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Refreshing Drink: How to Make A Traditional English Shandy

Updated on June 14, 2014

Glass of Shandy

On a Hot Summer Day there is nothing quite as refreshing as a tall glass of Shandy.
On a Hot Summer Day there is nothing quite as refreshing as a tall glass of Shandy.

What is Shandy?

Shandy is possibly one of the easiest mixed drinks to make. It is just a mixture of Beer and a carbonated soft drink.

The English are always laughed at for their warm beer. But on a hot summer's day there is little as refreshing as a tall glass of Shandy.

The description below of how to make it, is my personal favorite method adapted for life here in the United States where some of the better known English products are less easily available.

Ingredients and Variations

For my Shandy beer base I like to use Newcastle Brown Ale. It is generally widely available in Supermarkets and Liqor Stores such as Bev Mo.

You can also replace the alcoholic Newcastle Brown Ale with a non alcoholic beer such as O'Doul's.

Many recipes call for a light beer or lager, personally I feel these beers are too light in flavor so when diluted with the soft drink one loses the beer flavor highlight.

In England we use carbonated Lemonade, this is not the same as American Lemonade or Crystal light. DO NOT try to make Shandy with American style Lemonade, it is not a good combination.

The closest products to English Lemonade on the US market are 7-UP and Sprite.

I personally prefer the Sprite-Newcastle combination. 7-UP is not quite as sweet and the beer can be very bitter to some.

Take a tall jug or picture you may cool it in the fridge if you wish, but DO NOT put ice in the jug. It causes the beer to froth violently. You may if you wish cool the beer too in the fridge.

Even I as an Englishman don't like my beer at room temperature when room temperature is 103 degrees F. on a California afternoon.

Pour one or two bottles of beer into the jug, one bottle will make about two and a half servings.

Then add your choice of 7-UP or Sprite, chilled,, in about equal parts. 1 beer to 1 Sprite.

You may add less Sprite if you prefer a stronger beer flavor, more if you like a sweeter drink.

Low Alcoholic

Shandy is a low alcoholic drink, it is nearly impossible to get drunk on the mixture, Shandy is even legally sold to minors in Britain. I myself gained a love of Shandy at a young age though I have never really developed a taste for beers.

If you take the non alcoholic beer variation. Shandy remains a very refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

If you would like to try a variety of English Traditional Soft Drinks, I can recommend the Fentiman's Variety Pack. Available from

I also love Fentiman's because their logo is the family's German Shepherd Dog!

Try this simple mixed drink. I am sure you will enjoy it's refreshing flavors.


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    • profile image

      elizabeth milwee 

      18 months ago

      Our favorite pub when we were in England used "hard" cider and their lemonade. So refreshing. My husband still will say "I'll have a pinta bitta, mate! I had to throw a shandy out on the ground the day I went to Whitchurch with my friend, they made it with beer.

    • profile image

      tukulal behera 

      4 years ago

      Ohhhhhh very sweet drinks

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks -- will definitely give this a try. I have a little noon connection -- any thoughts on a proper carbonated lemonade. One of my favorites when "across the pond".

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello Seeker7, thanks for stopping by.

      True about beer being served cold now in England. With the growth of lager in popularity it made refridgeration commonplace. Traditional beers are more commonly served room temperature so seened warm to American troops and airmen during World War Two. So I think that was a big cause of the reputation.

      Actually here in California, I even keep my Newcastle B in the fridge for a day or two before drinking, above 70 degrees it gets a bit explosive. :)

      I will second your comment about Warwick and the Midlands in general, a lovely part of England to visit or for the very lucky live.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      8 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Hi - by the way I love the dog photo - reminds me of my own looking out the window to see what's going on.

      I adore shandy! And you're spot on by using NewcastleB. I have tried the drink with Tennants Lager - that I love as well, especially with Babycham, I know that's odd but I never was conventional - but the NewcastleB and lemondade is wonderful and so refreshing. I remember on Hogmany being allowed a shandy even when we were quite young. My Dad and uncles had bought a barrel of Tartan Special Beer since we had a lot of friends joining us for New Year then. The shandy tasted great but when I was older I tried this again and it didn't taste the same at all. So I opted for NewcastleB.

      Where does the idea come from that English beer is warm? Some of my Dad's family live in Coventry and we have visited a lot over the years. Some of the pubs around there - especially in Warwick - are beautiful and the beer/lager and the shandy's are lovely and cold!

      Anyway, sorry about the novel. Loved this hub. Voted up.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello Bud, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Shandy is a very good drink even for non beer drinkers, because the addition of the "lemonade" can be used to dilute the strong beer flavors. Starting with lighter beers may be best, lagers etc may be the way to go.

      I'll think about some possible routes for some English culture/Food hubs. Thanks again.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      I'm not a fan of beer generally, either, with a few exceptions (all very dark), but this seems like something I would be up for trying. Thanks. I will give it a go, and I'd love to know about more English customs, especially with food and drink. I'll definitely be checking your hubs often.

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello kims3003, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you do get to try it, it's a great drink. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting - will have to try this. Nice work!

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello Sharyn, great to see you again.

      Cool Aid and wine sounds an interesting mix. Not sure what some of the California wine makers over the mountain from me might say. LOL

      All the best

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Ah, interesting hub Bret! I am not a beer drinker and also not a carbonated beverage drinker. How about Cool Aid and wine? Hmmmmm . . . just thought I'd say hi.


    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello spanishtoday, first welcome to the US. Thanks for leaving a comment, I agree Shandy is a very good drink for the BBQ.

      I personally don't have recipes for Snake Bite and Black, Do any other Hubbers know of good recipes for those drinks using readily available American ingredients? If you do please post them. Thanks.

    • spanishtoday profile image


      8 years ago

      Having just moved to the US I'm going to try this as soon as possible. It's especially good when there is a BBQ and you don't want to get too drunk.

      Do you also have a way to make Snake Bite and Black in the US?

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello Trish, Yes I agree, it took me several trials to recreate a good shandy over here.

      We do often assume things are the same everywhere. I think that is a universal idea.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment I appreciate that.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      It's surprising, to me, to think that there are nations who do not know about ~ or how to make ~ shandy :)

      It's a lovely drink ~ even, as you say, for those, like me, who are not keen on beer!

    • Bretsuki profile imageAUTHOR

      William Elliott 

      8 years ago from California USA

      Hello GracieLake, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Warm is relative with English beer, room temperature is more the true phrase, that can be 60 degrees in high summer and 32 degrees in winter. LOL But here in California today it was 103 that would be a big yuk from me too. LOL

    • GracieLake profile image


      8 years ago from Arizona

      I didn't know about a shandy, so thanks for posting. Also, I could never develop a taste for warm beer. Yuk.


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