What is a Roy Rogers?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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A Roy Rogers is a non-alcoholic drink named after the cowboy singer and actor by the same name. The drink was created as the little boy's variation of the Shirley Temple non-alcoholic drink. The base of the drink is cola and non-alcoholic grenadine syrup is the other main ingredient. The drink is topped off with a maraschino cherry and some versions also include lemon slices or wedges along with the maraschino cherry.

The steps to making a Roy Rogers are very simple. First, the glass is filled with ice. The proper glass for this drink is a Collins glass, or high ball, which is a tall, cylindrical tumbler. Next, cola is added to the ice, leaving enough space at the top for a splash of grenadine. After the grenadine is added, the maraschino cherry, and lemon if using, is added and the drink is ready to serve. Some versions use ginger ale rather than cola, but a true Roy Rogers is always made with cola or else it is really a Shirley Temple.

The Shirley Temple is not the same drink as the Roy Rogers since it uses ginger ale or another non-cola soft drink rather than cola. However, a Shirley Temple Black is exactly the same as one and has cola in it. Other names for the same drink have been used to reflect the times, including the Darth Vader. Darth Vader is the antagonist from the popular Star Wars films of the 1970s.


The Roy Rogers drink is also sometimes called a Grenadini because of the grenadine added. It is also referred as a mocktail or a kiddie cocktail. The Roy Rogers, as well as the Shirley Temple invented before it, were created as a way for children to enjoy fancy drinks while adults were drinking fancy alcoholic drink in restaurants or at parties. This way, children could also enjoy the idea of having a special drink on a special occasion too.


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