Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Who else remembers going out with your parents as a kid and ordering a ‘Shirley Temple’? I always felt so grown up when I had one. In my family, we’d go out to nice restaurants for milestone birthdays or special occasions, and I used to love getting that drink! The drink is back, but this time with an adult twist.

The ‘kiddie cocktail’ is growing in popularity but this time it’s a grown-up version. According to HuffPost, the hashtag #dirtyshirley is trending at more than 10 million on TikTok. A younger generation is discovering the drink we had as kids, but now it includes booze! There are a lot of variations, but the basic recipe is vodka, grenadine, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, and a maraschino cherry, poured into a Collins glass with ice. Cherry vodka can also be used in place of regular vodka.

The drink has history, dating back to the years when Shirley Temple was a huge child actress. Although she was technically huge before I was born, I remember loving her cute smile and gorgeous curls. Her old movies would be shown sometimes on TV, and I always watched them. You gotta love “Good Ship Lollipop”. Her popularity led to the creation of the kid’s drink, and it stayed popular for decades.

If the adult drink is made like the kids drink, it’s very sweet, even with vodka added. There are ways to reduce the sugar content though. You can use club soda instead of ginger ale or a lemon-lime soda.

Mixologist Brandon Julien recommends using Black Infusions dark cherry vodka. It has a natural sweetness that isn’t overpowering. His recipe is:  2 ounces Black Infusions dark cherry, 2 ounces ginger ale and 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice. To me, this sounds perfect! You get some sweetness but you won’t feel sick after having more than one drink. Sometimes cocktails that are too sweet makes me feel ill. I love an ice-cold Pina Colada while at the beach and I’ve found that a dark rum floater on the top cuts down on the sweetness.

If you aren’t in the mood to mix up your own ‘Dirty Shirley’ you can now buy a canned version. Black Infusions sells it, and it’s infused with dark cherries. YUM! But if you’re feeling adventurous, there are tons of ways to whip up this cocktail. Bartenders around the country make it using different recipes, but I think less is more when it comes to this drink.

For years I’ve been a beer drinker, especially when I’m at the beach. But recently beer hasn’t tasted great to me. I think it may be the cancer meds I’m on. Last time I drank beer, I got nauseous. I’m going to the beach with two friends next week, and both of them are liquor drinkers.  The ‘Dirty Shirley’ will definitely be the drink of the day for the beach next week. I can’t wait!