There’s a reason that the classic Shirley Temple drink has withstood the test of time. It’s bright red color, effervescent bubbles, sweet and tangy lemon-lime flavor, and colorful garnishes have earned it a spot in the mocktail hall of fame.
Kids and grownups love them, and they’re SO easy to make!
While most of us think of a Shirley Temple as a cherry-flavored drink, the red color comes from grenadine which is actually a pomegranate-flavored syrup with no cherries in it.
Cherries are often used for a garnish, but the main flavor is actually all due to the pomegranate.
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What is a Shirley Temple drink?
A Shirley Temple is a classic mocktail made with lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale), grenadine, and a maraschino cherry for a garnish.
Why is it called a Shirley Temple drink?
The drink is named after the famous child actor Shirley Temple. Legend has it that it was invented by a bartender at Chasen’s in Beverly Hills in the 1930s for the little actress so she could feel fancy at parties, and it has been a hit ever since. Kids love to feel fancy, too!
Does a Shirley Temple have alcohol in it?
No, a classic Shirley Temple drink is a mocktail that does not contain alcohol. If you wanted to make it a cocktail, called a “Dirty Shirley,” you would add 2 ounces of vodka (or gin) to the drink to make it a delicious cocktail!
Is a Shirley Temple made with ginger ale, Sprite, or 7Up?
The simple answer is “it depends”! It’s definitely a preference and even a regional thing whether you use a ginger ale, Sprite, or 7Up for the soda part of the drink. There’s no wrong way to do it, so experiment and see which you like best!
Lemon-lime soda: You can use Sprite, 7Up, or any other brand of lemon-lime soda that you like. You can also squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime for an extra citrus kick.
Grenadine: This pomegranate-flavored syrup is non-alcoholic and can be found in the mixer section of most liquor stores (and in grocery stores that carry alcohol) or it can be easily ordered online as well. You can also make your own grenadine at home!
Garnishes: You can use lime (or lemon) wedges, orange wedges, or mint to garnish your drink. Just don’t forget the classic maraschino cherries!
Variations on the classic Shirley Temple:
- Instead of all lemon-lime soda, try switching out half the soda for ginger ale or use all ginger ale instead of the lemon-lime.
- If you don’t have grenadine, you can use the cherry juice from the maraschino cherry jar or cherry syrup which gives you a tweaked, more cherry version.
- For a less sweet version, opt for a lime sparking water (or fresh lime squeezed into plain sparkling water) instead of the soda and sweeten with the grenadine to taste.
- Rather than a store bought version, try making your own easy grenadine and tweak the sweetness ratio to your liking.
How to make a Shirley Temple:
- Fill a tall glass with ice.
- Add 1 ounce grenadine syrup
- Top off with 8 ounces of lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale)
- Add maraschino cherries for garnish
What’s the difference between a Shirley Temple drink and a Roy Rogers drink?
While they are similar, a “Shirley Temple” has grenadine, lemon-lime soda, and a maraschino cherry while a “Roy Rogers” is made with grenadine, cola (like Coke), and a maraschino cherry.
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Fill glass with ice
Add 1 ounce grenadine syrup
Top off with 8 ounces of lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale)
Add maraschino cherries for garnish
If you don’t have grenadine, you can also use cherry syrup or the juice from the maraschino cherry jar instead.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.