Shirley Temples

Growing up, summer meant two things to me:

  1. Going on vacation to Mexico with my grandparents.
  2. 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. 

Shirley Temples
(Recipe inspired by Girlichef)

  • Grenadine Syrup
  • Lemon-Lime soda (I used 7-Up)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Ice

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.  



  1. Such great memories! Who knew Shirley temples could be so nostalgic? Nowadays, young kids can't even sit near the bar so it was pretty funny reading your story.

  2. OMG, I loved these when I was a kid! I haven't had one in years.

    I sort of want to make one now. I might have to stop for soda, grenadine, and cherries on my way home.

  3. I have a Mexican version of my own. Coke Zero, maraschino cherries, and lime (lots of lime). It tends to be my constant companion on the patio these summer days.

  4. Whenever we'd go on vacation and stay at a hotel when I was a kid, my little sister and I would go hang out down at the bar and order Shirley Temples. LOL We must have looked so adorable, sitting there swinging our legs and sipping on the straws but we felt so grown up jajaja

  5. Oh, how I love this post. I can just picture future friend at the bar with her mama on one side of the country...while I was staying a few weeks with my grandma on the other side. And looking forward to going the "the Moose" (lodge) with her. For me it was pinball machines and Mr. Pibb's. And boy did the adults love to hand out coins! Such a fun post and thanks so much for the shout-out! =)