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Shandy is beer mixed with a clear carbonated lemon-lime drink (such as Sprite or 7-Up) or a clear lemon flavoured beverage. In Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, this clear lemon-lime soda is referred to as "lemonade," and when mixed with beer it is called "lemonade shandy". The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, but are frequently half lemonade and half beer. Shandies are popular in Western Europe, Australia,New Zealand, and South Africa.

In some jurisdictions, the low alcohol content of shandies makes them exempt from laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages. Non-alcoholic shandies are known as "rock shandies".

Variants by name[edit]


Biermischgetränke ("beer-based mixed drinks") are popular in Germany. Sometimes, non-alcoholic beer is used, so 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 premixed in bottles.[citation needed]

In Berlin and eastern Germany, the Potsdamer, a 50%/50% mixture of light-coloured beer and flavoured soda, is a popular drink. The soda used in a Potsdamer is flavoured with a shot of raspberry syrup, giving it a red colour.

The Whizz Peach, made by the private Wilhelm Rummel Brewery in Darmstadt, is made with 50% Kristallweizen (filtered wheat beer) and 50% peach-flavored lemonade.[citation needed]

The Berliner Weisse mit Schuss is made from a light Weißbier (white beer) mixed with a Schuss (shot) of sweet syrup instead of soda. It comes in three standard varieties: the Grün ("green") with Waldmeistersirup, a woodruff-flavoured syrup; the Gelb (yellow) with a shot of Zitronensirup (lemon syrup); and the Rot (red), with a shot of Himbeersirup (raspberry syrup).[citation needed]

The Bananenweizen is made by topping up a wheat beer with banana juice.

In France, a demi-peche combines French beer and a shot of peach syrup.

In Spain, a "clara" is the combination of 50% beer and 50% gaseosa (soda, like Sprite) or lemon soda. It is served in a caña glass.[citation needed]


Comparison of a Radler (left) and a Pilsner (right)

Radler (German for "cyclist") has a long history in German-speaking regions. It commonly consists of a 50:50 mixture of beer and sparkling lemonade. The origin of the name is lost to time, but is presumed to relate to the popularity of cycling and the need for a refreshing, less-alcoholic beverage on the journey. The story says that a German innkeeper was waiting for his cyclist regulars, when he found out that he did not have enough beer. So he blended the remaining beer with a fresh citrus lemonade. The regulars really liked the new drink, so it became popular.

In northern Germany, a half-and-half made of Pilsner beer and lemonade is known as an Alster (short for Alsterwasser, German for "Water from the Alster", a river around which the city of Hamburg is situated). Regionally the Radler and Alster may refer to shandies made with either citrus lemonade or orange lemonade, with the two terms either contrasting or referring to the same drink. In Hamburg Alsterwasser may also be made with cola, in humorous reference to the supposed appearance of the actual river.

In Bavaria (south east Germany), as well as in the countryside of Austria, a mix of Weißbier and lemon soda is called a "Russ'", referring to Russians without known reason.[1]

The invention of Radler has been widely attributed to the Munich innkeeper Franz Xaver Kugler in 1922. However the combination of beer and lemonade is documented in texts dating from 1912.[2] Nowadays, Radler is drunk not only in Bavaria, but also in all of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, and Romania.

In Austria, it is common to use Almdudler instead of lemon soda for the Radler.

During the summer months, Radler is very popular due to its reputation of being a thirst-quencher.[3]

In New Zealand, the word "radler" was trademarked by DB Breweries for their "Monteith's Radler" beer, which is a citrus-flavoured, full-strength (5%) beer.[4] This has led to some brewers to use the names 'reldar' (Radler spelled backwards) and "Cyclist" (the literal meaning of Radler).[5]


A Panaché (French for "mixed") is a draft beer mixed with carbonated lemonade in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy . A typical Panaché in the Alsace region contains less than 1% alcohol by volume.


In some parts of continental Europe, for example Belgium, Italy, Germany and Portugal, a Diesel is draft beer mixed with cola, while a Tango is made with gooseberry cordial, instead.

In Germany, lager beer mixed with cola is called a Diesel, Colabier, or Gespritztes, with several regional differences in name and composition:

  • Hefeweizen mixed with cola is called a Colaweizen.
  • Weißbier mixed with cola is called a Flieger (Aviator), Neger (Negro), or Turbo.
  • Pilsner or Altbier and cola is a Diesel or Krefelder.
  • Kölsch and cola is called a Drecksack (dirtbag).
  • A Brummbär (grouch) is stout or porter mixed with cola.
  • An Altbier Cola is made with Altbier, cola, and a shot of Kirsch.
  • A Greifswalder, a popular shandy in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is made with Köstritzer (a type of dark lager) mixed with cola.
  • An IPA and cola is called a dirty diesel (Unflätiges Diesel).

In Slovenia, a Diesel refers to a shandy of lager and Cockta soda.

A diesel in the United Kingdom is another name for a snakebite, a combination of half a pint of lager, half a pint of cider and (optionally) a measure of blackcurrant cordial, and thus does not meet the definition of a shandy, which needs to include beer and a non-alcoholic drink.

A mazout is a common drink in Flanders and is a 50:50 mix of pilsner and cola.

In (mainly southern) regions of the United Kingdom a fir tree normally denotes a very similar drink, usually half-and-half lager and cola, like the German Diesel or Krefelder. The name derives from the Fir Tree, a public house in Oxford where the drink is said to have originated. A variant is the fir tree top – predominantly lager but with a very small quantity of cola added.


