Shirley Temples make me happy. When I sip the combination of sweet grenadine, orange juice, and ginger ale through a bendy straw I feel like I’m a kid again; I’m transported back to my childhood living room, watching the final episode of M*A*S*H or Cheers, or invested in an afternoon-long Rummoli tournament with my mom and brother. With a single sip of a Shirley Temple I feel like a giddy little kid again, relaxed at home, my mom treating me to a special cocktail to mark a special occasion. I just love the idea of creating those same sweet vibes for my girls — especially during the holiday season.
Leading up to Christmas, I pretty much take over TV time in our house — Mommy needs her classic holiday film fix. The opening titles of White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis, Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life (my personal fave) become the cue for everyone to curl up on the couch, dig into some popcorn and wash it all down with some memory-making Shirley Temples.
Yesterday I was prepping for a Frosty The Snowman parts 1 and 2 marathon and actually read the label of my grenadine bottle: high fructose corn syrup, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, red colour #40, blue colour #1… Sure, I get it, it’s bright red sugar syrup. I didn’t actually think it was good for you, but I was so disheartened to see the list of chemicals staring me in the face as I poured it into my kids’ cups. ‘I can do better’, I thought. So I did…
Homemade Grenadine Made from Pomegranates:
Step 1: Seed your pomegranates
You will need:
- 2 whole pomegranates
- a sharp knife
- a large bowl, half full of lukewarm water
- a fine mesh strainer
- a cutting board, preferably plastic
- loads of paper towel nearby — this process can quickly turn into a counter top-staining crime scene.
Step 2: Juice It Up!
Step 3: Make Homemade Grenadine (while making your place smell like Santa HQ)
You will need:
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- squeeze of lemon
- a medium-sized saucepan
Step 4: Bring on the Childhood Memories
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- 3 ounces orange juice
- 6 ounces ginger ale
- maraschino cherries and lemon wedges (optional)
- Add ice to cocktail glass. Pour in orange juice and ginger ale, add grenadine over it. Stir.
- Garnish with cherries and lemon wedge. Serve with a smile.
- There are conflicting stories about how this drink was tagged with the name of the famous 1930s child star. What I find fascinating is that the actress herself said she actually never liked the drink, and opposes the concept of cocktails (even non-alcoholic) for children. She has fought several attempts to use her name in unauthorized bottled sodas, saying "All a celebrity has is their name."