Shirley Temple for Grown-Ups

By Ann Fulton

A grown-up rendition of an adored childhood drink, this beautifully-hued cocktail is quick to make and can be easily scaled to make a pitcher-full.
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A grown-up rendition of an adored childhood drink, this pretty cocktail is quick to make and can be easily scaled to make a pitcher-full.

 

When I think of a Shirley Temple, I can’t help but smile. One of the first restaurants my parents took my sister and me to as young girls was The Rose Bowl in downtown Lancaster, PA.

I remember ladling blue cheese dressing onto my tossed salad from a clever spinner that housed three bowls. And my sister thinking I was crazy for liking blue cheese! My mom would drop an ice cube in my hot soup so I didn’t burn my tongue, and I’d stir it until it disappeared. 

We were allowed to order one soda, and inevitably it would be a Shirley Temple. I would be wide-eyed as the rose-colored drink was placed in front of me. 

The name was as alluring as the drink itself, and to this day, the fruity aroma and vibrant hue take me back to my childhood.  

Over the past year or so, my family has been enjoying a cocktail variation of the iconic drink. The sweet-tart grenadine and neutral vodka combine with the soda to make a drink that’s less sweet than the kid-friendly beverage.

While the cocktail is often referred to as a “Dirty Shirley,” I sort of like the name “Shirley Temple Black” to reflect the grown-up version of the childhood star. (And for the record, when someone orders a “dirty” cocktail, it means that olive juice will be added–and that doesn’t sound so good in this drink!)

But whatever you call the drink, perhaps it will bring back a fond childhood memory for you too. And while we’re having fun, I will leave you with some Shirley Temple trivia!

Do you know?

1. What are the 3 classic ingredients in a Shirley Temple? Grenadine, ginger ale, and maraschino cherries. Modern Shirley Temple recipes often substitute lemon-lime soda for the ginger ale–and I recently heard of a variation with lemonade.

2. Where was the Shirley Temple drink first served? A bartender at Chasen’s in Beverly Hills is credited with inventing the cocktail in the late 1930s. He apparently made the drink for the young actress during the height of her fame.

3. What was Shirley Temple’s first movie role? Baby Burlesks–at age 3!

4. Gertrude Temple served as her daughter’s hairdresser and styled her golden locks in exactly 56 pin curls for every one of her movies.

5. Before Judy Garland, Temple was considered to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Temple was under contract at 20th Century Fox and the studio would not release her to work for MGM, which produced Oz.

6. As an adult, Shirley Temple Black served in three ambassadorships (U.S. delegate to the United Nations, ambassador to Ghana, and ambassador to Czechoslovakia). She also mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House in 1967.
 

A grown-up rendition of an adored childhood drink, this beautifully-hued cocktail is quick to make and can be easily scaled to make a pitcher-full.

Fun fact: The original Shirley Temple was made with ginger ale, while modern-day drinks are typically made with a lemon-lime soda like 7-Up or Sprite. Use whichever you prefer or have on hand. I’ve even used Fresca.

A fun nutrition fact from our dietitian Emily:
There are certain foods we choose because of the nostalgia, and the enjoyment. This type of satisfaction and pleasure plays an important role in a normal heathy diet. Not every food, beverage, or meal needs to have a specific nutritional purpose to be valuable.

For those who are curious…
The reason we don’t list nutritional breakdowns next to each recipe is because the numbers can change significantly depending on brands people buy and how exact the measuring is. In saying that, if you email me separately, I can provide you with my best estimations on the nutrients you would like to know more about in this recipe. I’m happy to help!

Shirley Temple for Grown-Ups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
A grown-up rendition of an adored childhood drink, this beautifully-hued cocktail is quick to make and can be easily scaled to make a pitcher-full.
Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite–and I’ve used Fresca)
  • 1 ounce grenadine (I use Rose’s; usually located near the soda water and other mixers in the grocery store)
  • 1 lime wedge, squeezed
  • 1 maraschino cherry (still worth making if you don’t have cherries!)
Instructions

Fill a double old-fashioned or highball glass halfway with ice cubes. Pour in the vodka, lemon-lime soda, and grenadine. Give the lime wedge a good squeeze and stir. Top with a cherry and enjoy!

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