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Shirley Temple

shirley temple mocktail drink

The Shirley Temple drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that has become a childhood favorite, evoking the sweet innocence of summer family gatherings and celebratory events. This delightful mocktail is named after the famous child actress Shirley Temple, and it’s as vibrant and charming as its namesake. Known for its signature sweetness, the Shirley Temple is a refreshing choice for party goers of all ages who are looking for a festive drink without the alcohol.

Combining a fizzy mix of ginger ale, a splash of grenadine for a pop of color and flavor, and often garnished with a maraschino cherry, this drink has been a staple at social functions for generations. Whether you’re at a backyard barbecue, a birthday party, or enjoying a casual family dinner, the Shirley Temple offers a bubbly, sweet treat that never goes out of style.

Tasting Notes

When you take that first sip of a Shirley Temple, expect a cascade of sweet, citrusy, and bubbly delight. This iconic drink has stood the test of time, charming taste buds with its cheerful mix of flavors.

  • Sweetness: At the heart of the Shirley Temple is its signature sweetness. This comes from grenadine, a pomegranate-colored syrup that adds a candy-like quality without being too overpowering.
  • Citrus Notes: To balance the sweetness, crisp lime juice or a squeeze of lemon is often added, lending a zesty freshness that cuts through and revives the palate.
  • Soda: The effervescence from the soda—typically ginger ale or lemon-lime soda—brings everything together for that classic bubbly drink experience.
  • Pomegranate Flavor: While grenadine’s vibrant color might suggest a deep pomegranate flavor, it’s typically milder, allowing you to enjoy the fruity sweetness without any tartness.

Enjoy it on a hot summer day, as a festive party refresher, or anytime you want to feel like a kid again. Its syrupy quality is mitigated by the carbonation and citrus, ensuring a balanced drink that’s pleasing for all ages.

Remember, every Shirley Temple is a toast to innocence and joy, so here’s to making your every sip count!

Equipment and Glassware

When making a Shirley Temple drink, the right equipment can turn your homemade version into a creation that might just make a professional bartender nod in approval. Don’t worry, you won’t need anything overly complex, and you can find most items in your kitchen.

Necessary Equipment:

  • Jigger: This tool helps you measure the grenadine to ensure the perfect sweetness.
  • Bar spoon: Ideal for stirring your ingredients together gently.
  • Ice cubes: To keep your drink chilled without watering it down quickly.

Recommended Glassware:

When serving a Shirley Temple, presentation matters. The traditional glassware is a highball glass, which is tall and narrow, perfect for showcasing the layers of your drink. If you don’t have a highball glass, a Collins glass will work just as well, as it’s similar in shape and size.

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Homemade Grenadine Tip:

If you’re up for a little DIY, try making your own homemade grenadine. It’s simpler than you might think and can boost the authenticity of your drink. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter!

Highball Glass
(or Collins Glass)
8-12 oz

Remember, whether you’re mixing up a Shirley Temple for a party or just a refreshing afternoon treat, taking care with your equipment and glassware can elevate your drink from good to great. Cheers to your delightful mocktail creation!


Creating a Shirley Temple is quite straightforward, and you most likely have these ingredients at your fingertips. The beauty of this non-alcoholic drink is its simplicity and sweet, refreshing flavor that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ginger ale: This sweet and slightly spicy soda forms the base of the drink.
  • Grenadine: A deep red syrup typically made from pomegranate juice, adding both color and a touch of tart sweetness.
  • Lime or Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed adds a zesty twist, balancing the sweetness.
  • Maraschino Cherry: The iconic garnish that tops off the drink.
  • Optional: Lemon-Lime Soda like Sprite or 7UP can be used in place of or alongside ginger ale for a citrusy flavor.

For a single serving:

  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of grenadine
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime or a lemon wedge
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Optional Add-ins:

  • Orange Juice: A splash can add a fruity undertone.
  • Club Soda: Mix it with ginger ale for a less sweet version.
  • Mint: A mint leaf can add a refreshing aroma.

Pour the grenadine over the ice, then add your choice of soda. Squeeze in the lime or lemon, and don’t forget to place the cherry on top for that classic look. Feel free to play around with the proportions to suit your sweetness preference! Remember, the key to a great Shirley Temple is to mix it to your own taste. Enjoy your bubbly, blush-colored beverage!


For a delightful and non-alcoholic treat, you can’t go wrong with the classic Shirley Temple recipe. It’s a drink enjoyed by both kids and adults alike, perfect for any occasion.


  • Lemon-lime soda or ginger ale
  • Grenadine syrup
  • Garnish: Maraschino cherries


  1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes to keep your drink refreshingly chilled.
  2. Pour about 1/2 ounce of grenadine over the ice. The grenadine adds a sweet, cherry flavor and gives the drink its signature pink hue.
  3. Slowly add the lemon-lime soda or ginger ale to the glass, filling it near the top. For a fun twist, you could also use a mix of both sodas.
  4. Gently stir the mixture to spread the grenadine throughout the soda, creating an even color.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or two on top for that iconic look and an extra burst of cherry sweetness.
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For those who love the idea of classic mocktails with a twist, you might also enjoy the Roy Rogers Drink or a Virgin Margarita. Like the Shirley Temple, they’re both festive and family-friendly options.

While the Shirley Temple is enjoyed as is, don’t hesitate to get creative! Add a splash of fresh orange juice or a squeeze of lime if you’re feeling fancy. It’s all about making a drink that brings a smile to your face.

