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Thank you, Shirley Temple.

The sight of a bright pink glass studded with fizzy bubbles and plump, maraschino cherries sliding across the bar towards me always made me feel like “one of the adults” no matter how childlike and fluorescent my glass was.  With short, little legs swinging, I would belly up to the bar and confidently order my Shirley Temple the way other gents ordered their scotch.  The number of maraschino cherries was absolutely proportionate to the size of the smile I flashed to the bartender too.  One cherry and I felt like I’d been stiffed.  Your first Shirley Temple was almost a right of passage in childhood.

Shirley Temple--All Grown Up  --  Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

According to Shirley herself, she had nothing to do with the mocktail whose origins are somewhat disputed.  Several Hollywood restaurants claim to have created the drink in the 1930s.  Regardless of where it started, most variations of the beverage include either ginger ale or lemon-lime soda (sometimes both), with a  splash of grenadine syrup and maraschino cherries.

Shirley Temple All Grown Up  //  Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Growing up, our overnight sitter was a wonderful woman named Jackie.  She was retired and her kids were grown and gone but she was like Mary Poppins to my sister and I.  When Jackie came to stay with us, we never watched the traditional “kid” movies.  I came to love every Shirley Temple and Rogers & Hammerstein VHS tape that came out of her floral overnight bag.  Watching Shirley’s bouncy curls and big smile  made her one of my favorite actresses  and her presence will definitely missed.

To celebrate her life and career, here’s my take on a grown-up version of my favorite libation as a child.

Here’s to you, Shirley.  Cheers!

Shirley Temple All Grown Up  //  Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Shirley Temple Cocktail: All Grown Up

Serves 1


  • 3 oz ginger ale
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz + more for rimming Tart Cherry Grenadine Syrup
  • 4 jarred tart cherries in sugar syrup
  • Coarse sugar for rimming


  1. Pour a tablespoon or two of tart cherry syrup on a small plate. Dip your glass into the syrup and then in the sugar.
  2. Carefully fill the glass with ice. Pour in the ginger ale, vodka, and 1 oz of tart cherry syrup. Stir gently.
  3. Add the cherries and serve.

Filed under: Drinks


Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.


  1. Loving your cocktail photos! I recently bought martini picks for garnishes, such as cherries, but haven’t gotten a chance to try them out yet. This cocktail looks like the perfect excuse to do so!

  2. What a fun post! My brother and sister used to have Kiddie Cocktails all the time, but I was strictly a coke person. I loved the babysitter story. It was a babysitter of mine who broke the rules and let me stay up for White Christmas and started me on a lifelong addiction (that I’m doing my best to pass on to my kids).

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