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Shirley Temple Cocktail

An adult twist on a childhood favourite, the Shirley Temple cocktail, or Dirty Shirley, is a refreshing cocktail any time of the year. Made with grenadine syrup, vodka and lemon-lime soda this fizzy cocktail is simple to make and delightful to drink.

Shirley Temple cocktail in mason jar glasses garnished with lime wedge, a cherry, and paper straw.
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What is a Shirley Temple Cocktail?

A Shirley Temple Cocktail is the grown-up version of the popular Shirley Temple.

The traditional Shirley Temple is a non-alcoholic drink made with grenadine syrup and ginger ale. It is almost always garnished with a maraschino cherry. You will often see it on menus alongside another popular drink, the Roy Rogers.

The drink has evolved a bit and sometimes it is made with lemon-lime soda instead of ginger ale, and sometimes a 50/50 blend of the two.

A Shirley Temple cocktail, or Dirty Shirley, is made exactly like the childhood version, but it has the added ingredient of vodka to make it a bit more grown-up.

It is a refreshing drink that is sweet, light and fizzy. It is great any time of year, but especially refreshing on a hot day. Because it is a cocktail that is made with soda, you can make it as strong or weak as you like simply by adding a higher ratio of soda to alcohol.

It is easy to customize with different sodas or vodka flavours and can be served in almost any size or shape glass you like, simple mason jars are one of my favourite ways to serve cocktails.

Mason jar glasses filled with ice and grenadine cocktail garnished with fresh lime slice and a cherry on a cocktail stick.


To make this cocktail you will need:

  • Grenadine syrup – Grenadine is a sweet pomegranate syrup. It is a popular ingredient in cocktails. You should be able to purchase it in any supermarket. If you don’t like pomegranate or can’t find grenadine you can replace this with cherry syrup.
  • Vodka – Because this is a mixed cocktail you don’t have to use top-shelf vodka, so just choose your favourite. You can use regular vodka, or try a flavoured one such as cherry, lime or lemon.
  • Lemon-lime soda – Sprite, 7-up or any other brand is fine. You can use regular or diet depending on your prefrence. If you like your cocktail less sweet, lime sparkling water is a great option, and my favourite way to make it. You can also replace this with ginger ale.
  • Ice – You will want lots of ice. I like to fill the glass right up which will help keep the drink extra cold.

You may also want to garnish your cocktail. We suggest:

  • Cocktail cherries, stem on or off
  • Lime slices or wedges

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Bottles of sprite, vodka and grenadine with a bowl of cherries and fresh limes.


This cocktail is simple to make as there is no special equipment, such as a cocktail shaker needed.

Begin by filling the glasses with ice, then add the grenadine syrup.

Next, add the vodka, then fill the remainder of the glass with lemon-lime soda.

Garnish with lime wedges, cocktail cherries and a straw. Stir and enjoy.

Grenadine and lemon lime soda in a glass filled with ice, bottles of sprite and grenadine in the background.

I like to stir my cocktail as I drink it, but you can give it a good stir before drinking if you prefer. I like to see the pretty layers in the cocktail, stirring it well will blend the grenadine with the soda giving you a more uniform coloured drink.

Variations & Substitutions

The Shirley Temple is a simple drink that is very easy to customize depending on your preference or what you have on hand.

  • If you don’t have grenadine, you can use cherry syrup. The flavour won’t be quite the same, but it will be similar.
  • Try using a 50/50 ratio of lemon-lime soda and ginger ale instead of just the lemon-lime soda.
  • You can replace all of the lemon-lime soda with ginger ale for a different flavour.
  • If you prefer your cocktails less sweet, try using club soda or lime flavoured sparkling water instead of the soda.
  • Gin can be replaced for the Vodka for a slighly different flavour.
  • Try using flavoured vodka, cherry, lemon or lime vodkas will all work well.

If you want to make this for the kids, simply leave the alcohol out of the recipe and you have a traditional Shirley Temple.


Can I make Shirley Temples in a punch bowl?

You can. Simply multiply the ingredient quantities by how many servings you want to serve and mix it in a punch bowl.

Can I make Shirley Temples ahead of time?

I don’t recommend making Shirley Temples ahead of time as the soda will lose its fizz if it is left in an open pitcher in the fridge.

Shirley Temple cocktails in mason jar glasses with lime wedges and cherries.

More Drink Recipes

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Printable Recipe

Shirley Temple cocktail in mason jar glasses garnished with lime wedge, a cherry, and paper straw.

Shirley Temple Cocktail (Dirty Shirley)

The Shirley Temple cocktail, or Dirty Shirley, is a refreshing cocktail any time of the year. Made with grenadine syrup, vodka and lemon-lime soda.
5 from 43 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Deanna


  • 2 oz grenadine
  • 4 oz vodka
  • 12 oz lemon-lime soda
  • ice
  • Lime wedge or slice optional garnish
  • Cocktail cherries optional garnish


  • Fill two glasses with ice.
  • Add 1 oz of grenadine to each glass along with 2 oz of vodka.
  • Top each glass with lemon-lime soda.
  • Garnish with a lime slice and cocktail cherry. Add a straw and serve.


If you prefer, you can use ginger ale instead of lemon-lime soda or a combination of the two.
If you want your cocktail less sweet, you can replace the lemon-lime soda with club soda or lime-flavoured sparkling water.
For flavour variations, you can use cherry, lemon or lime vodka.
I like to serve my cocktails with a straw and let each guest stir their own, but you can stir before serving if you prefer.


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Shirley Temple Cocktail (Dirty Shirley)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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