Shirley Temple, meet my friend Jack Daniels.

Shirley Temples are a childhood treat that I don’t think I’ll be growing out of anytime soon. One night I was drinking my go-to whiskey ginger and wanted to spice it up a bit. I found some grenadine stuck in the back of my cupboard and it’s like a light bulb went off — “DUHHH, Shirley Temple! … with Jack?” Ever since then they’ve been one of my favorite cocktails — especially with a wedge of lime and a cherry (stem, please).

But that just wasn’t enough.

I’ve had an itch to make my own “soda” or soda-like beverage for a while now — and being that there’s booze involved, I figured this was only the best opportunity. I love ginger root and ginger ale, so making my own at home only seemed like an obvious resolution. I immediately turned to my friend Google and found a great recipe for homemade ginger ale that I could incorporate into my Shirley Temple with Jack .. we’ll call it a Jacked Up Shirley. (Doesn’t that make you want to get crazy to a country song? As it SHOULD.) This name is totally appropriate because not only is it literally JACKed, the ginger flavor is a serious kick in the mouth flavor wise. If you like ginger, you’ve got to try this.

JACKED UP SHIRLEY (WITH HOMEMADE GINGER ALE)

1-1/3c HOMEMADE GINGER ALE MIXTURE *adapted from Simply Recipes
// 1c peeled, finely chopped ginger root
// 3c water
// 1c sugar
// 1-1/2c club soda
// lime juice
1-2oz WHISKEY (JACK)
GRENADINE TO TASTE
LIME WHEEL/WEDGE
MARASCHINO CHERRIES

  1. First you will need to make the homemade ginger ale, starting with the ginger water: Peel and finely chop 1c of ginger root. In a saucepan, bring 2c of water to a boil. Add the ginger and bring back to a boil. Turn to medium-low heat, letting the ginger simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid and discard the ginger. Set aside.
  2. Now onto the simple syrup: In a separate saucepan, dissolve 1c of sugar into 1c of boiling water. Pour into a mug or measuring cup (I used my beloved Pyrex) and set in the freezer or fridge to cool off, depending on how eager you are.
  3. In a glass, mix 1/2c ginger water mix, 1/2c club soda, 1/3c simple syrup mix and a squeeze of lime juice over ice. Gently stir. (You should have enough of the ginger water for 3-4 servings, depending on taste/spice tolerance/how much of the water was lost during the boiling process.)
  4. You have your ginger ale (taste it!) — now time to jack it up. Add 1-2oz of whiskey to your taste/swagger.
  5. Drizzle in the grenadine — you’ll only need about an ounce or less.
  6. Top with a lime wheel and a cherry!
  7. Admire! … and consume. Obviously.

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