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.
Living the good life
Here’s a secret: I live the high life. It’s a glamorous life! I get manicures every month. My lovely curls are coiffed at the salon. I’m into fashion and my husband whisks me off on exotic trips around the world. Every Saturday night is date night, so we can fan our flame of love.
Let’s get real, okay?
My daily attire includes anything with elastic plus a soft cotton t-shirt. My frizzy hair is pulled up in a ponytail. My neighbor warns me when I’m too disheveled to be seen in public. Flip-flops adorn my sad, un-pampered feet.
Our exotic vacations are always by minivan, with our three delightful children squabbling in the back. When I want to “travel,” I go online and live vicariously through my Facebook friends and blogging buddies. They take me to Italy, France, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and New York!
I leave comments, “So happy for you! You look terrific! Have fun!” while sitting in my baggy pajamas while the kids argue in the background.
No, I don’t live the high life, lush life, or pampered life. But seriously, I do have a marvelous life. It’s so good to be me! When the hubby and I do escape for a date, we choose restaurants that do not offer a kids’ menu. We drink, we laugh, we celebrate life!
As a kid, my parents celebrated our special moments at nice restaurants. My celebration drink was always Seagram’s Ginger Ale. It was special! It was bubbly! I pretended it was champagne!
And last week, I just watched my eldest graduate from elementary school. It’s a milestone. It’s bittersweet.
To celebrate we threw a big family party in his honor. And of course, we didn’t forget the Seagram’s Ginger Ale. No, it’s not at a five-star restaurant in Paris. It’s at home, surrounded by loved ones.
All kidding aside, I have a great life. And it’s so good to be me!