Skip to Content

Dirty Shirley Recipe

I love to eat at restaurants, and I am lucky to frequent them at least once a week. But as a child, this wasn’t the case.

There were four kids in my family and money was tight. Eating at a restaurant was a very special occasion.

We would go to restaurants only a few times a year. One occasion was either my grandfather or grandmother’s birthday.

Other times, we were invited to a special event such as a christening or shower. Those times were very special and it was not only the food that I remembered.

It was ordering that special Shirley Temple drink.

Dirty Shirley Photo

Shirley Temples are typically made with ginger-ale or a lemon-lime soda. I always remember drinking one with 7- Up or Sprite.

The best part was those maraschino cherries that came in the glass. If you were lucky, the bartender would give you a few extra cherries.

I know they are filled with sugar and dye. They actually taste nothing like real cherries but I just love them.

Dirty Shirley Picture

I am not sure if it was the taste of the drink or the fact that I felt grown up drinking one that made me love them so much. Let’s fast forward to the present.

I still love Shirley Temples and I could still eat a half of a jar of maraschino cherries. But I have not seen many adults order Shirley Temples at a bar.

My kids get them and I will not lie. I have snuck a sip of their drink or maybe even a few gulps.

Recently I was at a party, and to my surprise there was a "dirty" Shirley on the drink menu. My eyes lit up and I had a sip.

Sprite, vodka, and a splash of grenadine were mixed in a glass. The bartender added three cherries to the glass and I was in heaven.

There will be no more sneaking sips from my kids’ drinks, as now I can have my own grown up version.

Dirty Shirley Image

I went home and decided to experiment making my own dirty Shirley. I bought some cherry vodka and the best bottle of grenadine I could find. Grenadine is a syrupy concentrated pomegranate juice that is used in lots of cocktails.

The cherry flavored vodka made the cherry flavor really stand out. This is definitely my new favorite drink!

Try making a dirty Shirley and adding some booze to that classic drink. Just make sure you don’t mix up your drink with your kid’s. Enjoy!

Need some more cocktail ideas? Try these:

Dirty Shirley Photo

Dirty Shirley Recipe

Lisa Grant
Dirty Shirley revisits the classic Shirley Temple drink of your childhood. You will love this adult version!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 191 kcal


  • 1 Lemon Lime Soda
  • 3 Cherry Vodka
  • 2 Grenadine Syrup (Rose’s)
  • 2 Maraschino Cherry Plus extra for garnish
  • Lime Wedge For garnish


  • Fill two glasses with ice.
  • Pour in the Sprite and the cherry vodka dividing equal amounts in each glass.
  • Add a splash of Grenadine and cherry to each drink.
  • Mix drinks well and garnish with cherries and limes.


Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 27.5gSodium: 32.5mgSugar: 20g
Keyword Cherries, Cocktails, Drinks, Easy, Vodka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating