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A Shandy For The Wine-Lover’s Soul


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Bridgette Natale



Food travel is a delightful way to explore different cultures, and one aspect that often goes hand in hand with culinary adventures is the discovery of unique and refreshing beverages. One such beverage that has gained popularity among travel enthusiasts and drink connoisseurs alike is the shandy.


Originating from Europe, the shandy is a beverage that combines beer with other ingredients to create a refreshing and flavorful drink. Traditionally, it is made by mixing beer with carbonated lemonade or other soft drinks. However, the world of shandy has expanded, and there are now countless variations and flavors to explore.


While shandies may be enjoyed by anyone, they are particularly appealing to those with a penchant for wine. With the rise of craft beers and the increasing interest in mixology, wine-based shandies have also become a popular option for those looking to indulge in a unique and tasty concoction.


In this article, we will delve into the world of shandies and explore the different varieties available. We will also discuss the art of creating the perfect shandy at home and uncover the health benefits they offer. Additionally, we will provide tips on pairing shandies with food and even explore the realm of shandy cocktails.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a tantalizing journey where beer meets fruity and refreshing flavors, join us as we explore the world of shandies and discover a new way to delight your taste buds.


The Origins of Shandy

The origins of shandy can be traced back to Europe, particularly to the United Kingdom and Germany. The term “shandy” is believed to have derived from the word “shandygaff,” which was used to refer to a mixture of beer and ginger ale or lemonade.


In the UK, shandy has a long history and is commonly associated with warm summer days. It is often enjoyed as a refreshing and light alternative to straight beer. The tradition of mixing beer with lemonade or other soft drinks is said to have emerged in the late 19th century among workers in British pubs who wanted to dilute their beer to make it more thirst-quenching.


In Germany, the shandy is known as “radler,” which translates to “cyclist” in English. The radler was first created in the early 20th century when a Bavarian innkeeper served a mix of beer and lemon soda to thirsty cyclists. This mixture was believed to help rehydrate and energize the cyclists during their journeys.


Over the years, shandies have evolved and become popular in other parts of the world as well. Different countries have put their spin on the classic shandy recipe, incorporating local ingredients and flavors. Today, you can find shandies made with various fruit juices, sodas, and even herbal infusions.


While the original concept of mixing beer and a non-alcoholic beverage remains at the core of shandies, the creativity and variety have expanded. Craft breweries and mixologists have embraced the concept, experimenting with different flavor combinations and tapping into the growing market of beer enthusiasts looking for innovative and refreshing options.


The popularity of shandies has surged in recent years, with bars and restaurants worldwide offering their unique take on the beverage. Shandy festivals and events have also become common, celebrating the diversity of flavors and the joy of combining beer with other ingredients.


With its rich history spanning continents and its ability to quench thirst on hot summer days, the shandy has cemented its place as a beloved beverage known for its versatility and delicious taste.


Exploring Different Shandy Varieties

One of the most exciting aspects of shandies is the wide range of flavors and combinations available. From traditional beer and lemonade mixes to unique fruit-infused creations, there is a shandy variety to suit every taste. Let’s explore some popular shandy variations:

  1. Classic Shandy: The classic shandy combines beer with lemonade or a carbonated soft drink. This combination offers a refreshing and slightly sweet taste, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter and less bitter beer experience.
  2. Fruit Shandy: Fruit shandies are a delightful twist on the classic recipe. They incorporate the flavors of various fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits, or tropical fruits, to create a vibrant and tangy beverage. These shandies are perfect for those who enjoy a burst of fruity goodness alongside their beer.
  3. Ginger Shandy: For those who prefer a spicier flavor, ginger shandies are a fantastic option. These shandies combine the zing of ginger with beer, creating a unique and invigorating taste sensation. The spicy kick of the ginger adds complexity and depth to the beverage.
  4. Craft Beer Shandy: Craft breweries have embraced the shandy concept, creating their own unique variations with their signature beers. These craft beer shandies often incorporate local ingredients, unique flavors, and hoppy brews to appeal to beer enthusiasts looking for something different.
  5. Herbal Shandy: An emerging trend in the world of shandies is the infusion of herbs and botanicals. Shandies featuring herbs like mint, rosemary, or basil offer a refreshing and aromatic twist to the traditional recipe. These herbal shandies are perfect for those seeking a truly unique flavor combination.

These are just a few examples of the diverse array of shandy varieties available. Each one offers a unique taste experience, combining the flavors of beer with other ingredients to create a harmonious blend of flavors. Whether you prefer a classic shandy or are interested in exploring more adventurous combinations, there is a shandy out there to satisfy your cravings.


