Celebrate life’s special moments with this twist to a classic childhood mocktail: The pomegranate Shirley Temple drink! Sponsored by Seagrams Ginger Ale. Find more of my pomegranate recipes.
I grew up eating pretty good food. Whether it was shrimp etouffee cooked at home or Tex Mex at a local restaurant, my parents introduced me to many foods from many different cultures. And that is another reason why I do the same with my kids.
One childhood memory I have is was eating at a very fancy Italian restaurant called Buttarazzi’s. A night at Buttarazzi’s was always reserved for celebrating special achievements and occasions. It was at this very special restaurant where I enjoyed my first mocktail, The Shirley Temple.
What is the Shirley Temple Drink?
Shirley Temple was a famous child actress of the 1930s-1940s. She always had these long curls in her blonde hair and her dimples shined every time she smiled. She sang, she danced, she acted.
Without getting into the politics and morality of how children were totally taken advantage of in Hollywood at that time, Shirley Temple was pretty famous before she was even 10 years old. So of course, a drink had to be named after her.
Although the origins of the drink remain in question, the basic drink is a glass of ginger ale with some grenadine splashed in and topped with a maraschino cherry. It may not seem fancy today, with the internet flooded with creative mocktails for kids. But when I was a kid? That pretty red drink was ever so fancy.
What is grenadine?
Grenadine is a bright red simple syrup and a bar staple. Originally grenadine was made with pomegranate juice and sugar that is reduced down to a syrup. Sounds like basic pomegranate molasses, a staple ingredient in the middle eastern pantry.
Today, well, you’ll have to read the label of your bottle of grenadine to figure out what it is made of. Grenadine has a sweet and sour combination. And some commercial grenadine are a combination of corn syrup, food coloring and citric acid.
I wanted to make a Shirley Temple drink that wasn’t filled with artificial colors and flavors. It was time to get down to the basics.
The pomegranate Shirley Temple drink
When I decided to create my own version of the Shirley Temple drink, I knew I wanted to bring back the pomegranate. I mean, hello, my family and I absolutely love pomegranate!
So I started with the ginger ale base, but instead of adding grenadine or even pomegranate molasses, I chose to add a bit of pomegranate concentrate. I personally like to use this brand of pomegranate concentrate, but you can also make your own.
Pomegranate concentrate is basically pomegranate juice that is reduced down to a syrup, but without the addition of sugar. It is basically really intense pomegranate flavor. Now THAT is what I’m talking about!
And the result? It’s even better than the original!
- 1 cup ice
- 6 oz ginger ale
- 1 oz pomegranate concentrate
- 1 tsp pomegranate arils (optional)
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Pour in pomegranate concentrate and ginger ale.
- Stir to combine and top with pomegranate arils.
- Serve immediately.