A shandygaff is an older British name for beer mixed with ginger beer or ginger ale; the earliest written record of the word dates back to 1853.[6] In H. G. Wells’ comic novel The History of Mr. Polly, Wells refers to shandygaff as "two bottles of beer mixed with ginger beer in a round-bellied jug".


In the Netherlands, Sneeuwwitje (Snowwhite) is 7UP or Sprite with a bit of draught pilsner added to create some foam.[7]


Australian variant 1/2 and 1/2 Stout and Lemonade (traditionally Coopers Best Extra Stout)

Lager top[edit]

In England, Wales and Scotland, a lager top is a lager with a dash of lemonade on top. This is to take the edge off the lager, by drinking through the lemonade. [8][9]

Monaco Beer[edit]

In France a 50/50 mix of lager and carbonated lemonade with a dash of Grenadine is called a "Bière Monaco".


In Colombia, refajo is a mix of beer (generally lager) with Colombiana, a popular champagne cola carbonated drink. It is a typical beverage at barbecues.


In Chile, a "Fanshop" or Fan-Schop is a made of usually draft beer or lager (Schop) and orange soda (usually Fanta).[10] It is a typical Chilean drink served in traditional pubs/diners ("fuentes de soda" in Spanish)[11]

Variants made with added liquor[edit]

The Bavaria, Goaßmaß (goat stein) is a 50%/50% or 60%/40% mixture of dark Weizenbier and cola, with a shot of Kirsch. It is served in a one-liter stein called a "Maß". There is also a Goaßhalbe ("half goat"), which is served in a 0.5-liter glass.

The Berliner Weisse mit Strippe (white with a ribbon [of alcohol]) is made with a shot of Korn liquor or Kümmel.

A turbo shandy is made with lager and 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 vodka.

Variants made with sparkling wine[edit]

The Heller Moritz is Hefeweizen served with a piccolo (Italian: small bottle) of champagne and a slice of lemon.

The Bismarck, named for a favorite drink of a nineteenth-century German Chancellor, is made with equal amounts of Köstritzer (a Schwarzbier) and champagne. It is served in a beer stein and is similar to a black velvet.

The Thuringia, Kalte Ente (cold duck) is 2 parts Pilsner to one part German lemonade, with an additional shot of Kirsch.

The Bierkut is half Pilsner combined with a mixture of vodka and orange juice.

The Mass und Schuss is a liter of beer served with a schuss (shot of hard alcohol) on the side. The Laterndl is prepared by putting a shot-glass of Kirschwasser (sour cherry brandy) at the bottom of the Mass before pouring in the beer, making it a sort of reverse depthcharge.

The Dr Pepper shandy is a mix of lager with amaretto. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, generally somewhere between three and five parts beer to one part amaretto. The name is derived from Dr Pepper soda, which tastes comparable. A local variant, especially in the UK, is made by mixing equal measures of lager and Coca-Cola, with a shot of amaretto, (including the shot glass), 'dropped' in at the end.

The soju shandy is a Korean version that includes a shot of Korean soju.

Rock or non-alcoholic shandy[edit]

  • Africa: In Southern Africa, a rock shandy is made up of half lemonade, half sparkling water, and ice (usually with a few dashes of Angostura bitters). A variation is the Malawi shandy, which replaces the sparkling water with ginger beer.[12]
  • France: A rock shandy from French chef Jacques Pépin is made with Rose's lime juice, Angostura bitters, sparkling water, and ice.[13]
  • Germany and Austria: In Germany and Austria, the Spezial, or Spezi, is a non-alcoholic drink made with half orange soda and half cola. This traditional drink is very popular among children.[14] It is available as a premixed beverage.
  • Iceland: In Iceland, a rock shandy called Jólabland (Christmas Mix) is often served at Christmas time. Jólabland consists of orange soda and non-alcoholic malt beer.
  • Ireland: In Ireland, a non-alcoholic half-and-half mix of orange soda and lemon soda is popular. It is available as a premixed beverage.
  • Singapore: In Singapore a rock shandy from Barman Aidil Jay is made with bitters, one third Cola and two thirds Ginger Beer with ice and a slice of lemon.
  • United States: In the United States, a non-alcoholic half-and-half mix of traditional lemonade and iced tea is popular and is known as an Arnold Palmer, after the famous golfer. Created on an ad hoc basis at first, Palmer commercialized the mix and licensed use of his name and image on cans of the drink which are produced and marketed by the Arizona Tea company.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paulaner (Menu) Wiesbaden, DE" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Radler". Projekt Gutenberg: Lena Christ, Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen / 1; first published 1912. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  3. ^ "Radler (The Bicyclist): Radler (The Beer)". Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  4. ^ Krause, Nick (14 July 2011). "DB wins its battle over Radler beer". Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  5. ^ Law, Tina (25 May 2009). "Backward move in brewers' blue". Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Shandygaff". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Sneeuwwitje". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Getting to the bottom of lager tops". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Lager top". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  10. ^ Jared Romey: Speaking Chileno: A Guide to Chilean Slang, p. 60, RIL Editores, 2010
  11. ^ "At Las Cabras in Santiago, Pedigree Is All". Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  12. ^ Malawi shandy. Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  13. ^ Rock Shandy Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  14. ^ Spezi home page Retrieved: 2011-02-01.

External links[edit]