This classic Shirley Temple recipe is incredibly easy to make and only requires three simple ingredients: lemon-lime soda, grenadine syrup, and a maraschino cherry for garnish. It’s a refreshing mocktail typically known for being served to kids at restaurants and named after the famous child star of the same name.

Fun fact: This spirit-free cocktail was actually made for Shirley Temple for one of her birthday parties. It’s sweet and cute, just like she was, hence being named after her– although she supposedly wasn’t a fan of the drink!

A Shirley Temple fruity drink with 2 cherries for garnish and plain vodka

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You may have fond childhood memories of this super sweet, debatably delicious non-alcoholic drink; it’s usually what people think of when trying to come up with a fun mocktail recipe but doesn’t always have the best reputation with bartenders and cocktail lovers since it’s such a sweet drink and typically thought of as a childhood classic not suitable for adults.

It’s honestly kind of set the craft mocktail culture back a bit… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own place. After all, it really is the quintessential mocktail

Classic Mocktail Shirley Temples being with lots of ice

Classic Mocktail Shirley Temples being with lots of ice



The cocktail version of this mixed drink is super easy to make– which makes sense because the original recipe only has a couple ingredients that are affordable and easy to find.

If you want a grown-up version of the classic Shirley Temple drink, just take the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple and add 2 ounces of vodka. And there you have the easy peasy alcoholic drink often referred to as the Dirty Shirley!  



Watch the video and see just how Chris makes this childhood favorite into a grow-up-worthy cocktail. 



Today we’re focusing on the classic cocktail version (and famous mocktail version), but you can take this to the next level and “craft” it up by making it a slightly more fancy drink. Here are some modern Shirley Temple recipes:

  • Swap in pomegranate juice for the ounce of grenadine pomegranate syrup, which tends to be super sweet. This will add a slightly tart flavor to cut down the sugar.
  •  Make your own homemade pomegranate grenadine! The cool thing about using a homemade grenadine is that you have more control over the sweetness while upping the pomegranate flavor.
  • If this grenadine cocktail (or the non-alcoholic soda drink version) is too sweet for you, use diet lemon-lime soda or even club soda with fresh lime juice instead. This cuts the sugar and the calories significantly. 


A delicious drink with cherry garnish on a cocktail pick with straw

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  • Sub in ginger ale, diet ginger ale, or ginger beer instead of lemon-lime soda for a slightly spicy addition to cut some of that really sweet, fruity flavor. 
  • Along those lines, change out the soda with any other soda of your choice– or make your own craft soda and really elevate this mocktail with the flavor profile of your choice.
  • Make it a Shirley Temple Black cocktail by using rum instead of vodka, 1 ounce grenadine, a splash of orange juice, and soda water (or ginger soda or Sprite, depending on your preference). It’s a totally different drink this way!
  • Instead of vodka, make your Shirley Temple recipe with gin. You can also combine that with pretty much any of the above– I personally love the combination of gin, homemade pomegranate syrup, and soda water for a low-calorie, refreshing drink. And Chris actually recommends rum.
  • Or to take it a step further, infuse your spirit– Chris loves the idea of a jalapeño-infused tequila to offset the sweetness and make this drink much more complex.



Before we try out the adult drink with alcohol, let’s recap the simple, non-alcoholic mixed drink version first:

Bartender holding a pink coloured drink with cherry syrup in a cocktail glass

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  • 6 ounce Lemon-Lime Soda
  • 1/4-1/2 ounce Grenadine Syrup
  • Cocktail Cherry for garnish (traditionally a maraschino cherry)

So what do you think of this classic drink? Do you have new version of this favorite childhood drink that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment below, and let us know how you adult-up your Shirley Temple. 

Shirley Temple pink drink in a tall glass with cocktail cherry garnish

Shirley Temple Drink

Named after the iconic child actress, Shirley Temple, this cocktail combines 3 basic ingredients for a refreshing afternoon drink.
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Course: Drinks


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine
  • 4-6 oz Lemon-Lime Soda Sprite
  • 2 each Cocktail Cherry for garnish


  • Add all liquid ingredients and build the cocktail directly in a highball glass or Collins glass with ice cubes.
  • Gently stir with a bar spoon to combine.
  • Garnish with maraschino cherry (or cocktail cherry, which we believe is infinitely better).