New Cocktail Recipe: (Dirty) Shirley Manson

Mrs. Mai Tai often orders a Shirley Temple in lieu of a cocktail but sometimes you want this kind of drink with alcohol included. This alcoholic “Dirty” Shirley Temple riff is named after Garbage and Angelfish singer Shirley Manson, a native of Scotland. So, naturally the featured spirit in this cocktail is Scotch Whisky. Given the difficulty of balancing the high cherry content in a boozy highball you might understand why I worked on this on and off for over a year until I finally got it where I wanted it.

Noteworthy is the use of Ginger Ale rather than 7-Up or Sprite; true Shirley Temple aficionados will agree this is the correct soda mixer. The use of Maraschino Cherry Juice is potentially controversial but is the key ingredient to provide the flavor notes that’ll remind you of your favorite childhood version of this drink. I tried Luxardo cherry juice while prototyping but it was too thick and didn’t lighten the already heavy flavors from Cherry Heering liqueur.

(Dirty) Shirley Manson
½ oz Maraschino Cherry Juice
½ oz Cherry Heering Liqueur
½ oz Cointreau
1½ oz Scotch Whisky 
1 dash Cherry Bitters (optional)
3 oz Ginger Ale\
Fill glass with crushed ice or small cubes. Build in Collins glass and stir lightly. Garnish with three cherries on a pick.

I went around with some different styles of Scotch and am not officially designating a specific brand or type. If you like it peaty, then choose a beloved Islay brand. Although the peaty flavor isn’t my favorite I do feel like a little bit of it in the cocktail will provide authenticity and a good counterbalance to the sweet cherry notes. 

When I make this at home I use 1 oz The Glenlivet 12 year and ½ oz of Johnnie Walker Black Label, providing just the right amount of that smoky Scotch flavor along with the Speyside Scotch’s predominantly floral notes.


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