A shandy is a classic British beer cocktail that has been served up as a refreshing tonic on a hot day for well over 150 years. It was originally made with beer and ginger ale, but the ginger ale has been replaced with lemon soda or lemonade over time as palates changed.
This recipe is a newer variation using grapefruit juice or soda. Even with just two ingredients, it’s a super quick and simple cocktail that doesn’t hold back on flavor.
Grapefruit and Beer Recommendations
Grapefruit juice or soda instead of the lemon soda or lemonade will lend your shandy a sweet and sour flavor with just a touch of floral aroma. Whether you use fresh grapefruit juice, store-bought grapefruit juice, or sparkling grapefruit soda, all pair well with a light, lager-style beer.
- If you are juicing fresh grapefruits, use a sweet variety, like an Oro Blanco, Rio Red, or any light pink variety. White grapefruit is more bitter, which clashes with the already bitter beer.
- For this cocktail, I recommend a hefeweizen—it has a light citrus flavor with lots of bubbles. But if that’s not available near you, a pilsner is also a great option. I’d go with Carlsberg for its crisp, citrusy flavor.
Grapefruit Shandy Sounds a Lot Like…
Now, if a grapefruit shandy sounds a lot like the German radler or a French panaché, you are correct! The radler consists of half beer and half lemon or grapefruit soda. Similarly, a panaché has lemon soda. With the shandy, the proportions of beer to juice or soda are more flexible, plus you don’t have to use a carbonated soda, it can be a juice.
How to Serve a Grapefruit Shandy
A tall, roomy glass, like a standard pint glass will hold this drink nicely. A Collins glass, which holds 12 ounces, is also a great option.
Ice or no ice? Traditionally, a shandy is served without ice. Make sure everything is chilled well: glasses, beer, and grapefruit juice or soda. If you’d like to quickly chill the drink, fill the glass about halfway with ice and then slowly pour in your ingredients and give it a stir. But know that adding ice will water it down a bit, depending on how slowly you drink it.
A slice of grapefruit and a sprig of mint make for fragrant garnishes.
For When it’s Hot Outside
Both grapefruit juice and grapefruit soda are acceptable. Sodas have added sugars, while the sweetness of freshly squeezed or store-bought grapefruit juices vary. If your grapefruit juice is sour, consider adding 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.
4 ounces light wheat beer, chilled
3 ounces grapefruit juice or soda, chilled
Fresh grapefruit slice, for garnish (optional)
Fresh mint sprig, for garnish (optional)
Combine the ingredients and serve:
In a 12-ounce glass, pour in the beer and grapefruit juice or soda. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and mint, if desired. Serve cold.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 31mg||155%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|