Few non-alcoholic mixed drinks are as much appreciated as the Roy Rogers. The refreshing and sweet mix of ice-cold cola and grenadine can almost rival the Shirley Temple. And you only need a few steps to make this delicious mocktail at home.
About the Mocktail
The Roy Rogers is an alcohol-free drink made only from cola and grenadine. It's served on the rocks and typically garnished with a Maraschino cherry.
The mocktail owes its name to Roy Rogers, a famous actor and singer. In his time, he was known as the "King of Cowboys" and starred in over 100 Western films. People reason that Rogers didn't drink alcohol, but we don't have reliable evidence to support that claim.
It seems the drink Roy Rogers was first and foremost created as the masculine counterpart to Shirley Temple, replacing ginger ale with cola.
The classic recipe only asks for two ingredients. But to balance the flavors and improve the overall taste, we like to add a third component.
- Cola - Our favorite is coke from Mexico (made with sugar cane, not corn syrup) or Boylan Cane Cola. Yet, regular coke or Pepsi will do the trick, too.
- Grenadine - The best grenadine to use in this drink is homemade. Store-bought options are often overly sweet and taste too artificial. If you want to buy one, try the grenadine from Liquid Alchemist. The flavors are natural with a delicate tartness.
- Fresh lemon - The two main ingredients are both sweet, so adding a bit of fresh lemon juice helps balance the flavors. That makes your Roy Rogers even better.
- Maraschino cherry - It may be "only garnish", but using a real Maraschino cherry is important. Don't use those bright red and artificial cherries. Instead, you can make your own with this recipe.
How to make a Roy Rogers drink
Making a Roy Rogers mocktail is easy and only requires a few steps.
Step 1: Fill a Highball glass with ice.
Step 2: Add grenadine, cola, and a bit of lemon juice to it.
Step 3: Stir gently and garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
Variations to make it better
Adding lemon juice is already one step to elevate the recipe. The acidic juice balances the sweet notes in the mocktail and makes it more palatable.
Another way to improve it is by adding a splash of soda water. It makes the flavor profile less bold, more nuanced, and also less sweet.
Pro tip: For best results, ensure that all your ingredients are chilled when making the drink. We all know that ice-cold coke is the best, and that's no different for coke-based mixed drinks.
- 1 Bar spoon
- 6 oz Cola
- 0.5 oz Homemade Grenadine
- 1 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- Soda water to taste - (optional)
- Pour chilled grenadine and cola into an ice-filled Highball glass.
- Add lemon juice and stir gently.
- Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both drinks are made with grenadine, but the Roy Rogers drink asks for cola, whereas the Shirley Temple uses ginger ale.
It's a sweet mix of cola, pomegranate, and cherry flavors. It's like adding a fruity touch to your regular coke.
The drink is named after the famous actor Roy Rogers as a more masculine name for a mocktail similar to the Shirley Temple.