Craft Beers for Shandy Lovers

For beer enthusiasts looking to elevate their shandy experience, craft beers provide a wide variety of flavorful options. Craft breweries have been pushing the boundaries of traditional beer styles, experimenting with unique ingredients and brewing techniques. Here are some craft beer styles that complement shandies exceptionally well:

  1. Wheat Beers: Wheat beers, such as Hefeweizen or Belgian Witbier, are great choices for shandies due to their light and refreshing nature. These beers possess a smooth and slightly fruity flavor profile, which pairs well with various mixers and enhances the overall taste of the shandy.
  2. Blonde Ales: Blonde ales are known for their crisp and clean profiles, making them versatile options for shandy lovers. Their balance of malt sweetness and subtle hop bitterness adds depth to a shandy without overpowering the other ingredients.
  3. Saisons/Farmhouse Ales: Saisons and farmhouse ales are often characterized by their complex and spicy flavors. These beers can contribute earthy and peppery notes to shandies, adding a distinctive twist to the traditional mix.
  4. Fruit-infused Beers: Craft breweries frequently experiment with adding fruits to their brews, resulting in fruit-infused beers that are perfect for shandy enthusiasts. Beers infused with citrus fruits, berries, or tropical fruits provide a natural and vibrant flavor enhancement to shandy mixes.
  5. Sour Beers: Sour beers offer a unique twist on traditional shandies. Their tart and acidic qualities provide a refreshing contrast to sweet mixers, creating a well-balanced and tangy flavor experience.

When selecting craft beers for shandies, it’s essential to consider the intensity of flavors in both the beer and the chosen mixer. Experimentation is key in creating the perfect harmony of flavors. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different combinations to find the shandy that suits your taste preferences.


Many craft breweries now produce their own shandy variations by mixing their beers with various mixers, providing ready-to-drink options for those seeking convenience without compromising on quality. These pre-made craft beer shandies can be a great way to explore different flavors and support local breweries.


So, whether you visit a craft beer brewery or explore the craft beer section in your local store, there are endless possibilities to discover and enjoy when combining craft beers with shandies. Take a sip, savor the flavors, and let your taste buds embark on an adventure.


Wine-Based Shandies: A New Trend

While beer has traditionally been the base for shandies, a new trend has emerged in the world of shandies – wine-based versions. Wine-based shandies offer a unique and sophisticated twist on the classic recipe, catering to wine lovers seeking to explore new flavor combinations. Let’s delve into this exciting trend:


The popularity of wine-based shandies can be attributed to the increasing interest in mixology and the desire for innovative and refreshing beverage options. These shandies often feature white or rosé wines as the base, lending their distinct flavors and aromas to the mix. The wine acts as a versatile canvas, allowing for endless possibilities when it comes to pairing with other ingredients.


One popular combination for wine-based shandies is to mix white wine with sparkling water or soda. This creates a lighter and fizzier version of traditional wine, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy the effervescence of a carbonated drink. The bubbles add a refreshing quality to the wine, making it an ideal summer sipper.


Rosé wine is also commonly used in wine-based shandies, complementing its fruity and crisp characteristics. By adding a touch of fruit juice, such as raspberry or grapefruit, the shandy takes on a vibrant and tangy flavor profile. These fruity wine-based shandies are ideal for those who enjoy a sweeter and fruit-forward taste experience.


Wine-based shandies allow for endless experimentation with flavors and ingredients. For example, a combination of red wine, ginger ale, and a splash of citrus juice results in a delightful and invigorating blend. The wine adds depth and richness, while the ginger ale and citrus juice provide a zesty and refreshing kick.


Another exciting aspect of wine-based shandies is the opportunity to incorporate herbs and botanicals. Adding fresh herbs like basil or thyme can enhance the complexity of the shandy, creating a sensory experience that is both aromatic and flavorful. This unique twist elevates the overall drinking experience and adds a touch of elegance to the beverage.


Wine-based shandies offer a delightful alternative for wine enthusiasts, combining the sophistication of wine with the refreshing qualities of a shandy. Whether you’re at a wine tasting event, enjoying a picnic, or simply looking to impress friends with a creative and delicious concoction, wine-based shandies are sure to satisfy your thirst for something new and exciting.


So, grab a bottle of your favorite wine, summon your creativity, and embark on a flavorful journey as you explore the world of wine-based shandies. Cheers to the fusion of wine and shandy – a trend that is here to stay.


