Swap Vodka For Whiskey In Your Next Dirty Shirley Cocktail

Booze-free bevy sippers have long turned to the timeless charm of the Roy Rogers and Shirley Temple for a bar order that won't leave bartenders peeved (or confused). Indeed, the Shirley Temple was a universally known mocktail before the Age of the Mocktail dawned in relatively recent years. The original "pink drink" combines grenadine syrup and a generous amount of maraschino cherries over a base of lemon-lime soda: Fizzy, sweet, and liquor-free — unless you don't want it that way. The rosy wonder of the Shirley Temple doesn't have to just be for mocktail lovers. If you feel like adding a boozy punch to this beloved classic, allow us the pleasure of introducing you to the Dirty Shirley — Shirley's weekend alter-ego, or else her cool older sister who smokes in the car.

Traditionally, the Dirty Shirley variation is spiked with vodka, which is a good fit if you want to let the cherry flavor shine. Plain, colorless vodka stays on the sidelines. However, if you want to deepen that sugary sweet flavor and turn the pink hue to magenta, swap the vodka for whiskey. Whiskey's natural vanilla-caramel depth darkens this bright sipper into a mature yet accessible cocktail perfect for playful pool parties and grown-up dinner parties alike. To further complement the sweet-smoky flavor profile of the whiskey, swap the lemon-lime soda base for ginger ale.

Shirley, it's time for a little whiskey

To assemble this Shirley Temple upgrade, simply fill the glass with ice, add in the whiskey, then the grenadine, and fill with ginger ale to the brim of the glass. Two ounces of whiskey and one ounce of grenadine is a good jumping-off point, but feel free to play around with the proportions to suit your taste. However, with the addition of flavorful whiskey, keep in mind that you might need to adjust your usual amount of grenadine to avoid an overly sweet pomegranate clash. If super-sweet is your style, you could even toss in a little maraschino cherry juice from the jar for another layer of dimensionality.

A sweeter variety of whiskey (not to be confused with "whisky") acts as a better complement to the Shirley Temple's dominant cherry notes than smoky, peppery rye. Look for a budget-friendly whiskey with a dessert-like profile, such as Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey or (better yet) Evan Williams Cherry. In fitting whiskey spirit, assemble your Whiskey Dirty Shirley in a crystal rocks glass or square-shaped Old Fashioned glass and chill with a single large ice cube. Garnish with a trio of maraschino cherries skewered and balanced across the rim of a highball glass. To give this old-school drink a retro finish and teleport yourself to the soda pop counter in a spirited style, serve with a bowl of more maraschino cherries and a red-striped paper straw.