Shirley Temple: Not the Kiddie Cocktail I Remember

I love airports. I always have. I also love airport bars. My love for those goes way back too. I travelled quite a bit as a kid and some of my fondest moments are sitting up at the bar with my mom before take off. She’d always order me a Shirley Temple. I’d sip my sweetie drink so quickly because I wanted to get to the best part – the maraschino cherry – which I always saved for last.


My tastes have matured since then, but nostalgia has become one of my favourite flavours.

I’m unsure exactly how those airport bartenders made my Shirley Temple, but here’s a recipe from Diffords Guide:

1/4 shot of pomegranate (grenadine) syrup

1/4 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Top up with ginger ale

Pour ingredients into an ice-filled glass, lightly stir and serve with straws.

This recipe sounds pretty straightforward, and it is, but that’s only if you have easy access to pomegranate syrup, which I didn’t. No store around me sold it.

So I had to make it myself.


All I did was buy a 236 MILLILITER BOTTLE OF POM WONDERFUL POMEGRANATE juice. I POURED it into a saucepan and brought it to a BOIL. I then lowered the heat and left it SIMMERING for 15 MINUTES, STIRRING occasionally. I then CHUCKED IN 2 CUPS OF SUGAR, letting it DISSOLVE. I STIRRED it a bit again. Once that was done, I let the mixture cool. Then I poured it back into the POM bottle and stored it in the fridge. That’s it. Homemade pomegranate syrup.

Now, did my Shirley Temple cocktail take me back to childhood in that airport bar?

No. I was quite disappointed with this cocktail. All I tasted was ginger ale. I tried adding an extra splash of pomegranate syrup and squeeze of lemon but nothing overcame the bland fizziness.

It needs something else but I’m not sure what. This will take some research; perhaps at the nearest airport bar.