Creating the Perfect Shandy at Home

Creating your own shandy at home allows you to tailor the flavors to your liking and experiment with different combinations. Whether you prefer a classic beer and lemonade mix or want to venture into wine-based shandies, here are some tips to help you create the perfect shandy at home:

Choose Your Base:

Decide on the base of your shandy. For a classic beer-based shandy, select a beer that suits your taste preferences. Lighter beers, such as lagers or wheat beers, work well as they provide a balanced flavor profile that pairs nicely with mixers. If you prefer a wine-based shandy, choose a white, rosé, or even red wine depending on your desired flavor profile.

Experiment with Mixers:

Get creative with your mixers. In a beer-based shandy, lemonade, ginger ale, and soda are common choices. Adjust the ratio of beer to mixer to find the perfect balance of flavors. For wine-based shandies, consider adding sparkling water or soda, fruit juices, or even herbal infusions. Play around with different combinations to find your favorite blend.

Consider Flavor Enhancements:

Consider adding flavor enhancements to your shandy. Fresh citrus slices or herbs like mint or basil can add a refreshing twist. Experiment with adding fruit purees, syrups, or even a dash of bitters to enhance the complexity of the shandy’s flavors. Don’t be afraid to get creative and personalize your shandy to your taste preferences.

Serve it Chilled:

A key aspect of enjoying a shandy is its chilled and refreshing nature. Ensure your beer or wine and the mixers are cold before mixing them together. Serve your shandy in a chilled glass with ice for an extra refreshing experience. The cold temperature enhances the flavors and makes it the perfect beverage for hot summer days or casual gatherings.

Garnish and Presentation:

Give your shandy an extra touch of style by garnishing it with a fruit slice, a sprig of mint, or a sugar rim. Presentation plays a significant role in the overall enjoyment, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your garnishes. Consider using a fancy glassware or a fun and colorful straw to enhance the visual appeal of your creation.


Creating the perfect shandy at home allows you to unleash your inner mixologist and tailor the flavors to your liking. It’s a fun and creative way to enjoy your favorite beer or wine while adding a refreshing twist. So, gather your ingredients, let your imagination run wild, and embark on a shandy-making adventure in the comfort of your own home.


The Health Benefits of Drinking Shandies

Drinking shandies not only offers a refreshing and enjoyable beverage experience but also provides some potential health benefits. Let’s explore the positive aspects of indulging in a shandy or two:


One of the primary benefits of drinking shandies is hydration. The inclusion of mixers like lemonade, fruit juices, or sparkling water helps to increase the overall fluid intake. This is particularly beneficial on hot summer days or after engaging in physical activities when staying hydrated is crucial for proper bodily function.

Lower Alcohol Content:

Compared to drinking beer or wine on their own, shandies typically have a lower alcohol content. Mixing beer or wine with non-alcoholic beverages dilutes the alcohol concentration, making it a suitable choice for those who prefer a lighter alcoholic beverage. This can be advantageous for individuals who want to enjoy a drink without being overwhelmed by the effects of higher alcohol content.

Antioxidant Properties:

Certain ingredients used in shandies, such as citrus fruits or berries, are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals, which are known to contribute to various diseases and accelerate aging. By incorporating antioxidant-rich ingredients into your shandy, you can potentially boost your body’s defense mechanisms and support overall health.

Vitamin and Mineral Intake:

Depending on the mixers used, shandies can provide a source of essential vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits like lemons or limes, often found in shandy recipes, are packed with vitamin C, which supports immune function and promotes collagen formation. Additionally, fruits and herbal add-ins can contribute other vitamins and minerals, adding a nutritional boost to your drink.

Enjoyment and Relaxation:

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle includes opportunities for indulgence and relaxation. Enjoying a shandy can be a source of pleasure and relaxation, allowing you to unwind and savor the moment. Taking time to appreciate and enjoy your drink can contribute to overall well-being and provide a mental escape from the demands of daily life.


While shandies can offer potential health benefits, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and be mindful of individual tolerance to alcohol. Excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects, so please drink responsibly.


So, sit back, relax, and savor a shandy, knowing that you are not only enjoying a delicious and refreshing beverage but also potentially reaping some health benefits along the way.


Shandy Pairing: Finding the Right Match

Just like food and wine, finding the right pairing for your shandy can elevate your drinking experience to a whole new level. By considering the flavors and characteristics of your shandy, you can enhance the taste profiles and create a harmonious combination. Here are some tips for shandy pairing:

Complementing Flavors:

When pairing a shandy with food, it’s important to consider complementary flavors. For example, a citrusy shandy with lemonade or lime can pair beautifully with seafood dishes, as the tartness of the citrus cuts through the richness of the seafood. Similarly, a fruity shandy can complement desserts with berry or tropical flavors.

Contrasting Flavors:

On the other hand, contrasting flavors can create an exciting and dynamic pairing. For example, a crisp and hoppy beer-based shandy pairs well with spicy or savory dishes, balancing the heat and intensifying the flavors. The contrast of flavors adds complexity and keeps the palate engaged.

