Updated at: 08-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever felt curious about that refreshing, citrusy beverage your friends keep ordering at the pub? Known as a Shandy, this enchanting drink is a tantalizing mix of beer and non-alcoholic refresher.

In this article, we’ll take you on an insightful journey through its originshow it’s made and even some variations for those eager to experiment.

Ready to discover more about your new favorite summer quencher? Dive in!

What Is a Shandy?

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Definition of a shandy

A shandy, cut short from the original term “shandygaff”, is a British invention dating back to the mid-1800s and has since made its mark as a popular pub drink across Europe.

This refreshing beer cocktail is crafted by mixing equal parts of beer with a non-alcoholic beverage—traditionally, citrus-flavored lemon-lime soda or lemonade.

Its blend allows the drinker to enjoy an alcoholic beverage that is lower in ABV than pure beer, since only half of it consists of actual beer.

Adjustments can be made to suit individual preferences; other citrus beverages can be used instead of lemon-lime soda or lemonade, and proportions can fluctuate according to taste preference.

The result? A distinctive summer drink that enlivens your traditional pint with a citrusy twist!

How to Make a Shandy

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To make a shandy, simply combine equal parts beer and citrusy lemon-lime soda or lemonade in a glass.

Basic recipe for a shandy

A shandy is a refreshing beer cocktail that can be enjoyed in moderation.

Here is a basic recipe to make your own:

  1. Choose your beer: Select a light lager or ale for the base of your shandy. Opt for a beer with lower alcohol content to keep your drink more on the refreshing side.
  2. Pour the beer: Fill half of a glass with your chosen beer. You can use a pint glass, but any glass will do.
  3. Add the non-alcoholic component: The other half of the glass should be filled with a citrusy lemon-lime soda or lemonade. This will provide a refreshing and tangy flavor to complement the beer.
  4. Mix gently: Use a spoon or stir stick to gently combine the two components together. Avoid stirring vigorously to prevent excessive foam or bubbles.
  5. Garnish (optional): For an extra touch, you can add a slice of lemon or lime as garnish on the rim of the glass.

Variations of shandy recipes

Shandies are not just limited to the classic combination of beer and lemonade. There are many variations of this refreshing drink that you can try.

Here are some unique shandy recipes to tantalize your taste buds:

  1. Summer Shandy: Perfect for hot summer days, this variation combines beer with a splash of citrus-flavored soda, like Sprite or 7-Up. The crisp and bubbly soda adds an extra level of refreshment to your shandy.
  2. Grapefruit Shandy: For those who love a tangy twist, try adding grapefruit juice to your shandy. The bitterness of the grapefruit pairs perfectly with the hoppy notes of the beer, creating a wonderfully balanced flavor profile.
  3. Ginger Shandy: Spice up your shandy by incorporating ginger beer into the mix. The zingy and aromatic qualities of ginger complement the mild bitterness of the beer, creating a unique and invigorating taste sensation.
  4. Raspberry Shandy: If you have a sweet tooth, this fruity variation is for you. Mix beer with raspberry lemonade for a burst of berry goodness in every sip. It’s like drinking a summer picnic in a glass!
  5. Apple Cider Shandy: Swap out the traditional lemonade for apple cider to create a fall-inspired shandy. The natural sweetness and slight tartness of the cider add depth and complexity to the drink, making it ideal for cozy evenings by the fire.
  6. Pineapple Shandy: Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with this pineapple-infused shandy. Combine beer with pineapple juice for a refreshing and tropical twist on the classic recipe.

When and How to Serve a Shandy

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To truly enjoy a shandy, it is best served on a hot summer day at a backyard barbecue or while lounging by the pool.

Ideal occasions for enjoying a shandy

Shandies are versatile and refreshing beverages that can be enjoyed on various occasions.

Whether you’re looking to quench your thirst after a long day, relax at a summer picnic, or socialize with friends at a bar, a shandy is the perfect choice.

With its lower alcohol content compared to traditional beers, it’s an option for those who want to enjoy a flavorful drink without getting too intoxicated.

The citrusy flavors of lemon-lime soda or lemonade provide a zesty twist that makes it ideal for warm weather gatherings and outdoor events.

Additionally, shandies pair well with light meals like salads or seafood dishes, making them an excellent choice when dining out.

So next time you’re in the mood for something refreshing and easy-going, consider reaching for a shandy and elevate your drinking experience in style.

Pairing suggestions for shandy

Shandy is a versatile drink that can be paired with various foods to enhance the overall dining experience.

Here are some delicious pairing suggestions for shandy:

  1. Grilled seafood: The refreshing and citrusy flavors of a shandy pair perfectly with grilled fish or shrimp. The lightness of the beer combined with the zesty lemon-lime soda complements the delicate flavors of seafood.
  2. Spicy barbecue: A shandy can help balance out the heat and spice of barbecued meats. The carbonation and acidity in the drink provide a refreshing contrast to the bold flavors, making it an ideal choice for spicy ribs or hot wings.
  3. Cheese platter: When enjoying a cheese platter, reach for a shandy to cut through the richness of the cheeses. The effervescence and tangy citrus notes cleanse the palate, allowing you to fully appreciate the different flavors and textures of the cheeses.
  4. Light salads: Shandies work well with light salads such as mixed greens, fruit salads, or cucumber salads. The crisp and citrusy profile of the drink complements the fresh ingredients in these dishes without overwhelming them.
  5. Brunch favorites: Pair your brunch favorites like eggs Benedict or avocado toast with a shandy for a delightful combination. The bubbly nature of the drink adds an extra level of refreshment to your meal, making it perfect for lazy weekend mornings.


In conclusion, a shandy is a refreshing beer cocktail that combines the crispness of beer with the zesty brightness of a non-alcoholic beverage.

Originally invented in Britain, it has become a popular drink for summer occasions and can be enjoyed at pubs or made at home with simple ingredients.

Whether you prefer classic lemon-lime soda or want to try unique variations like grapefruit or ginger beer, a shandy is sure to quench your thirst and add some excitement to your drinking experience.

So raise your glass and cheers to discovering the delightful world of shandies!