Introduction: Since its creation in the late 1930s, the Shirley Temple mocktail has enchanted both children and adults with its sweet and tangy flavors. Originating from the creativity of a bartender at Chasen’s in Beverley Hills, this iconic drink continues to captivate taste buds nearly a century later. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Shirley Temple, its classic recipe, delightful variations, and the enduring legacy of this beloved beverage.

The Origins of Shirley Temple

The Shirley Temple mocktail was named after the famous child star, Shirley Temple, who frequented Chasen’s in the late 1930s. A bartender at the renowned West Hollywood hotspot crafted the drink as a special treat for the young actress, blending sweet and sour flavors to create a refreshing beverage that quickly gained popularity. With its vibrant color and delightful taste, the Shirley Temple became a staple on menus across the country, capturing the hearts of both children and adults alike.

Classic Shirley Temple Recipe

To recreate the timeless appeal of the classic Shirley Temple, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • Grenadine syrup
  • Ginger ale or ginger beer
  • Wedge of lime (optional)
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish


  1. Chill a Collins glass by adding ice cubes.
  2. Fill the glass with ginger ale or ginger beer, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  3. Add a splash of grenadine syrup for sweetness and a vibrant color.
  4. Squeeze a wedge of lime for an extra zesty kick (optional).
  5. Stir gently with a bar spoon or cocktail stirrer.
  6. Garnish with a few maraschino cherries on top.

Shirley Temple Variations

While the classic Shirley Temple recipe remains a favorite, there are several delightful variations to explore:

Roy Rogers:

Swap ginger ale or ginger beer with cola for a twist on the classic. This variation, named after the famous cowboy actor, offers a richer, more caramelized flavor profile.

Shirley Temple with Orange Juice:

Incorporate equal parts orange juice with soda and garnish with an orange slice. This variation adds a citrusy twist to the original recipe, perfect for those craving a tangy burst of flavor.

Dirty Shirley:

Add an ounce of vodka and brandy-soaked cherries for an adult-friendly version. The addition of alcohol elevates the sweetness of the drink while adding a subtle warmth to the overall flavor profile.

Shirley Temple Black:

Replace vodka with dark rum as an homage to Shirley Temple’s married name. This variation offers a richer, more complex flavor profile, with hints of caramel and spice complementing the sweetness of the grenadine syrup.

Don’t Call Me Shirley:

Combine dry gin with soda and replace grenadine syrup with Cointreau for a less sweet option. This variation offers a more sophisticated take on the classic Shirley Temple, with the botanical notes of the gin balancing out the sweetness of the soda and grenadine syrup.


The Shirley Temple mocktail has stood the test of time, delighting generations with its delightful blend of flavors. Whether enjoyed by children or adults, this iconic beverage continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many. With its classic recipe and versatile variations, the Shirley Temple remains a beloved choice for any occasion. So, raise a glass and toast to the enduring charm of the Shirley Temple mocktail.