Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Temple Tuesday: No Shirley Temple for Shirley

As a child, I loved Shirley Temple the actress AND Shirley Temple the drink! Sure, little boys could order a Roy Rogers and sound a little more manly, but I didn’t give a crap. I ALWAYS requested a Shirley Temple. The origins of this non-alcoholic “cocktail” are unknown, but a variety of stories have circulated. One attributes it to Hollywood’s famous Chasen’s restaurant, which created it for Shirley’s tenth birthday party.

Story #2 credits the Brown Derby restaurant who whipped it up to take care of Shirley’s displeasure that everyone else got to have a special drink at the table except for her.

From getty images comes this shot of Shirley dining with her family at the Derby, May 1940. Looks like a malt to me!

Here’s teenage Shirley with her mom at the Derby in 1945:

Story #3 has The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu coming up with the drink.

Shirley herself told Scott Simon in an NPR interview in 1986:

"The saccharine sweet, icky drink? Yes, well... those were created in the probably middle 1930s by the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood and I had nothing to do with it. But, all over the world, I am served that. People think it's funny. I hate them. Too sweet!"

THAT’S why I loved them! First, I gobbled up those radioactive red maraschino cherries. Often, there was one hiding in the bottom of the glass under the ice. Second, my straw went right to the bottom of the glass to soak up that thick grenadine syrup. You can buy the drink in a bottle today, but those kinda’ suck; everything is mixed together and they don’t come with the maraschino cherries, either.

The above quote lends credence to the exhibit that is on display at the Dearly Departed Museum on Hollywood Boulevard:

As the display card reads:

At an appearance in October 1998 Shirley’s friend handed her this drink (see glass with umbrella in the pic!). Shirley Temple, “What’s this?” Friend (smiling), “It’s a Shirley Temple.” She moved this glass aside and said, “If you drink that, you’re going to get diabetes.”

This all occurred at the famous Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco:

Wanna’ learn how to make a Shirley Temple and recapture your childhood?

Also on display at the Museum is this funeral wreath from Hollywood Boulevard at the ceremony when Shirley died in 2014.

Want to see more Dearly Departed Stuff? Better hurry, as the museum is closing and its contents are headed to storage later this month. Instead, you can visit their youtube channel.

See more Shirley Temple Black photos at my main website.


John Cox said...

This is wonderful. Thank you. So funny, I would also always ask for a Shirley Temple even though boys were suppose to say Roy Rogers (according to my father). Not this boy! :)

Matthew said...

Right there with you men! The very first time I wandered into a bar (OK... it was at our local golf course - Rio Hondo - but hey... there was a bar there in the restaurant too), I just finished driving a bucket of balls... couldn't have been older than 11 or 12. The bar tender said what will it be... I said, "I don't know I've never been in a bar." He said, I'll make you a drink son, you just sit right there. I did and low and behold I took my first sip and was hooked. I asked, "What is this fine elixir you have concocted my good fellow?" (I spoke kinda funny for an 11 year old). He said those three magic words, "A Shirley Temple." My life was forever changed. No longer did I to have to sip coke-cola like my other friends. I could belly up to a bar an order "A Shirley Temple!" And just like you Dave, and you too, John Cox I was not afraid to order loudly so everyone could here.

Always your pal,
Amazon "Make mine a Shirley Temple please" Belle

PS - Oh and great post too today Dave. Thanks for the insight. : )

DBenson said...

Recalling an episode of Jack Benny's TV show. He's in a plush lounge with friends, and suavely orders "the usual". The waiter turns and shouts "One Shirley Temple!"

Later, the drink arrives. He takes a sip and gags.

"Waiter! There's gin in my Shirley Temple!"
Waiter says, "Shirley's a big girl now."

Daveland said...

John & Matt - I think we all need to meet for a Shirley Temple!

DBenson - I hadn't heard that one!

Anonymous said...

This is great...

I remember being served a Shirley Temple at the Starlight Roof in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, probably 1963. It was a big deal to a little kid.

Thanks everyone.


Daveland said...

The Starlight is still in biz (or at least it was on my last visit), but definitely not the same hotel! Taken over by hipsters!

Mike Paquin said...

Yup another S.T. guy out here in Philly, at 52! Certain cherries, syrups, etc., taste better than others. I hate the pomegranate kind, I actually prefer the stuff in the marachino jar, more than grenadine, it has a particular taste.

Barry B said...

My name is Barry Barsamian and I'm Shirley's friend who offered her the Shirley Temple drink at the Fairmont Hotel photo shoot in 1998. She told me "if you drink that, you're going to get diabetes!"