A mixture of ale and ginger beer. Known since the late 18th Century. See also: Shandy
Christopher Morley's 1918 story collection called 'Shandygaff' describes the drink as "commonly drunk by the lower classes in England, and by strolling tinkers, low church parsons, newspaper men, journalists, and prizefighters. Said to have been invented by Henry VIII as a solace for his matrimonial difficulties. It is believed that a continual bibbing of shandygaff saps the will, the nerves, the resolution, and the finer faculties, but there are those who will abide no other tipple."
Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)
A PLEASANT DRINK FOR WARM WEATHER.
1836. INGREDIENTS: To every 1-1/2 pint of good ale allow 1 bottle of ginger beer. Mode: For this beverage the ginger beer must be in an effervescing state, and the beer not in the least turned or sour. Mix them together, and drink immediately. The draught is refreshing and wholesome, as the ginger corrects the action of the beer. It does not deteriorate by standing a little, but, of course, is better when taken fresh.
The terrifyng effects of Shandygaff
Bell's New Weekly Messenger - Sunday 17 April 1842
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