Dirty Shirley

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Take the classics up a notch with this Dirty Shirley Drink! It only takes a handful of ingredients and a couple of minutes to have this refreshing drink in-hand. Finish it off with a lemon wedge and cherry for the perfect look.

Angled view of two dirty Shirley cocktails

Frozen Dirty Shirley Drink

If you love a classic Shirley Temple drink, you’ll love this adults-only version too! This Dirty Shirley features all the flavors of the original drink, with the addition of vodka.

And since frozen drinks are always better (in my opinion!), I opted to blend everything with ice versus just pouring it over.

It still has that same flavor – not too strong, just the perfect lightness, like the original drink. And it’s one you can whip up in 5 minutes or less.

Love frozen cocktails? Be sure to check out my Frozen Dr Pepper Cocktail too!

Overhead view of two dirty Shirley cocktails

Why You’ll Love This Cocktail

Here are a few reasons to love this Shirley Temple cocktail.

  • Quick and easy. All you need to do is blend the ingredients and enjoy!
  • Only 3 ingredients. You’ll need only lemon lime soda, vodka, and grenadine (plus ice) to make this frozen cocktail.
  • Light and refreshing. This cocktail isn’t overly sweet or overly boozy, just light and refreshing. Perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day or after dinner.

What Is a Dirty Shirley?

A Dirty Shirley is a boozy twist on the classic childhood favorite Shirley Temple mocktail drink. A Shirley Temple is made with lemon lime soda, grenadine, and maraschino cherries over ice. A refreshing, fun drink that’s perfect for the family. The classic kid-friendly Shirley Temple was born when the famous actress was young and couldn’t have alcoholic drinks being offered at all the celebrity parties she attended. 

A Dirty Shirley takes that recipe and adds alcohol (vodka), turning it into a Dirty Shirley Temple cocktail. My version is frozen, so all of the ingredients are blended together, but you can also just pour them over ice.

Frozen dirty shirley ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

A frozen Dirty Shirley is made with just 3 ingredients plus ice and optional garnishes. See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Ice cubes – crushed
  • Lemon-lime soda – Name brand soda (like Sprite), like ginger ale, will give you the best flavor.
  • Vodka – Any clear vodka will work. I used Absolut. For a more intense flavor, try cherry vodka.
  • Grenadine Syrup – Sweetens this frozen cocktail and adds that classic red color.
  • Garnishes – I like to garnish my Dirty Shirley with lemon wedges and maraschino cherries.

How To Make A Dirty Shirley Cocktail

Here’s how to make a frozen Dirty Shirley at home in just a few minutes.

  • Blend the ingredients. Blend all ingredients, except for the garnishes, in a blender until smooth.
  • Serve. Pour into glasses then top with a lime wedge and cherry.
Overhead view of a Dirty Shirley cocktail

Tips & Variations

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when preparing this Dirty Shirley recipe.

    • Final color will vary. The brand of grenadine used will determine the final color of the drink. It can range from pink to light red, depending on the brand.
    • Make it sweeter. If you want it a bit more sweet, toss in 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar before blending. This will also help if you’re having issues with your ice not wanting to blend well with the liquid.
    • Do not add more liquid unless adjusting by adding more ice. Unless you prefer it super thin, then you’re good to go. It’s all up to you and your preferences.
    • Stir while blending if needed. If you have a weak blender, try using a tamper to stir the mixture as it blends. This will help it blend much better and quicker.
    • Grenadine. You can always replace with maraschino cherry juice and another option is pomegranate juice.

Front view of two frozen Dirty Shirleys

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve my frozen Dirty Shirley in a highball glass, garnished with a lemon wedge and maraschino cherry.

Since this is a frozen cocktail, I like to serve it with a straw. I find it’s the perfect consistency for a straw, although a spoon might be nice as well.

Make a non-frozen drink by simply pouring the ingredients into a glass with ice cubes. No need for blender.

Dirty Shirley with Ice cubes

Can This Be Prepared In Advance?

Since this is a frozen drink blended with ice, you’ll want to enjoy your Dirty Shirley immediately. Once the ice melts, it’ll taste too watered down and if you freeze it, it won’t have the proper consistency.

Thankfully, they’re super easy to whip up so you can make them in just a few minutes whenever you’d like.

More Easy Cocktail Recipes

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Dirty Shirley

Take the classics up a notch with this Frozen Dirty Shirley! It only takes a handful of ingredients and a couple of minutes to have this refreshing drink in-hand. Finish it off with a lemon wedge and cherry for the perfect look.
Servings: 3 servings (32 ounces total)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes


  • 5 Cups Ice
  • 1 1/4 Cups Lemon Lime Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Vodka 4 ounces
  • 1/4 Cup Grenadine
  • Lime Wedges optional garnish
  • Maraschino Cherries with stems (optional garnish)


  • Combine all ingredients, except the garnishes, in a powerful blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into highball glasses, or the preferred glasses of your choice.
  • Top with a lime wedge and cherry, if desired, and enjoy!

Last Step:

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Serving: 3g | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 0.1g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 9mg | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.04mg


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