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Radler Pils Unterschied 01 (RaBoe).jpg
Comparison of a Radler shandy (left) and a Pilsner (right)
Region of originUK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, South Africa, and Canada

Shandy is beer mixed with a lemon or a lemon-lime flavored beverage. The citrus beverage, often called lemonade, may or may not be carbonated. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste but are usually half lemonade and half beer. Shandies are popular in UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada (where they are sometimes known by the French name 'Panaché').

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


The debated origin of the term (recorded first in 1888) is shortened from shandygaff, from Britain in 1853 and itself of the obscure source.[1]

Variants by name[edit]

Bitter Shandy. Shandy is a popular drink in UK and is usually ordered as either ‘Bitter Shandy’ (50/50 Bitter Beer and Fizzy Lemonade’, or ‘Lager Shandy’ where lager is substituted for the beer. A ‘Lager top’ is less diluted, with just a dash of lemonade added at the end of the draught to sweeten the drink. A soft drink version is also available from shops which will be only .5% proof or less and can be bought by minors.


Biermischgetränke or Bier-Schorle ("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.[2] 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 (wheat 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-pèche 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 (6-10 fl. oz.) glass.[citation needed]


Radler (German for "cyclist") has a long history in German-speaking regions. It commonly consists of a 50:50 mixture of beer and a lemon flavored soda like Sprite.[3]

The term Radler originates with a drink called Radlermass ("cyclist litre") that was created by innkeeper Franz Kugler in the small town of Deisenhofen, just outside Munich. During the great cycling boom of the Roaring Twenties, Kugler created a bicycle trail from Munich through the woods that led directly to his drinking establishment. On a June day in 1922, 13,000 cyclists arrived at Kugler’s. He blended it 50/50 with lemon soda as he started to run out of beer.[original research?]

While the term Radler has been widely attributed to the Munich innkeeper Franz Xaver Kugler in 1922, the combination of beer and soda is documented in texts dating from 1912.[4] Nowadays, Radler is consumed not only in Bavaria, but also in all of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, United States, Canada, and Romania.

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

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

Radler is very popular during the summer months due to its reputation of being a thirst-quencher.[5]

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.[6] This has led to some brewers to use the names "reldar" (Radler spelled backwards) and "Cyclist" (the literal meaning of Radler).[7]


In Bavaria, the southeastern state of Germany, as well as in the countryside of Austria, a mix of 50% Weißbier and 50% lemon soda is called a "Russ". There are three different theories about the origin of this drink:[8]

  • Due to a shortage of raw materials that occurred during the great inflation between 1921 and 1923, Weißbier became more popular. To further reduce material efforts, the Weißbier was thinned with lemonade. The name "Russ" may derive from the popularity of the drink among Russian workers in Germany at that time.
  • Another theory of the name's origin is that the drink initially was called "Riesen-Maß" (Riesen = giant), as the drink mixture frothed heavily.
  • The most popular theory is that the drink was first served in the Mathäser-Keller in Munich after the 1918 Revolution when communists came together.


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.

In Germany, lager beer mixed with cola is called a Diesel, Colabier, or Gespritzter, 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, Krefelder or sometimes Schweinebier (pig's beer)
  • 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 bavarian Goaßmaß ("goat liter") is made with dark beer, cola and a shot of cherry liqueur.
  • A Greifswalder, a popular shandy in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is made with Köstritzer (a type of dark lager) mixed with cola.

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.[9] 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 (Snow White) is 7UP or Sprite with a bit of draught pilsner added to create some foam.[10] The Dutch brand Royal Club also produces a Shandy with 0.5% alcohol since 1976.


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, the latter of which reduces the lager's hardness.[11][12]


In France, a 50/50 mix of lager and carbonated lemonade with a dash of Grenadine is called a Monaco [fr].


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).[13] It is a typical Chilean drink served in traditional pubs/diners ("fuentes de soda" in Spanish)[14]

Variants made with added liquor[edit]

The Bavarian Goaßnmaß (goat stein) is a 50/50 or 60/40 mixture of dark wheat beer 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. A version with two slices of diced head cheese is called Güllemaß.[15] The infamous "Schneemaß" is not really a shandy, as it doesn't contain any beer.

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

The Cola Weizen is half Weissbier combined with an equal measure of cola.

The Mass und Schuss is a litre 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[citation needed] reverse depth charge.

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 ale.[16]
  • France: A rock shandy from French chef Jacques Pépin is made with Rose's lime juice, Angostura bitters, sparkling water, and ice.[17]
  • 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.[18] 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.[19]
  • 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 commercialised 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.
  • United Kingdom: In the UK an alcoholic drink is any drink with an alcohol content of more than 0.5%, as a result shandy sold in shops is not subject to alcohol licensing law.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "shandy | Origin and meaning of shandy by Online Etymology Dictionary".
  2. ^ "A Guide to Citrus Beer: What is a Shandy and a Radler?". KegWorks Blog. 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  3. ^ "Radler". Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Radler". Projekt Gutenberg: Lena Christ, Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen / 1; first published 1912. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  5. ^ "Radler (The Bicyclist): Radler (The Beer)". Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  6. ^ Krause, Nick (14 July 2011). "DB wins its battle over Radler beer". Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  7. ^ Law, Tina (25 May 2009). "Backward move in brewers' blue". Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Russ". Bayrisches Bier (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Shandygaff". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Sneeuwwitje". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Getting to the bottom of lager tops". Liverpool Echo. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Lager top". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  13. ^ Jared Romey: Speaking Chileno: A Guide to Chilean Slang, p. 60, RIL Editores, 2010
  14. ^ Strand, Oliver (21 August 2015). "At Las Cabras in Santiago, Pedigree Is All". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Güllemaß", (in German)
  16. ^ Malawi shandy., Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  17. ^ Rock Shandy,, Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  18. ^ Spezi home page,, Retrieved: 2011-02-01.
  19. ^ "Club Rock Shandy". 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  20. ^ "Licensing Act 2003". Retrieved 15 November 2021.

External links[edit]