Cocktail Friday: Grown-Up Shirley Temple

Did you know that traditionally-made grenadine has an alcohol percentage?  It was actually a liquor, and made Shirley Temples much more… adult… back in the day.

Shirley Temples, now, are best known as “fancy” drinks for those not old enough to have a cocktail.  I recall getting sick on Shirley Temples on two occasions:

  1. A childhood birthday party at The Ground Round, a restaurant in Danbury, CT that is now an Outback Steakhouse.  It was THE place to have a birthday party.  I believe it was for Jessica Belowich’s 6th, around 1991.  There was a clown, I was freaked out, I consumed Shirley Temples to find solace.  I may or may not have puked, I don’t recall, but that’s a lot of grenadine on a five-year-old’s stomach, also mixed with cheeseburger.
  2. A college awards dinner, circa 2006.  The college realizes: of COURSE the kids want to celebrate with more than just water and fountain drinks.  But half of attendees are under 21.  Let’s give them Shirley Temples.  Which I drank sans booze, but I think I was the only one who didn’t think to sneak in a flask.

Here are the Shirley Temples I should have been drinking that night:

Grown-Up Shirley Temple

Here’s what you’re going to need for a Grown-Up Shirley Temple:

  • A rocks glass (we used stemless wine glasses above, which are about the same volume)
  • Ice to fill
  • Ginger ale
  • Grenadine and/or maraschino cherries
  • Whisky or bourbon

I personally can’t sip whisky straight, so this is a great way for me to incorporate it into my cocktails.  If you think abut it, this is really just a traditional 7&7 cocktail (Seagram’s 7 and 7 Up), but with cherry or sweetened flavors.  Give it a whirl the next time you’re out of Coca Cola, and that bottle of Jack Daniels is staring you in the face.

  1. Add ice to your glass.
  2. Pour 1-2 ounces of whisky or bourbon into your glass.  I eyeball it, because I have some background with counting my pours.  Use a shot glass, jigger, or even a quarter-cup measuring cup, because that’s 2 ounces.
  3. Fill with chosen soda.  Above is ginger ale.
  4. Add your grenadine float, or toss a few maraschino cherries (plus juice) into the situation.  This will sweeten the beverage, and sink to the bottom of the glass with the alcohol.  Because I hate getting a mouthful of booze when I’m at the bottom of my glass, this is a good way to ensure that the last sip of your drink isn’t like taking a shot.

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  1. Love this post! I remember drinking shirley temples as a child… And I bet this boozed up version is fantastic! Do you think there’s a way to do it with ginger beer instead of ginger ale?

  2. Oh yeah, I bet ginger beer would work well with this drink – spice it up a little bit!

    My favorite has always been Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer.

  3. my favorite part about Shirley Temples is the saccharine sweetness, but now that you mention it, ginger beer and whiskey sounds like a sinus-clearing combination that would be awesome!

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