Snakebite (drink)

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Snakebite alcoholic beverage.jpg
Type Mixed drink
  • Without ice
Standard drinkware
Pint Glass (Mixing).svg
Pint glass
Commonly used ingredients
  • One part beer
  • One part cider
Preparation Mix in equal volumes in a standard pint glass

Traditionally, in the United Kingdom, a snakebite is an alcoholic drink made with equal parts of lager and cider with a dash of blackcurrant cordial. Through the seventies and early eighties, bar staff included the blackcurrant cordial less and less until customers became fed up complaining and began asking for a "snakebite & black".

Today (2017), most people think of a snakebite as just equal parts of lager and cider, asking for a "snakebite and black" if they want it the traditional way with a dash of blackcurrant cordial.

Stout may be used instead of lager in the United States.[1]

Snakebite with the blackcurrant included is also known by the names Pink Panther[2] and diesel, and in West Yorkshire as Gaylord. [3][4] A stronger variant involves the addition of a shot of vodka, known as a turbo diesel.[5][6]

Availability in the UK[edit]

Snakebite is typically served in pints. Serving a snakebite from separate cider and lager taps or bottles is not illegal in the UK, despite sources that suggest otherwise.[7] In 2001, former US President Bill Clinton was refused a snakebite when he ordered one at the Old Bell Tavern in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Pub manager Jamie Allen said "It's illegal to serve it here in the UK."[8]

Snakebite is also the traditional drink of several universities; it is known as a Purple at the University of Warwick, a Nasty at Loughborough University, and a "Snakey B" at the University of East Anglia. Its colour lends its name to Purple Wednesday, the official student night at Portsmouth University.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Shop, Brooklyn Brew. "Beer Cocktail: Snakebite". Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Why is it that some pubs wont serve snakebite? (3/4 cider, topped up with lager and blackcurrant) Does it cause a dangerous chemical reaction or something? - Notes and Queries -". Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Snakebite And Black recipe". Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  4. ^ "Diesel recipe". Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  5. ^ "Turbo Diesel". Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Wilkins, Nick. "Turbo Diesel Cocktail Recipe". Make me a cocktail. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  7. ^ Archived September 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Clinton in Harrogate". Harrogate Advertiser. June 15, 2001. Retrieved 2010-09-19.