We can all blame Shirley Temple for any preteen yearnings to sit around drinking cocktails with the adults. I certainly do. Bright pink and topped with a sticky red maraschino cherry skewered to a tiny plastic sword, the Shirley Temple looks like a proper drink (albeit one from the ’50s or a prototype for the Cosmopolitan) and set the standard for all mocktails to follow. It was my requisite order when out to dinner with my grandmother or the thing my great aunts would mix me while sipping Gin and Tonics, playing afternoon bridge and smoking Virginia Slims. I always requested more cherries.
I have no idea if children still order the ginger ale-spiked, grenadine-topped concoction, and if so, do kids these days have an inkling of the dimple-faced star enough to make the name connection? Maybe, maybe not. But we’re adults now, and it’s only proper we pour one out for Shirley tonight. The good people over at Food52 agreed and added this recipe to their repertoire punching up the virgin version with Aperol or Campari alongside bubbly water, grenadine and lime juice. It doesn’t call for it, but I’ll be adding a maraschino cherry or three. [Photo: Flickr/jtiano]