With simply lemon-lime soda, grenadine syrup, and a maraschino cherry, this traditional Shirley Temple recipe couldn’t be simpler to create. In honor of the same-named child star, this refreshing mocktail is often reserved for the restaurant’s youngest patrons.
Interesting fact: Shirley Temple’s birthday party featured this non-alcoholic drink. It’s called after her because it’s charming and sugary, exactly like she was (even though she apparently didn’t enjoy the drink).
You probably had this super sweet, debatably delicious non-alcoholic drink as a kid, and while it’s often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a fun mocktail recipe, it doesn’t always have the best reputation among bartenders and cocktail lovers because of its sweetness and the common perception that it’s inappropriate for adults.
It has, however, slowed the progress of the artisan mocktail movement, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place. After all, it is the prototype of all mocktails.
Drink Alcoholic Liquor, Shirley Temple
The cocktail version of this mixed drink is simple to prepare because the original recipe calls for only a few inexpensive and readily available components.
The iconic Shirley Temple cocktail may be made for adults by mixing 2 ounces of vodka into a glass of Shirley Temple mix. Now you know how to make a Dirty Shirley, a simple alcoholic beverage.
Variations on the Shirley Temple
Today we’re focused on the basic cocktail version (and renowned mocktail version), but you can take this to the next level and “craft” it up by making it a somewhat more elegant drink. Recipes for Shirley Temple dishes as they are prepared now:
- Pomegranate juice can be used in place of the sugary ounce of pomegranate grenadine syrup. This will provide a little sour taste to reduce the sugar content.
- Produce your own pomegranate grenadine at home. Making your own grenadine gives you greater leeway in terms of sweetness while amplifying the pomegranate flavor, which is quite fascinating.
- Use diet lemon-lime soda or even club soda with fresh lime juice if the sweetness of a grenadine cocktail or the non-alcoholic soda drink variant is too much for you. This is a huge reduction in sugar and calories.
- Replace the lemon-lime soda with ginger ale, diet ginger ale, or ginger beer for a peppery twist that balances off the too sweet fruity flavor.
- You may also customize the taste profile of this mocktail by substituting any soda of your liking for the soda originally called for in the recipe.
- Substitute rum for the vodka, add 1 ounce of grenadine, a dash of orange juice, and some soda water, and you have a Shirley Temple Black (or ginger soda or Sprite, depending on your preference). It’s like drinking something entirely new!
- Make your Shirley Temple with gin instead of vodka. Combine it with pretty much anything else on the list; my go-to low-cal, refreshing drink is a mixture of gin, homemade pomegranate syrup, and soda water. Chris, surprisingly, suggests rum.
- Chris thinks this drink would be great with a jalapeo-infused tequila to balance out the sweetness and provide depth of flavor.
Recipe for a Traditional Alcoholic-free drink
Before we tackle the alcoholic version, let’s review the basic mixed drink without alcohol:
Ingredients for the Shirley Temple Recipe
- Lemon-Lime Soda, 6 Ounces
- Grenadine Syrup, 1/4 to 1/2 oz.
- Cherry used as a cocktail garnish (traditionally a maraschino cherry)
So, what are your thoughts on this time-honored beverage? Do you have an updated recipe for this classic soda that you’d like to share with the rest of us? Tell us how you’ve “grown up” your Shirley Temple in the comments.
- 1 Jigger from Japan
- 1 Tablespoon Sized Bar Set
- Garnishing Cocktails with 1 Choice
- Vodka, 2 oz.
- Grenadine, Half an Ounce
- Sprite Lemon-Lime Soda, 4 to 6 oz.
- 2 cocktail cherries per serving
- To a highball glass or Collins glass filled with ice, add all liquid components and mix to taste.
- Use a bar spoon to gently mix everything together.
- Float a maraschino cherry on top (or cocktail cherry, which we believe is infinitely better).