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This recipe was originally published on March 22, 2018.
Craving something different to drink tonight with your children at supper? Try making a Roy Rogers drink. It’s non-alcoholic, plus it’s super simple.
It’s a perfect recipe to make with your children, as it only takes 4 ingredients. Trust me, the kid in you will love it just as much as your children will.
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Why is it called a Roy Rogers?
Roy Rogers was a famous American actor and singer who was filmed in over 100 movies, mostly Westerns made in the 1940’s. He is known as the King of the Cowboys. This drink is named after him. No one really knows the complete history behind this drink, but since Roy Rogers didn’t drink alcohol, it seems fitting that this tasty drink be named after him.
This drink became popular on restaurant menus across the U.S. in the 1950’s along with the Shirley Temple. Back then parents would order a Roy Rogers for their sons to drink and a Shirley Temple for their daughters to drink. These two drinks were the original ‘mocktails.’
What is the difference between a Shirley Temple and a Roy Rogers?
Let’s start by talking about their similarities. They both are made in a highball glass with ice, have grenadine syrup, and are garnished with a maraschino cherry.
The differences are in the kind of soda used. Shirley Temple uses a lemon lime soda or ginger ale, and a Roy Rogers uses cola. Shirley Temples can also have orange juice in them, and can also be garnished with an orange wedge, wheel, or curl.
How many calories are in a Roy Rogers?
For one serving in a 15 ounce glass, you’ll be consuming 209 calories. This is if you use the original Coca Cola for your choice of cola. If you are watching your carbs, there are 54.9 g in one serving. For more nutritional information, scroll past the recipe card.
What does a Roy Rogers taste like?
Roy Rogers have a sweet and salty taste. Coca Cola by itself has a lot of salt, so naturally a Roy Rogers would taste a bit salty. If you aren’t a fan of Coca Cola, you might like a Roy Rogers since the grenadine syrup will make the drink taste sweet.
Many people think a Roy Rogers tastes similar to a cherry coke. Maybe you have tried a Coca-Cola Cherry, Pepsi Wild Cherry, or Cherry RC and like that taste. If you do, you’ll love a Roy Rogers. The funny thing about a Roy Rogers is there is no cherry juice in it, only grenadine.
What is grenadine made of?
The main ingredient in true grenadine is 100% pomegranate juice. It’s basically a simple syrup, just replace the water with the juice. Homemade grenadine usually has a bit of freshly sqeeezed lemon juice in it along with some rose water or orange flower water.
If you are allergic to red food dye, you can still enjoy a Roy Rogers; just make your own grenadine.
How do you make grenadine?
- Use a 1:1 ratio of pomegranate juice to sugar. Bring the liquids to a boil, and let it boil for 5 minutes, so it starts to thicken into a syrup.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste, and some rose water or orange blossom water.
- Pour in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to one month.
What kind of kitchen tools do I need to make a Roy Rogers?
- Glassware: highball
- Bottle Opener: if you’re using retro glass Coca-Cola bottles
- Utensil: Long handled spoon
- Straws: retro red and white paper straws
How to Make a Roy Rogers Drink
Gather the ingredients: original Coca Cola, ice cubes, grenadine, and maraschino cherries with a stem. If you’re feeling nostalgic, buy the cola that comes in the retro glass bottles. If you do, you’ll also need to use a bottle opener, so make sure you have one on hand.
Fill a 15-ounce highball glass three-quarters full of ice cubes. I put in 15 ice cubes.
Slowly pour the Coca-Cola over the ice. It will start to fizz a lot if you pour too quickly.
Pour in the grenadine syrup.
Use a long handled spoon and slowly stir the drink for 30 seconds to make sure it’s mixed well.
Add a maraschino cherry with a stem as your garnish. If you can’t have a maraschino cherries, or you don’t like them, add a real cherry with a stem.
As a finishing touch, get out your retro paper straws (red and white striped ones or red ones with white polka dots).
- Need another garnish idea? Change things up by adding a lime or orange wheel to the rim, or a fresh cherry with a stem.
- Allergic to red food dye? Make your own grenadine syrup. It takes pomegranate juice, sugar, lemon juice, and orange blossom or rose water.
- Need to avoid caffeine? Use caffeine free Coca-Cola.
- Don’t use diet Coke; it tastes better with original Coke.
- Making this for a lot of kids? Buy the cheap cherries in a jar, so they can all snack on more than one.
- Don’t pour the Coke to fast over the ice, or it will fizz up and overflow.
- Measure everything to have a consistently great-tasting drink.
- Want to take this drink to another level? Use homemade grenadine syrup.
- Want a twist on this drink? Add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to make a Roy Roger’s float.
This drink is so easy to make, let your child have the fun of making it themselves. To quote Roy Roger himself, “Until we meet again, may the good Lord take a liking to you.”
Our Go-To Kitchen Tools
- 15-Ounce Highball Glasses: these beautiful glasses are the perfect size for a cold Roy Rogers drink.
- Long-Handled Spoons: easily stir your Roy Rogers with these simple, stainless steel spoons.
- Rose’s Grenadine: this is the tastiest brand of grenadine that we’ve tried. You’ll enjoy it too!
- Retro Paper Straws: these fun paper straws are the perfect way to add a retro touch to your drinks.
- Kiddie Cocktails by Stuart Sandler: this adorable book is filled with retro illustrations and delicious recipes.
If you like this kid friendly drink recipe, check out these other great recipes to Pin!
- Classic Shirley Temple: a 4-ingredient drink that’s a close cousin to the Roy Rogers.
- Arnold Palmer: this refreshing medley of homemade lemonade and sweet tea will hit the spot.
- Marilla’s Raspberry Cordial: this delicious drink is similar to what Marilla would have made for Anne Shirley.
The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Roy Rogers drink would be greatly appreciated.Print
Looking for an easy, non alcoholic recipe that is both fun to make and drink for your children? This Roy Rogers drink takes 4 ingredients: cola, grenadine, maraschino cherries, and ice. This popular drink is commonly served along side a Shirley Temple to please both the boys and the girls at any party.
- 15 ice cubes
- 8 ounces Coca-Cola (240 ml)
- 2 tablespoons grenadine (30 ml)
- 1 maraschino cherry with stem
- Fill a 15-ounce highball glass 3/4 of the way full of ice cubes. This is approximately 15 ice cubes.
- Slowly pour the Coke over the ice. You may need to stop pouring if the fizz gets too high in the glass. If this happens, just wait until the fizz settles down, and resume pouring until all 8 fluid ounces are in the glass.
- Pour two tablespoons of grenadine into the drink and slowly stir the grenadine into the cola with a long-handled metal spoon. If you stir to quickly, you’ll create more fizz and could have a spill. Stir for 30 seconds to make sure it’s all mixed together.
- Select a pretty maraschino cherry with a long stem to place on top of the drink. Insert a fun paper straw. Serve immediately to prevent the ice cubes from melting and diluting the drink.
- Make this recipe perfectly the first time. Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
- The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Roy Rogers drink would be greatly appreciated.
- 👩🏻🍳 Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Mixed
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: roy rogers drink, grenadine drinks, nonalcoholic drinks