Dirty Shirley Cocktail Recipe

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Birthday Party



A pair of pretty Dirty Shirley cocktails in rocks glasses, garnished with fresh cherries, placed on a white surface

The Dirty Shirley recipe is to the classic Shirley Temple cocktail what post-Miley Liam Hemsworth is to everyone’s favourite Thor and wholesome hottie, Chris Hemsworth. It’s a little naughtier with a rebellious streak, but still 100% delicious. Here’s our recipe for the Dirty Shirley cocktail that upgrades this nostalgic drink from the kids’ section to the grownup table without missing a beat.  



Try a flavoured vodka like SKYY Infusions® Pineapple for a tropical vibe.


Level up by making your own grenadine syrup with sugar and pomegranate juice.


Provide a selection of retro cocktail garnishes like sugar canes to add an element of fun.



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

180 Ml

6 Oz

6 Parts

Lemon-lime soda
Cherries to garnish



Add the SKYY Vodka and grenadine into a serving glass filled with ice


Top with the lemon-lime soda and stir gently and briefly to combine


Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve

How the alcoholic Shirley Temple drink came to be 

Dirty cocktails have always appealed to adventurous drinkers who like to put a bit of a spin on a classic, and the Dirty Shirley is no different. While the exact origin of the first vodka-laced version of the Shirley Temple mocktail lies obscured in cocktail history, it’s safe to say it followed closely in the footsteps of the non-alcoholic drink that was first poured and named in honor of the eponymous child star in the 1930s. It’s the ideal option when you want something nostalgic and comforting, with a teensy bit of kick.  

Variations of the Dirty Shirley to take for a spin

Now that you know how to make a Shirley Temple with alcohol, here are a few variations on this classic theme you are likely to enjoy as well:  

Shirley Temple Mocktail

Naturally, you’ve got to try the OG mocktail that inspired the dirty version. Featuring ginger ale, lemon or lime juice, and a splash of grenadine as ingredients, the sweet, girlish Shirley Temple is also garnished with a maraschino cherry.   

Lemon Drop Martini

With a jaunty attitude and a pretty sugar rim, the perfectly balanced and refreshingly tart Lemon Drop Martini hails from the heydays of the 1970s and was named after a zesty candy that was equally popular at the time.   


The always-classy Cosmopolitan is made with SKYY Vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice, and lime juice, typically served in a martini glass and garnished with a twist of lemon or lime. 

Dirty Martini

A dapper Dirty Martini is an iconic cocktail made with gin or vodka, Cinzano Vermouth Bianco, and olive brine, giving it a salty and savoury flavor that’s both bold and sophisticated. 

Great times to serve a Dirty Shirley Temple

The Dirty Shirley drink is a classic that can be served at just about any festive occasion. However, we do think this amazing party cocktail it’s particularly suited to:  

  • Retro parties of any kind (1950s, 1940s, 1930s, etc.) 
  • Oscar-watching occasions (movie-themed and all that) 
  • National Vodka Day (celebrated on October 4th each year)  
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A Dirty Shirley cocktail is a boozy riff on the classic Shirley Temple mocktail recipe. It combines SKYY Vodka, grenadine, and lemon-lime soda, garnished with cherries for extra throwback cheer.

The origin of the Dirty Shirley cocktail is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 20th century. It is a variation of the Shirley Temple—a non-alcoholic drink that consists of ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry. The addition of vodka to the Dirty Shirley gives it an alcoholic kick and makes it more suitable for adult tastes.