Rock Shandy Cocktail

Angostura bitters
Didier Descouens/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 drink (1 serving)

Looking for a low-alcohol drink that's refreshing and not too sweet? The answer from South Africa is clear: a popular local beverage that combines soda water, lemonade, and Angostura bitters.


  • Ice (for mixing)
  • 4 ounces soda water (or sparkling mineral water)
  • 4 ounces lemonade
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters (or to taste)
  • 1 lemon slice

Steps to Make It

  1. Fill a large balloon glass or highball glass with ice.

  2. Pour the soda water and lemonade into the glass.

  3. Add the Angostura bitters and mix well.

  4. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon.

  5. Serve ice cold.


  • Homemade Lemonade: Switch things up by making a batch of fresh-squeezed, homemade lemonade to use in this rock shandy recipe, instead of the standard store-bought variety. While we have nothing against store-bought products (which can be super helpful when in a time crunch), making a fresh batch of homemade lemonade is a great way to really provide an additional pop of bright, citrusy flavor to this delicious shandy. Especially during the summer months, this slight adjustment will really create a more refreshing beverage for you to enjoy.
  • Something Sweeter: Looking for something sweeter? Replace the soda water that this recipe calls for with ginger ale. The ginger ale will provide a little bit of that sweetness that you're craving, without taking it over the edge like some non-alcoholic beverages - otherwise known as mocktails - can.
  • Make It a Cocktail: If you want to turn this mocktail into a cocktail, add one shot of vodka to the recipe above and stir gently.

All About Shandies

Centuries ago, a shandy was originally known as a shandygaff in England and was made with beer and unsweetened lemonade. The drink quickly spread to British colonies who developed their own versions with native ingredients like the ginger beer used in the Caribbean shandy. 

The sweetness and powerful alcoholic punch are intentionally left out of a shandy, creating more of a tangy beverage that is refreshing and meant to cool people down and not get them tipsy. Given the subtropical and desert climates that can be found in South Africa, it's not hard to understand why this beverage is an ideal choice.