In youthful times, the Shirley Temple represented the high point of the sitdown restaurant experience. This sugary mocktail that includes up ginger ale, grenadine, and—if you’re lucky— a maraschino cherry pairs perfectly with chicken fingers, hot dogs, or any other kid’s menu delicacy.
Though it might seem like every Shirley Temple is created equal, don’t tell that to Leo Kelly, the six-year-old, better known as @TheShirleyTempleKing to his 154,000-plus Instagram followers. Since launching his account (with help from his parents, obviously) the budding pint-sized influencer has posted plenty of “brutally honest” Shirley Temple reviews, covering the beverage offerings at numerous restaurants throughout New York’s tri-state area.
Using a zero to ten rating scale, each post finds Leo weighing in on all elements of the classic drink named after one of Hollywood’s first child stars. Factors including the aesthetics of the glass, the amount of cherries, to, of course, the taste itself shape his ultimate ranking. Considering that I don’t ever recall noting much of a difference between one Shirley Temple and the next, Leo’s hot takes definitely feel nuanced, and he’s definitely operating above a first-grade level when it comes to tasting grenadine.
So who makes the best Shirley Temple around? Santa. Leo’s review from the Lotte New York Palace commends the fact that he gets to drink his ST out of a grown-up cup, lauds the amount of cherries, and describes it as “sooooo good”.
While I’m sure Leo would like to weigh in on foods and other drinks, there’s something to be said for picking your lane and sticking to it in the world of social media. Hopefully his account will blow up to the point that he can hang out with NBA All Star and fellow Shirley Temple enthusiast Joel Embiid, who is probably three to four Leos tall. Who knows, maybe he’ll even stick with it long enough to start reviewing cocktails in fifteen years.
For now, though, @ShirleyTempleKing is a great account geared at anyone who needs accurate information about the Shirley Temples of Fairfield County, Connecticut, or just some wholesome content in their feed. Smash that follow button.