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

A snakebite is an alcoholic drink. Traditionally, in the United Kingdom it is 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".

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]

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.[2] 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".[3]

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. ^ Archived September 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Clinton in Harrogate". Harrogate Advertiser. June 15, 2001. Retrieved 2010-09-19.