Dirty Shirley Recipe: How To Make A Shirley Temple Mocktail


What is a Dirty Shirley?

Dirty Shirley

The Dirty Shirley is a famous cocktail from the 1980s, but millennials and Gen Z are also interested in this drink.

Although it contains a high percentage of tequila, it is a much more flavorful alternative.

The drink can also be made with gin, rum, or tequila. Some recipes even use grenadine or fresh citrus juice to add extra flavor.

The drink is trendy, so much so that the New York Times recently published an article posing, “what is a dirty Shirley?” The hashtag #dirtyshirley has over 10 million views on TikTok.

A search for “what is a dirty Shirley” will give you several articles discussing the drink, both in favor and against it. A good article will explain how the drink became popular and how to create your tasty version.

What Alcohol Is in a Dirty Shirley?

What is the secret of a Dirty Shirley? The answer may surprise you! This cocktail has been making waves in the bar world for years, but it’s still unclear how it’s made.

It’s often spiked with ounces of vodka, although cherry vodka is an excellent choice.

Another drink-making option is shochu, a Japanese distilled spirit made from various ingredients.

Shochu is more flavorful than vodka and contains less alcohol. You can also garnish it with cherries.

How To Make A Dirty Shirley Temple

The Dirty Shirley is a version of the Shirley Temple that has alcohol in it. The Shirley Temple is a kid-friendly version of an adult cocktail.

The drink was named after the ringlet-wearing child star of the 1930s, but she didn’t like it and even sued to stop companies from making commercial versions using her name.

For years, there have been alcoholic versions of the pink, neon cherry-flavored drink.

It is very sweet, especially when made with store-bought grenadine and lemon-lime soda.

People who like their drinks to be less sweet should stay away, or they could try a bitter lemon soda or a good craft grenadine (look for brands that have an acidic ingredient in their list of ingredients).

Ingredients servings

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 to 1 oz grenadine, to taste
  • 6 to 8 ounces lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, or a mix of the two
  • Maraschino cherries, for serving


  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Add the vodka and grenadine, then top with soda and/or ginger ale to fill.
  • Stir gently to combine, then garnish with the cherries and serve.
  • Per serving (using 1/2 ounce grenadine and 6 ounces soda)

Calories: 240; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 21 mg; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 23 g; Protein: 0 g

How To Make A Shirley Temple Mocktail

A classic Shirley Temple needs grenadine syrup, ginger ale, and maraschino cherries.

A squeeze of lime is often added to the popular drink to give it more flavor.

You can add vodka for a Dirty Shirley or rum for a Shirley Temple Black.

Even though mocktails have gotten more complicated since the Shirley Temple was first made, the drink’s simplicity and zesty flavor continue to attract kids and adults nearly a century after it was first made.

The sweet-and-sour mocktail was created in the late 1930s in Beverley Hills by a bartender at Chasen’s, a popular West Hollywood spot since closing. The bartender made the drink for child star Shirley Temple.

The recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and sour, and a classic Shirley Temple is the perfect thing to quell your thirst on a hot summer day.

To make the best Shirley Temple, you need ginger ale or ginger beer, grenadine, lime, and maraschino cherry.

Whereas many newly developed recipes call for lime soda like Sprite or 7-Up, a quintessential Shirley Temple utilizes ginger ale or ginger beer with a tad of lime.

This gives the drink a little bite that makes it stand out from the rest.


  • Ice cubes per liking
  • A splash of grenadine syrup
  • Ginger ale or if you like more lemon-lime soda to fill the glass
  • Slice of lime (optional)
  • Maraschino cherries to garnish

What else do you need 

  • Collins glasses
  • Bar spoon/cocktail stirrer
  • Cocktail skewers

How to make a Shirley Temple 

1. Chill. Add ice to the glass. 

2. Fill. Pour the soda into the glass, leaving about an inch of space at the top.

3. Top. Pour a little grenadine syrup in for color and sweetness.

4. Squeeze: Add lime juice to taste. 

5. Stir. With your bar spoon, mix if desired. 

6. Garnish. Add a couple of maraschino cherries on top.

A quick tip: Try making your Shirley Temple recipe for parties and gatherings ahead of time.

To achieve this, mix the soda, lime juice, and grenadine syrup in a large pitcher up to two hours before serving.

If you prepare for it ahead of time, the soda will lose its fizz. Just before you serve it, put in some maraschino cherries and ice.

Shirley Temple variations

  • Roy Rogers: 

The Roy Rogers fruity cocktail is almost identical to the classic Shirley Temple. Instead of ginger beer or lemon-lime soda, you use cola in the Roy Rogers mocktail.

  • Shirley Temple with orange juice:

To give the drink an orange flavor, half the soda can be replaced with equal parts orange juice, and a maraschino cherry can be added on top.

  • Dirty Shirley:

Adding one ounce of vodka and brandy-soaked cherries as garnish is required for this variant of the Shirley Temple. as we explained on top of this article.

  • Shirley Temple Black:

Shirley Temple’s married name inspired this alcoholic version that requires for an ounce of black rum instead of vodka.

  • Don’t Call Me Shirley: 

Combine 1 ounce of dry gin with your soda of choice and half an ounce of Cointreau in place of the grenadine syrup.


Since the 1930s, the Shirley Temple has been one of the most popular mocktails among both children and adults.

While there are many other ways to make this popular drink, the basic recipe calls for ginger ale or ginger beer, ice, grenadine syrup, fresh lime juice, and maraschino cherries for decoration.