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"Radler" redirects here. For the surname, see Radler (surname).

Shandy is beer mixed with a soft drink, such as carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or apple juice or orange juice. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, usually half-and-half. Non-alcoholic shandies are known as "rock shandies". Shandies are more popular in western Europe than other parts of the world.

In some jurisdictions, the low alcohol content of shandies makes them exempt from laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages.

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.

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. (To follow custom and control the size of the head, one should fill a 0.5-l glass halfway with the soda first, and then pour the beer.)

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.

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).

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.


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.

In northern Germany, a half-and-half made of Pilsner beer and lemon soda is known as an Alster (short for Alsterwasser, German for "Water from the river Alster", a river in Hamburg).

In southern Germany, a mix of Weißbier and lemon soda is called a "Russ'".[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, 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 names 'reldar' (Radler spelled backwards) and "Cyclist" (the literal meaning of Radler) are used because a large corporation has controversially trademarked the word Radler.[4] It was trademarked by DB Breweries for their "Monteith's Radler" beer, which is a citrus-flavoured, full-strength (5%) beer.[5]


A Panache or Panaché (French for mixed) is a draft beer mixed with carbonated lemonade in French-speaking areas of Switzerland and in France. A typical Panaché in the Alsace region contains less than 1% alcohol by volume. A panaché with a shot of grenadine syrup added is called a "Monaco".


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

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

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 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.[6]

A mazout is a common drink in Flanders, made from a lager such as Jupiler, Maes pils, or Stella Artois and Coca-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.[7] 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".

Lager Top(s)[edit]

In the UK a lager top (or lager tops) is a lager with a "dash" of lemonade, so that it is effectively the strongest variant of shandy.[8] [9] [10]

Monaco Beer[edit]

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

Kip Lin[edit]

In Singapore, a 50/50 mix of lager and Tonic water is known as a Kip Lin, named after the architect and architectural historian Lee Kip Lin (1925 – 2011) who drank this version of shandy, and who is believed to have invented it.

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]


In South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia, a rock shandy is made up of half lemonade, half sparkling water, and ice (usually with a few dashes of Angostura bitters).

In Southern Africa, a popular variation is the Malawi shandy, which is made with half lemonade, half ginger beer, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters.[11]


A rock shandy from French chef Jacques Pépin is made with Rose's lime juice, Angostura bitters, sparkling water, and ice.[12]

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.[13]


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.


In Ireland, a non-alcoholic half-and-half mix of orange soda and lemon soda is popular. It is available as a premixed beverage.

United States

In the United States, a non-alcoholic half-and-half mix of 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. 
  2. ^ "Radler". Projekt Gutenberg: Lena Christ, Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen / 1; first published 1912. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Radler (The Bicyclist): Radler (The Beer)". Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Law, Tina (25 May 2009). "Backward move in brewers' blue". Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Krause, Nick (14 July 2011). "DB wins its battle over Radler beer". Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Shandygaff". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Getting to the bottom of lager tops". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Lager top". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Drink-drive policeman escapes ban after barman poured him stronger drinks than he asked for". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Malawi shandy. Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  12. ^ Rock Shandy Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  13. ^ Spezi home page Retrieved: 2011-02-01.

External links[edit]