Growing up, summer meant two things to me:
- Going on vacation to Mexico with my grandparents.
- Going to work with my mom.
As much as I loved visiting Mexico with my grandparents, going to work with my mom was always the option that promised the most fun. For most of my childhood, my mom worked as a bartender at various bars around town and at the local bowling alley.
I know that nowadays taking a kid to a bar is just unthinkable, but back in the late 70's / early 80's it wasn't that frowned upon, and this little girl thought it was a blast. There was the jukebox to play with, and since my mom worked there, I knew what buttons to push to get free songs. Then of course there was my favorite of all toys...the big pool tables. I was barely tall enough to see over the top of the pool tables when I learned to play. And on the off-chance I got bored, I had my coloring books to keep me occupied or I'd go back to the "office" to watch TV.
But the best part for me was helping my mom. I'd wipe down the bar and tables, fill the snack bowls with pretzels and peanuts, and add newly boiled eggs to the pickling jar. After I was done working, my mom would let me "help" her prepare drinks, which consisted mostly in just watching her and occasionally pass her a swizzle stick or garnish. Then after all of the customers had been served, my mom would make me an extra special cocktail as a reward for all my hard work...a Shirley Temple with extra cherries. I was crazy about the bright red, cherry flavored mocktail. I loved it even more than milk & pepsi. (Yes, I watched way too many episodes of Laverne & Shirley!)
I was reminded of my love for Shirley Temples, when Girlichef posted about them last year. I've been making them ever since. Every time I drink one, I remember the good ol' days of sitting at the bar while watching my mom, feeling so grown-up and sophisticated with my special cocktail. It's these precious memories of my mom that I want my kiddies to know and remember her by.
(Recipe inspired by Girlichef)
- Grenadine Syrup
- Lemon-Lime soda (I used 7-Up)
- Maraschino cherries
Fill a chilled glass with ice. Pour a splash of grenadine syrup over the ice. (About 1 to 2 oz. depending on the size of your glass.) Add a few maraschino cherries and a couple tablespoons of maraschino liquid, then fill the glass with lemon-lime soda. Stir gently. Top with an extra cherry. Enjoy!!!
*For a grown-up Shirley Temple, add a shot of rum with the grenadine syrup.