I have said it before. I like a well prepared cocktail. I like the whole ritual from mixing to sipping. I like how a good cocktail can mark a moment as special. Creating a lifetime memory. I especially like that pause that comes just before you pick up the stem, close your eyes and lift it to your lips. That brief, unconscious pause. The inhalation of the electric current that floats right above, or sits on top the surface of a perfectly mixed beauty. The promise of a well made cocktail has kept me on my best behavior many, many times.
But what about the kids? Kids need treats, too! Especially if you’re asking them to behave themselves at a dinner party or trying to avoid a breakdown in a restaurant. Juice boxes may keep the little buggers in line, but on special occasions don’t you think they should be able to enjoy something special to mark the moment?
Well that’s why they invented the Kiddie Cocktail. Sometimes you see it spelled with 2 k’s. As in Kiddie Kocktail. But either way the most requested alcohol-free sweet drink for youngsters is known as the Shirley Temple.
Shirley Temple (the person) was a curly-topped, dimpled little girl with tap shoes and a can-do spirit. Which made her the world’s first child superstar.
Well, superstars have to attend super parties. Galas and movie openings– that kind of thing. Which may have been difficult on even the most precocious of 7 year olds. So, according to legend, some anonymous bartender (who was probably a parent too) took pity on the child and concocted a cocktail every bit as glamorous as whatever liquorous libation Clark Gable was sipping. It became known as the Shirley Temple, the iconic kiddie cocktail.
But not all kids are created equal. So I also have two more suggestions for something sippable for the kiddies out there (young and old). First there’s the cola version of the iconic original. Also named for a kid friendly movie star, it’s called the Roy Rogers. Lastly I am bringing the wee ones in your life a special little concoction I call an Orange Dream. I made it up, but I tried to give it all the same charms of my childhood favorite treat. The creamy, sweet orange frozen Creamsicle. Which is just like a kiddie cocktail on stick. It can still make me behave like a little gentleman to this day. GREG
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.