Shirley Temple Recipe

By Sina Torner / Last updated on January 21, 2024

The Shirley Temple Cocktail has been one of the best-known alcohol-free bar drinks for decades. It's a mix of ginger ale, lime juice, and grenadine.
Shirley Temple Cocktail

When looking for alcohol-free drinks, at one point, you will most certainly come across the Shirley Temple Cocktail. It's one of the very first drinks in today's long list of mocktails. Also, it carries the name of a famous actor, which only added to the drink's popularity. 

Quick Facts Shirley Temple Drink

  • Method: built in glass
  • Flavor profile: sweet
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Best glassware: long drink glass, collins glass

With its sweet and refreshing flavor and classy appearance, the Shirley Temple is as good a drink for grown-ups as it is for kids.

Shirley Temple Cocktail

Shirley Temple Recipe

One of the most iconic mocktails, made with Ginger Ale, lime, and grenadine.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 74kcal
Cost: $1


  • 1 Bar spoon


  • 2 tsp grenadine
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4.5 oz Ginger Ale


  • Add ice cubes to your long drink glass, then pour grenadine and lime juice.
    2 tsp grenadine, 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Top up with Ginger Ale and stir gently.
    4.5 oz Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with a Maraschino cherry. Cheers!


Serving: 5.25ozCalories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 21.25gSodium: 14.4mgPotassium: 17.02mgSugar: 21.57gVitamin C: 3.3mgCalcium: 7.1mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More About the Ingredients

The standard Shirley Temple is made with ginger ale, grenadine, lime juice, and a Maraschino cherry for garnish. Ginger ale -as the name suggests- is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. 

  • Ginger Ale: A slightly spicy and sweet carbonated soft drink that goes well with lime and grenadine. If you're not a big fan or want a low-calorie version of this mocktail- you can substitute it with soda water.
  • Lime juice: It's a mocktail, yes, but I still recommend sticking to mixology best practice and using freshly squeezed lime juice. Don't make less of an effort just because the Shirley Temple Drink is non-alcoholic. You will always taste the difference. And, after all, we want something that feels like a proper drink.
  • Grenadine: opt for a quality product, or use homemade grenadine instead. If you want to reduce the sugar in your Shirley Temple cocktail, sugar-free grenadine is an option, too.
  • Maraschino cherry - the garnish: The typical garnish for the iconic Shirley Temple mocktail is a Maraschino cherry. Don't buy cheap, neon-colored cocktail cherries since they are unpleasant to eat.

Why is it Called Shirley Temple Cocktail?

The zero-proof mixed drink got its name from a US-American child actress who had been one of the greatest film stars of the 1930s and was among the top stars in Hollywood. From 1935 to 1938, she was the highest-grossing box office star in the United States and famous for family movies like Heidi or Wee Willie Winkie.

As an actress, little Shirley Temple used to be among adults a lot. With prohibition having ended in 1933, that also meant she was among adults who indulged in alcoholic drinks a lot. Yet, she was a child and far from legal drinking age and could not partake.

Therefore, at a party, she once famously asked a bartender for "a non-alcoholic drink that would make her feel fancy, too". That's when the much-celebrated Shirley Temple cocktail was born. -Even when Temple reached legal drinking age, she remained a committed non-drinker.

By the way, Shirley Temple didn’t want people making money off her signature drink by using her name. In 1988, when a company attempted to market a bottled soda named "Shirley Temple", she sued them. Shirley felt it invaded her privacy and made her name a generic term. As she told the New York Times in October 1988: “All a celebrity has is their name.”

How to Make the Best Shirley Temple

To make the perfect Shirley Temple drink, put a handful of ice cubes into a long drink glass. Then pour in the lime juice and the grenadine. 

Use a grenadine of decent quality, for instance, Giffards or Monin, and freshly squeezed lime juice. These two ingredients make or break your Shirley Temple. It's either refreshing and pleasant or overly sweet.

Top everything up with Ginger Ale, use a bar spoon to stir your drink, and add a Maraschino cherry for garnish.

Our tip on grenadine: Over the past decade, the once-popular cocktail ingredient got quite a bad reputation. It's too sweet and too artificial. But that doesn't have to be the case. Actually, grenadine is a fruit syrup based on pomegranate and orange blossom water. 

Yet, in the 70s, when Tequila Sunrise became a thing thanks to Mick Jagger, many saved on their drink by using sugary, candy-like, cheap grenadine. So, shop for quality products or go for homemade.

Our tip on the cherries: Genuine Maraschino cherries are pricey. That's why they suffer the same fate as grenadine and get replaced by cheap, artificial stuff. 

However, Maraschino cherries are real cherries that get preserved and sweetened and have a delightful cherry flavor with a hint of almonds.

Use a genuine one or homemade Maraschino cherries instead. Alternatively, go with a teaspoon of pomegranate kernels. 

Variation - Dirty Shirley Temple

There are some ways to twist and tweak the original Shirley Temple recipe. For instance, you can replace the Ginger Ale with Soda and/or use a sugar-free grenadine for a low-calorie drink. 

Then, of course, there's also an alcoholic version of this mocktail classic - the Dirty Shirley Temple.

For making your Shirley Cocktail dirty, replace ginger ale in the original recipe with 1.5 oz of Vodka and grab your cocktail shaker. Put grenadine, lime juice, Vodka, and some ice into your shaker and shake until the contents are well-chilled. 

More Zero-Proof Cocktails

Keep in mind that the Shirley Temple is still quite a sweet drink. If you want to enjoy a mocktail that's a bit more balanced, you can try 

For more inspiration, here's our list of other low-calorie mocktails.

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