Shirley Temple Float

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Shirley Temples have a special place in our hearts, even as grown-ups. Here’s our fun twist on a classic root beer float: we use ginger ale instead, and the vanilla ice cream blends perfectly with sweet, fruity grenadine. You can even add a splash of alcohol if you like! 🍒

Summer’s Easiest Treat

Floats are my favorite simple summer treat and the easiest way to dress up a pint of vanilla ice cream. With the Dirty Shirley being the drink of summer 2023, I thought, why not turn it into a float for summer 2024? The result is a foamy, fruity, creamy delight that’s part drink, part dessert, and totally satisfying for your sweet tooth. The best part? You only need three ingredients that you probably already have at home—grenadine, ginger ale, and vanilla ice cream.

Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime Soda?

There’s always a debate about what makes a true Shirley Temple. The original version uses ginger ale, while modern versions often use lemon-lime soda. I chose ginger ale to stay true to the classic, but lemon-lime soda would be just as delicious. Ginger beer is another excellent option.

Best Ice Cream for a Shirley Temple Float

I kept it simple with vanilla ice cream, but don’t hesitate to experiment. Grenadine has a pomegranate flavor, so use that as your base for mixing and matching flavors. Cherry or chocolate ice cream would be fantastic choices too!

Shirley Temple Float

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 2


  • – 1 ounce grenadine
  • – 12 ounces ginger ale
  • – 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • – 2 maraschino cherries optional


  • Divide the grenadine between 2 tall sundae glasses.
  • Add ginger ale, then top each with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream.
  • Garnish with a cherry if desired.

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