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Shirley Temples are fun, simple, and absolutely refreshing kid-friendly mocktails that only require three ingredients. Perfect for warm weather festivities, birthday parties, and kids-at-heart, my recipe is a sweet, but not too sweet, take on the classic kiddie drink.
Shirley Temples are literally one of my favorite drinks to make. Not only because my son's whole face lights up when we make them, but because they're just so pretty, bubbly, and delicious!
Kids and adults alike really love a glass of this Shirley Temple mocktail, it's sweet but not too sweet thanks to a squeeze of lime juice yet is still just as easy to make.
What is the Shirley Temple Drink?
A Shirley Temple (also called a Cherry Temple) is a drink named after famous child star Shirley Temple. According to an interview she gave in 1986, she really couldn't stand the drink since it's a "saccharine sweet, icky drink" that she credits the Brown Derby Restaurant for creating in the 1930's.
The Shirley Temple is simply ginger ale, a splash of grenadine syrup, and, of course, maraschino cherries! It wouldn't also be called a Cherry Temple without the cherries, after all.
To offset being 'saccharinely sweet', as Shirley Temple called it, I recommend using a natural ginger ale or lemon lime soda, or adding a squeeze of citrus.
Or you can use less grenadine syrup.
What is Grenadine Syrup?
Many people think grenadine is cherry syrup, or an alcoholic mix-in but it's not. Grenadine is pomegranate juice with sugar, reduced down until it's a thick syrup.
You can either buy it online or in the alcohol mix-in aisle in your grocery store, or you can make it at home:
Use one part pomegranate juice to one part sugar and reduce it over medium heat in a saucepan for 15 minutes before putting it into a heat safe container or bottle to keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How to Make a Shirley Temple
Fill a glass with ice, then fill with a light soda like lemon lime or ginger ale. Add a splash of grenadine and serve with maraschino cherries (and a sprig of mint for extra pizazz)!
Pro Tip: Don't have grenadine syrup? Add in a hearty splash of the juice from the maraschino cherries for that pretty red color!
Shirley Temple Variations
A Shirley Temple made with Coca-Cola instead of ginger ale is another popular drink called a Roy Rodgers.
And a Shirley Temple made with alcohol is called a Dirty Shirley, with vodka or rum being the most popular spirits to add.
A popular addition to the drink is also a splash of orange juice with ginger ale! Give it a try!
Love kid-friendly drinks? Check these recipes out:
- The Addictive Strawberry Lemonade Recipe
- Dalgona Whipped Chocolate
- Iced Guava Passionfruit Drink (Starbucks Copycat)
- Sparkling Strawberry Ginger Lemonade
- Watermelon Agua Fresca
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- Ice, for serving
- 2 tbsp grenadine syrup
- 16 ounces ginger ale or lemon lime soda
- 2 tbsp lime juice, optional
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
- Fill two glasses with ice.
- Add one tablespoon of grenadine syrup to each glass.
- Pour the ginger ale or lemon lime soda over the ice to fill each glass. Give a taste; if it's too sweet stir in a teaspoon of lime juice, up to one tablespoon lime juice per glass.
- Serve with one or more maraschino cherries as garnish.
Don't have grenadine? Use the juice from the maraschino cherry jar! It's not the same, but it still gives a sweet, fruity flavor and turns the drink reddish pink!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 0gSugar: 51gProtein: 0g
All nutrition facts are estimations. Please see a physician for any health-related inquiries.
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.