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Shandy, or shandygaff, is normally a beer mixed with citrus-flavored soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or cider. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, normally half-and-half. There are also non-alcoholic shandy mixes known as “rock shandies”.

In Germany, this type of drink is called a Radler or an Alster. In France and in Italy, it is called a panaché. In Catalan it is xampu or clara. In some jurisdictions, the low alcohol content of shandy makes it exempt from the laws that govern alcoholic beverages.

In the United Kingdom, Shandy is beer mixed with carbonated lemonade. It may be purchased as a low alcohol soda or mixed at a bar to create a drink of 2 to 3.5% ABV. Fentimans, of Hexham, markets a lemonade-based Shandy made of a 70% – 30% mixture of beer and carbonated lemonade rated at 0.5 ABV. In Britain, a popular variant is the “lager top,” in which a small measure of clear lemonade or lime juice is added to the lager - usually about a centimetre. There are regional variations to the pronunciation: in East Anglia and Inverness a single pint is referred to as a "lager tops", whilst in the Isle of Man and the Lake District, the name "lager touch" is used. In parts of Wales and the West this may be referred to as a "lager splash".

The following variations of shandy are found around the world.


In the United Kingdom, Shandygaff is beer mixed with ginger beer or ginger ale. In H.G. Wells’s comic novel The History of Mr. Polly, Wells refers to shandygaff as “two bottles of beer mixed with gingerbeer in a round-bellied jug.”


In France, a panaché is beer mixed or flavoured with limonade (French-style lemonade), which is lemon-flavoured soda or soda water. Adding grenadine to the mix makes a Monaco.

Rock Shandy

In Ireland, a non-alcoholic half-and-half mix of fizzy orange and lemon soft drinks is popular, and described as a rock shandy. It can be mixed by the drinker from the two ingredients, or bought as a pre-mixed product. The website of the manufacturer claims that the name arose when the managing director of the company was a member of the Blackrock Swimming Club in Dublin. After training, he would drink a half-and-half cocktail of orange and lemon squash at a local pub, and it became known as rock shandy, after Blackrock.

In South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, a rock shandy is made up of half soda water and half lemonade, optionally with a few dashes of angostura bitters for flavour. In Southern Africa, a popular variation is the Malawi Shandy, which is made from half lemonade, half ginger ale, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. In Germany and Austria, the Spezial, or Spezi is a non-alcoholic drink with half orange lemonade and half cola. It is a traditional drink that is very popular among children. A rock shandy recipe from French chef Jacques Pépin that goes back to colonial times consists of lime juice, Angostura bitters, water and ice.


Biermischgetränke (“beer-based mixed drinks”) are popular in Germany. Sometimes non-alcoholic beer is used, so that the drink has no significant alcohol content. A common ingredient of these drinks is German-style carbonated lemonade. Since a 1993 change in German tax law, Biermischgetränke are also sold pre-mixed in bottles.


A Diesel in the United Kingdom is a combination of half a pint of lager and half a pint of cider (snakebite), finished with a dash of blackcurrant cordial, which gives the drink a red colour similar to that of agricultural diesel fuel. A Diesel with a shot of Pernod is called a Red Witch. In Slovenia, the preferred method is to prepare it using Cockta soda instead of cider .

Turbo Shandy

A more potent variation known as a Turbo Shandy is made from mixing lager with a citrus-flavoured or lemonade-based alcopop (e.g., Smirnoff Ice or Mike's Hard Lemonade). It is sometimes fortified with a shot or more of the base alcohol.

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