I tweeted.

None of this needed immediacy but my brain felt compelled anyway so I’m going to have to work on this.  From time to time I’m going to take the occasion to purposefully slow down and embrace delay as a value.  I will be setting setting electronic boundaries and I hope hope that I will have more creativity and quality output as a result.

I’m going to turn my phone off now.  I might clean the refrigerator.


So what does any of this have to do with today’s Sis Booze contribution? Not much. But if you are going to take a time-out, electronic or otherwise, and relax on one of these hot summer days I would suggest enjoying a Panachè while you do it.

In Italy (where I will be going soon so perhaps that is why it has been on my mind) and France it is called “Panachè” (which means “mixed”) but in the UK and elsewhere (including some parts of the US) it is often referred to as a “Shandy”.  In Spain I have heard it referred to as a “Clara con limn” or a “Pica”.    They are all good.

I’m sure the beer purists among you will recoil in horror at the thought of mixing anything with beer but you should just get over it.  Beer and lemonade may not be so popular in this part of the world but just about everywhere else has some variation going on for just the reason I am enjoying one right now.  It is refreshing and delicious.   Also, its low alcohol content can make it somewhat practical too!

Panachè (aka the "Shandy")

This is what you will need:

  • Lager Beer (cold)
  • Good quality French or Italian carbonated lemonade such as Limonata, Lorina, or even Trader Joe’s French Market Sparkling Lemonade.

This is how you make it:

  1. Combine at a proportion you enjoy.
  2. No more than half the glass should be filled with lemonade, however.
  3. I prefer 1/4.

“Creativity is the residue of wasted time” -Albert Einstein


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. No wonder you haven’t responded to my 3 texts from the OC Fair 🙂
    Now I get it.

  2. I am totally with you on this one Trevor. I haven’t posted anything in over a month, not intentionally but due to life getting in the way. Along the way, I realized I’d needed the break, from that and a lot of other demands. Unplugging is way too underrated!

  3. Sigh. I wish I could post this outside my office @ work. I have an employee who sits in a cubicle – literally outside my office. Five. Feet. Away. From my door. He will send me an email and then he will come directly into my office and ask if I read his email…
    And we won’t talk about all the sales people who think I am obligated to spend time with them on the phone just because they were clever enough to dial my number.
    Yes, I have my snark on today.
    Enjoyed your post and apparently, I am long overdue for a calming beverage.

  4. There are many of us who relate well to this post. I never feel apologetic. It is what it is. I post to my blog because I really enjoy it and if I’m busy with things that pay the bills, I don’t stress.

    I am a total fail at the phone. Half the time it’s either at the bottom of my handbag or it’s out of battery.

    My mother-in-law is the queen of the shandy. I’d never heard of it before I moved to Australia but she’s not the only one who loves it.

    Nice to see you 🙂

  5. Love this post! I also am in a phase where I just want to kick back and enjoy, but for some reason I always feel half guilty… Glad to know someone else thinks we should relax more!

  6. I happen to be a beer-drinker and like the French 50/50 Panachè with 7-Up. However, since making Limoncello this Spring with my friends, I found a recipe on Food 52 that is delicious also:
    Serves 1

    2 tablespoons Limoncello, very cold

    1/3 cup Beer, very cold

    1/3 cup Tonic Water very cold

    1/2 slice of lemon

    Serves One

  7. What a great post! I too need to be reminded to establish digital boundaries and think we have all become slaves to technology.

    I’ve never heard of a panache, but can’t wait to try it! Enjoy Italy!

  8. I couldn’t agree more. When I started blogging I made a pact with myself. Never blog because you feel obligated. Never blog if you are not inspired to. Only blog when you feel like sharing, taking pictures, creating, and you are enjoying every moment. I cook every night but blog a few times a month. My husband will eat something he loves and ask “Did you blog this?”, and I will say “No, I felt like eating it instead.” Also, the panache sounds awesome. In fact, I did something sort of similar while I was relaxing at the lake (and not blogging) last weekend. Half Blue Moon, half fresh squeezed OJ… They can shoot me if they want… it was delish.

  9. Beer cocktails are definitely becoming a trend, so you are in the vanguard here. And the low alcohol content means you can have double, or even triple, the number of cocktails. Win, win, WIN. I am with you on slowing down – it’s why the hate portion of my love/hate relationship with Twitter usually wins. Okay, I am going to go text now.

  10. A very refreshing post Trevor. It’s nice to take a break and think about the impact of our digital worlds. We could all use some time to clean out our refrigerators.

  11. Hi Trevor, thanks for stopping by my part of the nets! I am glad I have found your blog after your hiatus, I think I am going to enjoy looking through your archives and following future posts!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I applaud you for demonstrating, once more, that refusal is the heart of elegance.

    – bg

  13. I’ve gotten flack from folks for not taking my cellphone with me when I’m outside weeding the garden. It’s nice to have some space from technology; as you said, it can feed creativity.

    I must say I’ve never heard of a Black Shandy. Must be an Ontario thing. I might have to do some investigating, because it sounds worth sacrificing a Guinness.

  14. 😉 I need to clean my refrigerator! Maybe grab a Shandy while I’m at it;-)

  15. Amy, you are so amazing! I love who you are and where you come from (and the rest of your falmiy, while I’m at it).Your commitment to focus and appreciate the affirmative is such a blessing, both for you and the world that loves you and supports you.Thanks for being in my world!

  16. Nitpicking, but it’s panaché (with an acute accent) and not “panachè”.