Shirley Temples Are a Gateway Drink
- by LaShayla Simpson
How old were you when you drank your first Shirley Temple?
Don’t play coy, you remember. You were a kid out to dinner at a nice restaurant, and the grown-ups had fancy drinks. You ordered a regular soda, but the waitress told you she had something special just for you. You had no idea what she was going to bring you, but the excitement was almost too much to bear.
Sparkly Drink Me, Please!
The nice waitress brought you the prettiest sparkly two-tone drink you’d ever seen, red on the bottom and clear on the top. AND it had cherries in it just like the drinks the adults had. Oh, boy! After that first sweet sip, you were sold. Shirley Temples were ordered at every restaurant visit from then until you felt you were too old for a ‘kids’ drink, which was probably around the age of 12 or 13.
Little did you know a Shirley Temple was your first experience with a mocktail. However, mocktails have been around for much longer than your childhood days.
An 1862 handbook called The Bar-Tender’s Guide, written by Jerry Thomas, included a whole section of alcohol-free cocktails he called ‘Temperance Drinks’. That was before they garnered the cool, but efficient, term ‘mocktail’. Merriam-Webster notes the first use of that term as early as 1916.
Prohibition Was Prohibiting
But things got interesting in the 1920s. Prohibition stopped the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors. During this era, bartenders had to get creative. As a result, the Virgin Mary–an alcohol-free alternative to the Bloody Mary–was born. This is likely the reason we called non-alcoholic beverages virgin cocktails for many years.
However, everybody couldn’t just be cool and drink their mocktails. As a result, bootlegging became a thing to satisfy the demand for alcohol among those who still wanted it, despite it being illegal.
Inclusion is Key
By 1966, there were no longer any dry states. Much to the dismay of people involved in organized crime, Prohibition ended and the drinks flowed freely once again. But, that didn’t stop mocktails from being some people’s beverage of choice.
Fast forward to today. There’s been a surge in people wanting non-alcoholic alternatives to cocktails, largely spawned by the Millenials and Gen Z-ers. It’s called the sober-curious movement, and it’s making people give the side-eye to beverages that may sometimes cause more trouble than they're worth.
History of The Moxx Box
Over here at The Moxx Box, our affection for mocktails has nothing to do with age. We simply enjoy the taste of fancy beverages that don’t have side effects.
LaShayla Simpson, creator of The Moxx Box, found that joy while the world was on lockdown during the pandemic. After running out of meal ideas, she decided to start experimenting with both food and drink. That led her to sharing those ideas on YouTube with her popular Mocktail Monday segment. Her following grew, people asked for recipes, then ingredients, and The Moxx Box was born.
Now, the mission is to be intentional about curating inclusive experiences for everyone. Restaurants always have alternative menus so that diners with different tastes can have their needs met. It should be the same for beverages, and The Moxx Box is making sure of that.
We hope that you also enjoy the sip without the ‘nip’, whether that’s all the time or just on occasion. If you do, make sure to check out our monthly subscription of mocktails that are delivered directly to you. No fuss. No muss. Just a party in a box that fits your specific tastes.
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