Rock Shandy Cocktail Recipe

Angostura Bitters
Didier Descouens/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
Ratings (23)
  • Total: 2 mins
  • Prep: 2 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 drink (1 serving)

Looking for a low-alcohol drink that's refreshing and not too sweet? The answer became clear during a travel to South Africa: 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. Pour the soda water and lemonade into the glass.

  2. Add the Angostura bitters and mix well.

  3. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon.

  4. Serve ice cold.


As with most recipes, there are always a few fun ways to change up the flavors and make them more personalized. Below are some slight variations on the traditional rock shandy mocktail that might appeal to your tastebuds:

  • 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 (we understand what it's like to try and balance work, kids, spouses, family, friends, and pets, and store-bought products 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're wanting to turn this mocktail into a cocktail, we have just the thing for you; add one shot of vodka to the recipe outlined above and stir gently. In no time, you'll have yourself an adult-version of a rock shandy to enjoy when you need a little something more with your refreshing beverage.

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.  Due to the subtropical and dessert climates that can be found in South Africa, it's not hard to understand why this beverage is an ideal option.