Pro Tips

When crafting your Shirley Temple drink, a little bartender finesse can elevate this classic mocktail. Here’s how you can enhance your beverage with some expert advice:

  • Go Homemade: Swap store-bought grenadine for homemade grenadine to ensure a fresher taste and less overwhelming sweetness. Making it at home with pomegranate juice and sugar adds a personal touch and authentic flavor.
  • Cherries Matter: Take your Shirley Temple to the next level by using quality maraschino cherries. Also, consider substituting a splash of maraschino cherry juice for a deeper cherry flavor in your drink.
  • Keep It Simple: Remember, the charm of a Shirley Temple lies in its simplicity; the classic drink typically sticks to just three ingredients: ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry.
  • Variations Welcome: If you’re feeling adventurous, play with variations. Add a splash of orange juice, a squeeze of fresh lime, or swap lemon-lime soda in place of ginger ale for a twist on the traditional recipe.
  • For Events: When serving as a punch, mix in a clear punch bowl, and add scoops of rainbow sherbet for a fun, festive look. It’s perfect for parties and can serve a crowd with ease.

Utilize these tips, and you’ll serve up a Shirley Temple that’s sure to impress.

IngredientPro Tip
GrenadineHomemade is better for a unique twist.
Ginger AleCan be substituted with lemon-lime soda for preference.
Maraschino CherryUse a high-quality cherry, add juice for extra flavor.
VariationsExperiment with additional citrus to find your favorite mix.
For PunchAdd rainbow sherbet to a punch version for a playful touch.

Remember, the magic is in the details. Enjoy mixing and sipping your delightful Shirley Temple!

When to Serve

Shirley Temple, a charming non-alcoholic drink, finds its place in a variety of settings. It’s both a perfect kiddie cocktail for family gatherings and an appealing choice for any party where guests might prefer a refreshment without alcohol.

  • Family Celebrations: You can serve Shirley Temple drinks during birthday parties or reunions to cater to all ages. It’s a hit among children and adults alike.
  • Summer Refreshment: This fizzy, sweet concoction is a delightful summer drink that provides a vibrant pick-me-up during the hot months.
  • Party Beverage: For a themed party or a casual get-together, a Shirley Temple adds a playful touch to your beverage selection.
  • Mocktail Alternative: If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option that still feels festive, this drink is an ideal choice, akin to the adult favorite, the Arnold Palmer.
See also  13 Most Popular Summer Mocktails to Try

Here’s a simple guide to help you decide when to serve a Shirley Temple:

OccasionSettingWhy Serve Shirley Temple?
Kid’s Birthday PartyIndoor/OutdoorA sweet, fun drink without the worries of alcohol.
Family BBQOutdoorEasy to mix in large quantities, refreshing on warm days.
Dinner PartyIndoorOffers a sophisticated mocktail option for non-drinkers.
Holiday CelebrationsIndoor/OutdoorInclusive for guests of all ages and a festive, colorful addition to the table.

Whether you’re hosting youngsters, adults who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, or just want a nostalgic sip, the Shirley Temple is your go-to drink that never goes out of style. Feel the fond memories wash over you with each sweet sip of this timeless classic.

Similar Drinks

When you’re looking for a beverage that echoes the sweet and refreshing nature of a Shirley Temple, there are several delightful alternatives that you might enjoy. These drinks often share the family-friendly essence of a mocktail, providing a fun and fizzy experience without the alcohol.

  • Roy Rogers: Think of this as the Shirley Temple’s cousin with a cola twist. Replace the lemon-lime soda with cola and add grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry.
  • Dirty Shirley: This is a grown-up take on the classic. It includes vodka with the usual grenadine, lemon-lime soda, and cherry.
  • Arnold Palmer: A refreshing mixture of iced tea and lemonade, this beverage is a non-alcoholic treat that can cool you down on a hot day.
  • Ginger Beer Mocktail: For a spicier kick, a ginger beer mocktail can be your go-to. Often mixed with other juices, this option offers a bold flavor.

Here’s a simple table to help you compare each one:

DrinkMain IngredientsTwist
Roy RogersCola, grenadine, maraschino cherryCola instead of soda
Dirty ShirleyLemon-lime soda, vodka, grenadine, cherryIncludes vodka
Arnold PalmerIced tea, lemonadeHalf tea, half lemonade
Ginger BeerGinger beer, various juicesSpicier and bolder taste

Whether you’re a child at heart looking for a kiddie cocktail to enjoy at social events, or an adult seeking a sophisticated yet non-alcoholic option, these alternatives will surely add variety to your beverage selection. Happy sipping!

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to common queries about the Shirley Temple drink, helping you understand its preparation for different age groups, its history, and variations of the classic recipe.

Can Shirley Temple drinks be prepared for children?

Yes, the Shirley Temple drink is a non-alcoholic beverage specifically popular among children. It’s traditionally made with ginger ale, a splash of grenadine, and garnished with maraschino cherries, making it a fun and fancy option for kids’ parties.

Where did the Shirley Temple cocktail originate from?

The Shirley Temple cocktail was created in the 1930s and is named after the famous child actress Shirley Temple. Although its exact origin is unclear, it is believed to have been invented by a bartender to serve to Shirley Temple at a Hollywood restaurant.

What is the difference between a Dirty Shirley and a classic Shirley Temple?

A Dirty Shirley, also known as a Shirley Temple Black, is the alcoholic version of the classic Shirley Temple. It includes the same ingredients—ginger ale, grenadine, and maraschino cherries—but with the addition of vodka or rum.

shirley temple mocktail drink

Shirley Temple Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes


  • Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
  • Homemade grenadine or store-bought grenadine syrup
  • Lime juice
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish


  1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour in the ginger ale or lemon-lime soda until the glass is about 3/4 full.
  3. Add a splash of grenadine syrup to the glass. The amount of grenadine you add will depend on your personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is about 1-2 tablespoons.
  4. Squeeze in some lime juice to taste. Stir the drink to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Garnish with a few maraschino cherries and a slice of lime.

Did you make this recipe?

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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