Inside the Shirley Temple: How Did the Mocktail Get Its Name?

The mix of grenadine and soda is named after the child star — but why?

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Alfred Eisenstaedt / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Shirley Temple arriving at 20th Century Fox film studio lot to celebrate her eighth birthday, in 1936.

The iconic child star Shirley Temple died on Feb. 10, 2014, but she leaves an indelible legacy — not only in the movies in which she starred and the places where she later served as a U.S. ambassador, but also at bars and restaurants around around the world, in the form of the mix of grenadine syrup and soda that bears her name.

But how did the drink — perhaps the most famous non-alcoholic cocktail ever — come to be associated with the actress?

The exact source of the name is a bit of a mystery, but most stories agree on the reason, which is obvious: the young starlet was out at a restaurant and needed something non-alcoholic to drink. Reportedly, Temple was “whining” over her parents sipping old-fashioneds, which also come with their offshoot’s signature maraschino cherry, and so the waitstaff mixed up a teetotal version for her. (Some recollections have the drink being first mixed at the Hollywood eatery Chasen’s, while others say it was the Brown Derby restaurant, also in Hollywood; the Royal Hawaiian Hotel has also said that their bartenders came up with the cocktail.)

(PHOTOS: From Child-Star to Diplomat: Shirley Temple’s Life in Pictures)

Still, even the ingredients are in dispute. There’s definitely a dash of grenadine and a maraschino cherry, but the soda can consist of ginger ale, lemon-lime soda or a mix. Some recipes also include orange juice.

One thing is for sure, however: the star herself didn’t want anyone making money off her signature drink by using her name. In 1988, when there were attempts to market a bottled soda bearing the name “Shirley Temple,” she brought civil lawsuits claiming that her name was not a generic term, and that using it as such was an invasion of her privacy. As she told the New York Times at the time: “All a celebrity has is their name.”

For Shirley Temple, considering her name is also an iconic beverage, that’s a lot to have.

(MORE: Shirley Temple, Former Hollywood Child Star, Dies at 85)