Classic Shirley Temple Drink – Learn how to make a classic Shirley Temple mocktail with this easy recipe. It’s kid-friendly, non-alcoholic, and fun to make!
As I mentioned in Monday’s post all about how to make grenadine, we’ve been on a mocktail kick lately! I knew I wanted to mix in more mocktails in between baking recipes here at Sweets And Thank You, and what better mocktail to start with than a classic Shirley Temple!
Perhaps the most famous mocktail or kids’ drink of all time, a Shirley Temple has become a staple mocktail offering in many restaurants across the US. Although Shirley herself didn’t *actually* love the drink (more on that in a minute!), it’s been a fan favorite for decades for good reason!
It’s a quick, easy, bright and sweet drink that’s perfect for celebrations and special occasions, from summer parties and backyard barbecues to holidays, and more. Plus, how cute does it look in a glass!? Today I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to make an amazing Shirley Temple, from ingredients, to presentation, and more.
Grab a glass, and let’s dive into this fun mocktail recipe!
So, What’s In A Shirley Temple Drink?
A classic Shirley Temple is a non-alcoholic drink is made from simple ingredients: a splash of grenadine syrup (pomegranate syrup), ginger ale, and a squeeze of citrus over ice cubes. It’s typically garnished with a maraschino cherry (or two or three!), and a wedge of citrus, most often lime or orange.
To cut the sweetness, I like topping my drink off with sparkling water or club soda. It works like a charm, but you can certainly use all ginger ale if you prefer.
(More modernly, it’s common to swap the ginger ale for lemon-lime soda (like Sprite, Sierra Mist, or 7-UP), or to use half ginger ale and half lemon-lime soda. But legend has it that the original shirley temple recipe was all about the ginger ale.)
Try It WIth Homemade Grenadine!
Store-bought will absolutely work, but it tends to taste overly sweet and artificial to me. Real grenadine only takes 3 ingredients & a few minutes to make and tastes AMAZING. It’s worth it if you have an extra 5 minutes!
How To Make A Real Shirley Temple, Step By Step:
- Fill A Glass With Ice. Take an 8-10 oz. Glass and fill it with ice, nearly to the top.
- Star With Grenadine. Add 1 ounce grenadine (pomegranate syrup. (If you’re using store-bought grenadine, you may prefer 1/2 oz., as it’s a little sweeter. It’s up to you!)
- Add Ginger Ale. Next, pour4 ounces ginger ale over the grenadine and ice. (If desired, you can substitute the ginger ale with lemon-lime soda or use half lemon lime soda and half ginger ale)
- Top It Off With Sparkling Water. To cut the sweetness, you’ll top off the glass with 2-4 ounces, sparkling water. (Start with 2 oz. and add more if desired.)
- Garnish Your Drink! Now, you’re ready to garnish the drink. Finish your Shirley temple with a maraschino cherry and a wedge of lime or orange slice. (I like to give my citrus wedge a light squeeze before adding it to the glass for some extra refreshing citrus flavor. That little kiss of citrus helps offset the sweetness of the drink!
- Swirl & Sip. Stir with a straw or drink stirrer and sip away!
Yummy Garnishes To Serve With A Shirley Temple Mocktail
Garnishes are an easy way to turn any drink into a fancy drink! So, in addition to the basic ingredients, I always love to add a few fun garnishes to play up the fruity flavor and brilliant red color in this refreshing drink. Here are my 3 faves:
- Maraschino Cherries. Probably the most famous garnish for a Shirley Temple mocktail is a maraschino cherry. Add just one for a sweet touch, or spear a few on a cocktail pick for a more striking presentation. (I prefer dye-free maraschino cherries with stems, like Tillen Farms, or Whole Foods 365 brand.
- Lime Wedge or Orange Wedge. Add a wedge or slice of lime or slice of orange orange to the glass. I recommend lightly squeezing the wedge into the drink before adding the citrus wedge to the cup. That way, you get a little kiss of the bright fresh lime juice or fresh orange juice flavor in your drink!
- Fresh Mint. For even more color, add a sprig of fresh mint to the top of your glass. It looks so vibrant and inviting, though it won’t flavor the drink.
FAQ + Tips For The BEst Shirley Temple Drink
Why Is It Called A Shirley Temple Cocktail? There are a LOT of stories about this floating around, but the general consensus is that it was developed in the 1930s by bartenders for Hollywood child actress Shirley Temple as an option for her at restaurants, though the exact restaurant is up for debate. (Shirley Temple herself said she actually hated them and found them too sweet!)
What’s The Difference Between A Roy Rogers And A Shirley Temple? The difference is the kind of soda paired with grenadine! The Roy Rogers is made with Coca Cola (Coke) and grenadine, whereas a Shirley Temple uses ginger ale or lemon-lime soda (like Sprite) and grenadine.
What Flavor Is Grenadine? While many assume it’s cherry juice because of its bright color, grenadine is actually pomegranate syrup! (Learn all about grenadine + how to make your own in minutes here)
Pro Tip: Use Homemade Grenadine For The Best Flavor! I think that a lot of store-bought grenadine syrups taste like snow cone syrup, while homemade grenadine (made from simple ingredents: pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice) tastes deeper, richer, and more nuanced. I think it makes for a better drink all around!
What Is A Dirty Shirley Temple? A dirty Shirley cocktail is an alcoholic version of the classic Shirley temple drink recipe, made with a splash of rum or vodka.