Shirley Temple Wasn't a Fan of Her Namesake Drink
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As a kid, few things are better than sitting down and ordering yourself a Shirley Temple. The sweet, syrupy taste of grenadine and ginger ale (or the more modern use of lemon-lime soda) topped with a maraschino cherry is a special treat for any sweet-toothed adolescent. But the real Shirley Temple herself didn’t quite feel the same.
The drink was named in honor of the famed child actress. But stories about who invented the drink are conflicting. One tale says it was created in the late 1930s at a Beverly Hills restaurant called Chasen’s. Another says it was made for the first time at the Brown Derby in Hollywood. No matter the story, one thing remains the same: It was made for the young actress who “whined” that she needed a drink to order like the adults surrounding her.
But in the 1980s Temple’s true feelings about the non-alcoholic mixed drink became apparent.
In a 1986 interview with NPR, she reportedly referred to Shirley Temples as “saccharine, icky drinks,” and claimed she had nothing to do with its creation, adding that she “hate[s] them.” According to Mashed, Temple once rejected the drink, saying, “If you drink that, you're going to get diabetes.”
In 1988, a soda company named Soda Pop Kids tried to release a bottled version of the kid-friendly cocktail. The starlet fought the company in a civil lawsuit claiming the use of her name was an invasion of her privacy.
''I will fight it like a tigress,'' Temple told the New York Times at the time. ''All a celebrity has is their name.''
Soda Pop Kids argued that the name had become a “generic term” used for the drink. Temple ultimately won the case and barred the company from using her name on its products. In the years to follow, Temple would bring about similar cases with different companies.
Six years after the passing of the iconic Shirley Temple, her open distaste for the drink has not swayed adoration of the Shirley Temple cocktail.