What is Shandy

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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A shandy is a combination drink that is refreshing and quite popular in the summer and isn’t as alcoholic as many other sunshine cocktails.

What is Shandy?

A shandy is a drink that is composed of half beer and half of a non-alcoholic drink. Since half the drink is beer, shandies are alcoholic, and not gluten-free, unless a gluten-free beer is used. However, the alcohol content in bottled or canned shandies is typically very low.

A summer shandy is usually made with lemonade, although many breweries now make a style of summer shandy that is simply lemon- or citrus-flavored. Although these beverages were initially popular in Europe, they are now widely available and sought after in North America as well. There are many different variations of shandies, such as making a sloe gin that holds the classic foam of sloe gin fizz without the egg white. Sometimes, lemon-lime soda is used instead of lemonade, and other versions even use ginger beer. Traditional shandies are more often seen in Britain, the US, and Australia. However, different flavor variations exist all over the world.


Although it will differ from brand to brand, on average, it will have 130 calories per 12 ounces, which includes 12 grams of carbs.

Radler vs. Shandy

Let us take a look at the differences between Radler vs shandy.

  • A Radler and a shandy are almost identical. Many people actually believe that they mean the same thing.
  • As a category, a shandy is wider, including versions made with ginger beer or fresh juices. Radler typically refers to only citrus-based flavors.
  • The Radler originated in Germany and was traditionally beer halved with carbonated lemonade, which is very close to its British counterpart made with lemonade.
  • In recent years, since the craft brewing industry has taken shandy to mean lemon-flavored, low ABV beer, Radler has also become synonymous with a low ABV, grapefruit-flavored beer.

How to Make?

Let us take a look at how to make this drink!

  • Step 1: Start with a light beer. Wheat beer, light lagers, or pilsners are good styles to use for this combination drink.
  • Step 2: Make your lemonade. If using store-bought lemonade, try to pick one with low sugar content, to avoid too much sweetness in the final drink.
  • Step 3: Pour 6 ounces of beer into your glass. Top it off with 6 ounces of lemonade.
  • Step 4: Enjoy this refreshing drink chilled.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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