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How to Make a Shirley Temple

Created March 2, 2020
There may be only one Shirley Temple, but there's far from one version of this mocktail named after her.

The standard Shirley Temple is a non-alcoholic beverage named after the child star turned esteemed actress of the same name. Containing no alcohol, this drink is often called a "mocktail" to distinguish it from an actual, intoxicating cocktail. Many believe that this non-intoxicating drink is named for the child star as it is often a drink of choice for kids accompanying adults to a bar or pub. Since the original "virgin" Shirley Temple drink's creation, lots of variations have appeared, including those with and without alcohol.

How to Make a Shirley Temple

The main ingredients in the original, alcohol-free version of this drink used to be ginger ale, orange juice and grenadine, but these days the orange juice is usually left out in place of a thin orange slice. Pour the ginger ale and grenadine over ice into a cocktail shaker in an 8:1 ratio.

Need directions in less mathematical proportions? The liquid part of the drink should contain mostly ginger ale with just enough of a splash of grenadine to give the liquid a pinkish to reddish tone.

Add a twist of lemon peel and optionally a thin slice of orange. Then shake and pour. Don't have a cocktail shaker? Just pour the ingredients over a glass filled with ice and stir.

If you're really a DIY kind of host, try making your own homemade ginger ale.

How to Garnish a Shirley Temple

Usually the glass for serving a Shirley Temple is a cocktail glass, like a martini glass or other unusually shaped drinking glass. Garnish a Shirley Temple with a maraschino cherry on top and/or a colorful decoration like a paper umbrella or flower. The drink is typically then served with either a straw or swizzle stick.

Other ways to spruce up the presentation of a Shirley Temple include rubbing the rim of the glass in lemon juice and dipping it in sugar before pouring in the drink. Serve it over coasters for even greater effect.

Other Virgin Variations

If you don't like ginger ale, or don't have any, substitute lemon/lime soda. Some Shirley Temple recipes even use both ginger ale and lemon/lime in equal portions.

There are also a number of alcoholic variations on the traditional, or "virgin" Shirley Temple. One goes by the name "Dirty" Shirley and contains one part each of light rum and cherry liqueur in place of half the ginger ale or lemon/lime soda. Another alcoholic variation of the standard drink adds to the recipe about half as much vodka as the quantity of soda used.

A variation called the Shirley Temple Black, makes use of the drink's namesake's married name "Black" by adding Johnny Walker Black whiskey to the recipe. Gin will do nicely too!