The One-Ingredient Difference Between A Shirley Temple And Roy Rogers Drink

The Shirley Temple and the Roy Rogers are easily two of the most popular nonalcoholic mixed drinks out there, which makes sense seeing as there's only a one-ingredient difference between them. The Shirley Temple contains either lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, then is given its iconic red color thanks to the grenadine, and, finally, is topped off with maraschino cherries. Some Shirley Temple recipes also include a small amount of lime juice. Meanwhile, the Roy Rogers also features a trio of simple ingredients — it has the same template, except the lemon-lime soda or ginger ale is swapped out for cola. If you're unfamiliar, grenadine is a syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar, which are cooked down into a syrup. It brings in some extra sweetness and a burst of fruitiness to the sodas of each drink. As a bonus, grenadine is also easy to make at home.

To make either drink, start by pouring 1 ounce of grenadine into the glass, then fill up the rest of the glass with either cola or a white soda, depending on which drink you're making. Finally, stir well and top with one or two maraschino cherries (or as many as you'd like).

Because of the similar ingredients, the Shirley Temple and the Roy Rogers are the perfect companions for one another to serve at a dinner party. You can have multiple fun mixed drink options for anyone who doesn't drink alcohol without having to buy too many ingredients.

How to customize the Shirley Temple and the Roy Rogers

If you're willing to use a few more ingredients, there are plenty of enticing ways to customize and upgrade both the Shirley Temple and the Roy Rogers. To start, you can make a grown-up Shirley Temple — that is still non-alcoholic — which uses ginger beer, instead of soda, and infuses a sweet citrusy flavor with freshly squeezed orange juice from Cara Cara oranges. Meanwhile, if you want to customize the Roy Rogers, you can stray from tradition and swap out the cola for a different dark soda — perhaps a root beer or a Dr. Pepper. Additionally, if you're worried about either of these drinks being too sweet, you can replace a portion of the soda with sparkling water to lessen the sweetness without taking away the sparkling element. 

Then, of course, there's the option to make a boozy version of either of these drinks. To make the alcoholic spin on the Shirley Temple, which is referred to as a Dirty Shirley, simply add 2 ounces of vodka into the mix. As for the Roy Rogers, there isn't a go-to liquor to add like there is for the Shirley Temple, so you can add 2 ounces of any type of liquor you want. Maybe you opt for whiskey since, thanks to the very popular Jack and Coke, we know that cola and whiskey are a perfect match.