Got a beer, a soda or some juice, and a piece of fruit? Then you’ve got the makings of a pretty dandy shandy or a really refreshing radler. Popular in summer because of their lightness and low alcohol content, these easy beer cocktails work well with fall flavors, too. Read on to learn more about shandys and get a few variations we love.
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What is a Shandy?

A shandy is a beer cocktail usually made of equal parts beer and citrusy lemon-lime soda. A popular British pub drink, a shandy can be easily customized with the beer and soda of your choice — although if you want a traditional British shandy, you'll stick to the 50/50 beer and soda mix.

Germany has a version of this beer cocktail called a radler, which means "cyclist." Its origin story involves a hot day, a pack of thirsty Bavarian cyclists, and the owner of a beer garden who didn't have enough to go around so he got inventive with beer and lemon soda.

How do You Make a Shandy?

Pour ¾ cup beer and ¾ cup soda into a cold pint glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime if you wish. Drink. On a very thirsty day, you might repeat. You can tinker with the proportions to suit your taste, of course. A little more beer or a little more soda. You do your shandy your way.

three beer shandy cocktails in glasses
Credit: Brie Passano

A Basic Shandy + Three Variations

Start with this base recipe for Beer Shandies.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup beer
  • ¾ cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 slice lemon

Directions

  1. Pour beer and lemon-lime beverage into a pint glass, then garnish with lemon slice.

Three Easy Shandies

This flexible formula couldn't be simpler: Pour ¾ cup beer and ¾ cup soda (or juice or lemonade) into a pint glass, then garnish with a citrus slice, wedge, or twist.

Peary Good Shandy: A nutty/malty/smooth brown ale (such as Newcastle Brown Ale) + sparkling pear juice + a lemon twist + a pear slice.

Smokin' Cherry Radler: A chocolaty smoked porter (such as Bell's IV: To a Locomotive in Winter) + black cherry soda or cherry juice + a lime wedge.

Pumpkintop Shandy: A pumpkin ale (such as Southern Tier's Pumpking Imperial) + ginger beer + a squeeze of orange juice + an orange slice.

Related: Get more beer cocktail recipes, including beer margaritas and micheladas.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.

By Nichole Aksamit and Juli Hale