Fact: Shirley Temples are the best drink on the planet.

My father worked as a bartender before I was born. I like to think I inherited some of his mixology skills. As a kid, I was always interested in mixing sodas together at parties, attempting to make an uber-saturated sugar-filled jungle juice of Colas, Seltzers, and Sprites. Now, in the dining halls, I like to switch my drink selection up whenever I can. I’m a creative drinker that way. Let’s put that to test with this recipe!


  • Soda Base. Depending on your mixological philosophy and ethical code, you might use Ginger Ale or Sprite as your base. I personally recommend the former.
  • A mixer. While the dining halls don’t have grenadine, they do have extremely close alternatives. As you temple-heads probably know, grenadine is a non-alcoholic sweet—and slightly tart—bar syrup with a red color. While traditionally made from pomegranates, modern alternatives also use a mixture of mainly blackcurrant juice with other fruit juices for a similar flavor. Luckily, Columbia dining halls have drink syrups usually near the coffee machines. The optimal syrup flavors are listed below: 

Ferris Dining Hall: Raspberry Syrup 

JJ’s Place: Strawberry Syrup

John Jay Dining Hall: Pomegranate Syrup (best for the Shirley Temple purists reading this!) 


Prework: Reflect on the blessing you are about to receive. Shirley Temples are that good. Also, do some self-reflecting about whether or not you want your Shirley Temple neat or on the rocks. If the latter, add your ice before pouring adding the base.

  1. Add the Base. Using the soda fountains, add Ginger ale or Sprite into your cup. Leave enough room at the top for the syrup.
  2. Add a splash of “grenadine.” With one of the available syrups, add about 2-3 teaspoons to the drink. 
  3. Stir. Using a spoon, straw, or another utensil, lightly stir the drink to evenly disperse the mixer. Do not stir too fast as that may cause any ice to melt faster and water down the drink. You might also make a mess.
  4. Yum, Enjoy! :-)

Shirley Temple via Flickr

All other photos via author