Every so often, a commercial about buying the Ultimate Shirley Temple Collection airs on television (Namely, the “Little Darling” collection.) Never having seen a Shirley Temple movie, I constantly wonder what she’s been up to since. While believing that I kept this wonder to myself, it turns out I’ve been verbally announcing “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HER, ANYWAY?” to whoever was in the room (human or feline) every time the commercial drew to a close. I finally did the research and learned that she’s still alive and was an Ambassador for awhile. You go, Shirley!
Of course, all the research reminded me that the legendary Shirley Temple also had a drink named after her – a drink that many of us experienced when we were younger. While it looks a lot like a cocktail, it’s delicious and nonalcoholic – and while the sugar content is through the roof, making one today for a special occasion (and “let’s make Shirley Temples!” qualifies as a special occasion) is an amazing throwback to childhood.
My friend Gina was one of the many who heard my weekly-commercial-shouting about Shirley Temple, and her and her boyfriend gifted me the drink ingredients as part my birthday gift. That’s when you know someone is a best friend – not only do they remember details that many would find innate, but they willingly provide the material to support your dreams.
The ingredients are pretty simple – 7 Up, or ginger ale, grenadine and maraschino cherries. (So really, Gina and her boyfriend went to the grocery store for me because I was too lazy, as a present.)
Really! It’s that simple. I really was that lazy.
The recipe is even simpler than the ingredients, if that’s even possible. We started out by filling our cups with ice, and pouring one shot of grenadine into each cup. The rest of the glass should be 7-up. Stir well with a spoon, or whatever else you have in your house that’s clean and capable of combining things. (If you only have one clean fork in the house, that’ll do.)
The cherries serve more as a garnish, but we put one cherry into the mix, and cut one in half to add flair to our famous concoction. You can also put a little of the “maraschino sauce” (I am reluctant to call it juice, but you know what I mean) in there. It won’t hurt.
I have to say – celebrating with a Cheers! with the cherry-adorned drinks in hand was probably the classiest thing that ever took place in that kitchen. At least that day.
As mentioned before, this drink is just a sugar explosion. I made the mistake of drinking two and felt like my heart was going to jump out of my body and run a marathon around the house. But was it worth it? Yes. Within the first sip, I had a vague memory of sitting in a restaurant with my family and being handed a Shirley Temple – shocked, I didn’t know how to react. Didn’t the waiter know that I was underage and a proud essay contest winner and graduate of the DARE program? Oh, young me. So naive and so oddly distrusting of restaurant staff members.
This one’s for you, Shirley Temple – while I promise to catch up on your classic movies in the future, I’ll definitely think of you in beverage-form when I need a pick-me-up, or want to reflect on how sweet the past was. One thing’s for sure – if the drink is anything like young Shirley herself, I’m already a fan.
Photo Credit: Gina Asprocolas