Italian Shandy – just add Campari

May 1, 2014

‘I have a head for business, and a bod for sin …’ 

There I go, talking about myself again.

Well, it’s actually a quote from Mike Nichols’ clever 1988 rom-com Working Girl.

The quote – which Melanie Griffith cooed to Harrison Ford in a bar – came to mind when I was sneaking in another favourite summer drink before the temperature plummets.

I’ve long been a Shandy drinker, much to the horror of friends who are serious about their craft beers. So I was thrilled when I found a recipe that changed the lemonade/beer combination into something Italian/Australian, something friends couldn’t snigger at.  CampariShandy

The Campari Shandy is a great discovery. When you’ve worked through the frothy foam on top, you get to the slinky, sexy stuff beneath. Just like the scene in the film.

I first heard the word Shandy used in relation to the ‘Ladies Lounge’ signs I’d seen in Sydney’s inner-west pubs. Gender segregation in Australian pubs banned women from the public bar to the lounge prior to the 1970s and Shandies were popular drinks. By the time I was old enough to experience a Ladies’ Lounge, the bans were lifted following mass protests by women, a few even chaining themselves to bar rails.

I don’t think Italy has Shandies, so I don’t know how Italians would feel about their favourite bitter-sweet aperitif being mixed with beer. It might be too, too much for the purists upset by the decision in 2006 by the Campari company to stop using crushed cochineal beetles following pressure from vegetarian groups.

Then again, those who are unhappy about the ‘new’ Campari and claim that it’s one-dimensional and has lost its three distinct layers, are moving to Aperol in protest and probably wouldn’t care about the new, chemically coloured Campari smothered with a few glugs of beer.

Campari Shandy for one:

. 50 ml Campari

. 300 ml light-coloured beer

. 1 lemon or lime wedge

Pour the beer over the Campari – obviously.

PS – The late, great Roger Ebert loved Working Girl too.







  1. Campari and beer?! One of the craziest combinations I have heard and it might actually be brilliant. So I will try it on the weekend at home (not sure if I dare ask for it publicly)

    • Well, I think it’s brilliant anyway. Adds an interesting note to the beer. Hope you enjoy it Paola.

  2. Way to go! I love a risk taker. How else would we get new ideas, if folks didn’t experiment.

    • Wish I could claim this invention, but I actually saw it on social media. But I agree, we have to push the boundaries sometimes.

  3. Very sophisticated………Darlink

  4. Mmmm – sounds good. Will definitely try this with some HAMMERTON BEER! Keep meaning to post a picture up of some Chocolate Bark with crushed sugared almonds my friend Cathy made after I forwarded your brilliant post about it. Happy weekend with your shandies!

    • Let me know what you think of the drink. Would love to see your friend’s version of the Sugared Almond bark – I’m about to make another batch soon. cheers!

  5. I’d forgotten that quote from Working Girl – makes me want to go and have an 80s film night. I love this idea – there’s bitterness in hops but sweetness too which would be fab with the Campari. Off to buy a bottle now.

    • Yes do try it. Hope you enjoy it. I’m still drinking it here in Sydney with its summery autumn

  6. Ha, no ladies in the bar … in the 1960s as a rebellious 18 year old, I wanted to buy a bottle of my aunt’s favourite liquor and deliberately walked thru the bar to the bottle shop … to dour looks from the very few men. I didn’t do it again – felt I’d made my statement – I didn’t like bars anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: