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The grapefruit shandy is the most refreshing, citrusy beer cocktail! This drink is at its best homemade with a few simple ingredients.

Grapefruit shandy

Sure, you can buy grapefruit shandy at the store…but have you ever had one homemade? The shandy is a beer cocktail with hundreds of years of history. Nope, this concept was not invented by Leinenkugel! Adding a mixer to your beer is a concept that goes back centuries. The grapefruit shandy is a spin on a shandy using fresh squeezed juice or soda, and it comes out beautifully refreshing: perfect for summer sipping! Here’s how to make it at home.

What is a shandy?

A shandy is a European beer cocktail invented in Britain in the mid-1800’s. The word come from the name shandygaff: the term for beer mixed with ginger beer or ginger ale. It’s popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and is sometimes known as the French name Panaché. Here are a few things to note about the shandy:

  • Why water down your beer? The shandy is to beer exactly what a spritzer is to wine! There are two reasons to add a mixer to your beer: it tastes great and it’s a low alcohol drink, which makes it hydrating in warm weather.
  • What’s a traditional shandy? A traditional shandy or shandygaff uses ginger beer or ginger ale. In Britain today, if you order a shandy at a bar you’ll likely get beer mixed with lemon or lemon lime soda. The grapefruit shandy is an American invention (so don’t try to order it in the UK). Speaking of…

How to make a grapefruit shandy

The grapefruit shandy is an American invention based on the Leinenkugel product of the same name. Of course as we mentioned above, the Leinenkugel product is a spin off on the traditional British shandy from the mid-1800’s. You can make a homemade grapefruit shandy with grapefruit soda, but it’s even more fun to make homemade grapefuit soda using fresh grapefruit juice. To make a grapefruit shandy, you’ll need:

Simply mix together the homemade grapefruit soda ingredients in a glass, then add the beer. It all comes together with a light, refreshing citrus flavor: perfect for summer…or really anytime!

Grapefruit shandy

The type of beer to use

The best beer for a grapefruit shandy? Wheat beer is our preference. The flavor is complex but not hoppy, which works well with the sweet tart citrus of the grapefruit. Of course, you can use any American lager for this drink. We used 3 Floyds Gumballhead when we made this one, and it was perfect. Try to find a craft wheat beer that’s local to your area, if possible.

It’s complex but not hoppy, which goes hand in hand with the zing of lemon. You can use any American lager, but wheat beer is best. We used 3 Floyds Gumballhead for our summer shandy, and it was perfect.

Shandy variations

Once you’ve tried this grapefruit shandy, there are a few more variations on this tasty drink! Here are a few options for you to make next:

Summer shandy

More grapefruit cocktails

Got grapefruit? This citrus is perfect in cocktails of all kinds! Pick from some of these favorite grapefruit cocktails:

When to serve a grapefruit shandy

A grapefruit shandy is perfect for summer, but it works anytime you need a little sunny boost! Drink it as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink

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Grapefruit shandy

Grapefruit Shandy

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The grapefruit shandy is the most refreshing, citrusy beer cocktail! This drink is at its best homemade with a few simple ingredients. 


  • 1 ounce* simple syrup
  • 3 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • 6 ounces craft wheat beer (or light beer)
  • For the garnish: grapefruit wedge (optional)


  1. In a beer glass, stir the simple syrup and grapefruit juice.
  2. Add the soda water and beer and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and serve.


*1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Grapefruit shandy

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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