Yes, Shirley Temples. The drink you drank before you were allowed to sip alcohol.
Why go back? Like Frozen Lemonade and Mocha Choco Locos, some childish things are best left the way they are–childish. Here, that means a little too sweet and almost entirely booze free. Almost, because the impetus for making these came from a pot of homemade Maraschino cherries, which includes Luxardo, which includes booze.
This season was a good one for cherries, and in the process of researching this DIY booze article, I was so glad to discover the recipe for preserving some of them in this sweet mix. It’s like no Maraschino cherry you’re envisioning, I promise. The jar turns a beautiful dark maroon instead of a fake bright red, and the cherries taste as good alone as they do in Manhattans or on top of sundaes.
Or, in Shirley Temples. I had such a strong vision of using some of the leftover boozy, sweet liquid in the jar for Shirley Temples, that I wasn’t even miffed to find that they were originally made from grenadine, not cherry liquor. Though cooks use grenadine to add cherry flavor to sweets, in fact the stuff is made from pomegranates! I, of course, pushed on
I also made my own ginger syrup (which I can’t recommend highly enough). That, and seltzer, replaced the Shirley Temple’s typical ginger ale. It’s spicier, but pretty much just as sweet.
You can drink extra ginger syrup in regular homemade ginger ale, or mix up Moscow mules for friends.
From Scratch Shirley Temples
Makes 1 drink
1-2 tablespoons liquid from a jar of homemade Maraschino cherries, plus 1 cherry (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons ginger syrup (recipe follows)
about 1/2 cup seltzer
Combine all the ingredients. Stir. Taste, adding more ginger syrup, seltzer, or cherry liquid to suit your taste. Add a few ice cubes, then drink.
Homemade Maraschino Cherries
Makes about 2 cups of cherries and liquid combined
1 pound cherries, pitted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Luxardo cherry liqueur
Place the cherries in small pot with the sugar, 1/2 cup water, and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the extracts and 1 cup of Luxardo cherry liqueur. Pour everything into a large clean jar, and place it on a towel in the fridge. Once the jar is cool, you’re ready to go. Homemade cherries will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3-inch piece ginger
Place the sugar and water in a small pot. Peel and slice the ginger and add to the pot. Set over medium-love heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil just for a minute, then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the ginger to steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a glass jar to remove the slices, then store the syrup in the fridge (it’ll keep pretty much indefinitely).