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The Dirty Shirley Cocktail

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The Dirty Shirley cocktail is a sweet and tart combination of cherry vodka, grenadine syrup, and lemon-lime soda. It’s easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and is a great way to add a little something special to any gathering.

Woman's hand placing a lime wheel on a cocktail glass.

This recipe is for adults ages 21+. Always drink responsibly and do not drink and drive.

But first, let’s examine the origin of this tasty libation. It is believed that the drink was first concocted in the 1930s, but the actual origins have been lost to history.

What we do know is that the cocktail makes an adult twist on the child-friendly drink known as a Shirley Temple. Some Dirty Shirleys are made with cherry vodka, a splash of cranberry juice, and topped with 7-Up.

Nowadays you can find Dirty Shirley recipes using other flavored vodkas, grenadine instead of cranberry juice, and Sprite or ginger ale in place of 7-Up. All that being said, here’s a classic easy recipe for the Dirty Shirley that you can make in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of Lemon Lime Soda
  • 1-ounce Vodka
  • ½ ounce Grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lime wheels and maraschino cherries for garnish
Ingredients to make a Dirty Shirley cocktail.

Directions

Large glass with lemon-lime soda and ice.

Fill a tall glass with ice and add 5 ounces of lemon-lime soda.

Vodka being poured into a large glass with ice.

Add 1 ounce of vodka and a dash (½ ounce) of grenadine.

Two glass with Dirty Shirley cocktail.

Stir, garnish, and enjoy!

Tips

  • If you prefer a stronger drink, then simply double your vodka amount to a total of 2 ounces.
  • Differentiating amounts of grenadine will play a huge part in the color, so do not be afraid to get your shade of red just right.
  • This recipe serves very well in a summer party punch bowl, especially if you fill the bowl with some cherries, lemons, and limes.
  • Garnish with fresh lime slices and a maraschino cherry.
  • To quickly chill the drink, place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and garnish.

What is the difference between a regular Shirley Temple and a Dirty Shirley?

A regular Shirley Temple is made with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda, grenadine syrup, and a maraschino cherry for garnish. A Dirty Shirley adds vodka to the mix, making it a stronger and more adult-oriented cocktail.

Can I use something other than lemon-lime soda?

Yes, you can use other types of soda such as Sprite or ginger beer.

What other ingredients can I add to the Dirty Shirley?

You can experiment with different flavored vodkas, juices, and syrups. Some popular additions include orange juice, pineapple juice, and raspberry syrup. You can also add a splash of lime or lemon juice for an extra zing.

Two glass with Dirty Shirley cocktail.

The Dirty Shirley

This sweet and tart drink is perfect for any occasion, and can be made with just a few simple ingredients.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 162kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces Lemon Lime Soda
  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • ½ Ounce Grenadine
  • Ice
  • lime wheels and maraschino cherries for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Add 5 ounces of lemon-lime soda, 1 ounce of vodka, and a dash (.5 ounce) of grenadine over the ice.
  • Stir and enjoy!

Notes

f you prefer a stronger drink, then simply double your vodka amount to a total of 2 ounces.
Differentiating amounts of grenadine will play a huge part in the color, so do not be afraid to get your shade of red just right.
This recipe serves very well in a summer party punch bowl, especially if you fill the bowl with some cherries, lemons, and limes.
Garnish with fresh lime slices and a maraschino cherry.
To quickly chill the drink, place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 0.1g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 6mg | Sugar: 21g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.04mg
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Be sure to come back and tell us how your Dirty Shirley cocktail turned out!

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