When a round of Shirley Temple drinks come out, that’s when you know it’s a special occasion.
Shirley Temples, fizzy nonalcoholic cocktails with a bright red color and a maraschino cherry garnish, tend to make appearances at celebrations and milestones. They’re the drink the kids love to toast with alongside the adults’ mixed drinks and Champagne. And that’s why, for many, they come with happy memories of fun times in childhood.
But they don't have to be reserved just for kids, nor just for special occasions. Make this Shirley Temple recipe any time for a sweet, festive treat for party people of any age.
For a wow-worthy presentation, try making this one as an ice downpour, which helps create a beautiful gradient effect. And use large ice cubes to keep the drink from watering down too quickly.
What Is a Shirley Temple Drink?
A Shirley Temple drink is a nonalcoholic cocktail made with lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7Up) and lime juice, plus grenadine syrup (like Rose's) for a pretty red presentation.
It’s typically garnished with a maraschino cherry, but you can also use fresh cherries if you want.
Why Is It Called a Shirley Temple?
In addition to being a drink, Shirley Temple was also a person—from whom this drink gets its name. It’s said that A-list child actress Shirley Temple would drink this special concoction when she went out with her parents and Hollywood colleagues because it allowed her to feel fun and fancy while the others drank cocktails.
What Is in a Shirley Temple Drink?
Although ginger ale is also typical as a base in Shirley Temple recipes, this one uses lemon-lime soda, another popular fizzy alternative. The remaining ingredients include lime juice , grenadine syrup , and maraschino cherries for garnish.
Does a Shirley Temple Drink Have Alcohol?
A Shirley Temple drink does not contain alcohol. That's why it’s a popular alternative for kids celebrating occasions alongside grownups toasting with alcoholic beverages. (It’s also a kids’ favorite because it’s sweet, eye catching, and has an air of fanciness!)
But if you prefer, try a grown-ups-only variation, called a Dirty Shirley : Just add vodka along with the other ingredients.
What Does a Shirley Temple Drink Taste Like?
Shirley Temple drinks are typically quite sweet. While the grenadine in this version gives it amazing color and a great pomegranate flavor (tart with a bit of sweetness) the lime balances it out with some acidity.
This recipe is more balanced than cloyingly sweet while still evoking the spirit of the childhood classic.
What Is the Difference Between a Roy Rogers and a Shirley Temple?
Shirley Temple drinks are similar—and similarly popular—to Roy Rogers drinks. The main difference is that Shirley Temples use lemon-lime soda alongside grenadine, while Roy Rogers uses cola in the mix. Both are typically topped with a maraschino cherry.
Editorial contributions by
3 to 5 large square ice cubes
1 Tbsp. grenadine (such as Rose’s)
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
1 ( 8-oz. ) can lemon-lime soda (such as 7-UP)
3 whole maraschino cherries
Place ice cubes in a 16-oz. highball glass.
Add grenadine, lime juice, and soda.
Garnish with maraschino cherries and serve immediately.
To make the boozy variation of a Shirley Temple, add 1/4 cup (2 oz.) chilled vodka with the grenadine, lime juice, and soda in Step 2.