Balancing Intensity:

Consider the intensity of both the shandy and the food when pairing. Lighter shandies, such as those with a higher mixer-to-beer ratio or utilizing white wine, pair well with light and delicate dishes, like salads or grilled vegetables. Bolder shandies or those made with red wine can stand up to heartier dishes like burgers or barbecued meats.

Regional Pairings:

Consider regional pairings, especially if you are exploring traditional or craft beer shandies. Experiment with pairing shandies from specific regions with foods that are native to those areas. For example, a German radler pairs well with sausages and pretzels, while a British shandy can complement fish and chips.

Personal Preferences:

Ultimately, personal taste preferences play a significant role in shandy pairing. Trust your instincts and experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you. Take note of your favorite pairings and use them as a guide for future shandy and food combinations.


Whether you’re enjoying a shandy with a meal or as a standalone drink, the right pairing can enhance the flavors and create a delightful experience. Play around with different flavors, experiment with regional combinations, and let your taste buds guide you as you discover the perfect shandy pairing.


Shandy Cocktails: Taking it to the Next Level

If you’re looking to elevate your shandy experience, why not venture into the realm of shandy cocktails? Shandy cocktails offer a creative and exciting way to enjoy the refreshing flavors of a shandy while incorporating additional spirits and flavors. Here are some ideas to take your shandy to the next level:

Shandy Margarita:

Combine the classic flavors of a margarita with the light and refreshing qualities of a shandy. Mix beer, lime juice, tequila, and a touch of simple syrup for a tangy and vibrant shandy margarita. Rim the glass with salt, and garnish with a lime wedge for the ultimate summer cocktail.

Shandy Sangria:

Transform your shandy into a fruity and aromatic sangria. Combine red wine, citrus juice, chopped fruits, and a splash of soda or sparkling water with your favorite beer for a refreshing twist on this traditional Spanish cocktail. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh fruit slices.

Shandy Mojito:

Give your shandy a zing with a Mojito twist. Muddle fresh mint leaves and lime juice with a touch of simple syrup. Then, mix in your choice of rum, beer, and a splash of soda water to create a flavorful and refreshing shandy Mojito. Garnish with a mint sprig for added freshness.

Shandy Martini:

For a sophisticated shandy cocktail, try a shandy martini. Combine a crisp and effervescent shandy with your choice of vodka or gin in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a twist of lemon or a few berries for an elegant touch.

Shandy Mule:

Put a shandy twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Mix beer, ginger beer, vodka, and a squeeze of lime juice for a refreshing and bubbly shandy mule. Serve over ice in a copper mug and garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint leaves.


Remember, the beauty of shandy cocktails lies in their versatility and creativity. Feel free to experiment with different spirits, mixers, and garnishes to create your own unique shandy cocktail concoctions. The possibilities are endless, and you can tailor the flavors to your liking.


So, shake, stir, and craft your way to a memorable shandy cocktail experience. Step outside the traditional boundaries and let your imagination run wild as you create delicious and refreshing shandy cocktails that will impress your friends and elevate your drinking adventures.



Exploring the world of shandies is a delightful journey that combines the enjoyment of beer or wine with a myriad of flavors and ingredients. Whether you prefer a classic beer-based shandy, a wine-based twist, or venturing into the realm of shandy cocktails, there is something to suit every palate.


With origins in Europe, shandies have evolved over time and have become a global phenomenon. Craft breweries and mixologists are constantly pushing the boundaries, experimenting with new flavors and combinations to offer a wide range of shandy options. From traditional beer and lemonade mixes to wine-based shandies infused with fruits and herbs, the possibilities are endless.


Drinking shandies not only provides refreshment and enjoyment but can also offer potential health benefits. Shandies are a great way to stay hydrated, especially in warm weather, and lower alcohol content makes them a lighter option for those who want to have a drink without the higher alcohol effects.


Pairing a shandy with food can enhance the overall dining experience, whether through complementary or contrasting flavors. Consider the characteristics of your shandy, the intensity of the flavors, and personal preferences to find the perfect match. And for those looking to take their shandy experience to the next level, shandy cocktails offer a creative and exciting avenue to explore.


So, whether you’re sipping on a classic shandy or indulging in a unique shandy cocktail, the world of shandies invites you to embark on a refreshing and flavorful adventure. Let your taste buds guide you as you discover new combinations, elevate your drinking experience, and enjoy the delightful fusion of beer or wine with a variety of ingredients.


Cheers to the wonderful world of shandies, where creativity and flavors collide, and every sip promises a delightful and refreshing experience!