The Dirty Shirley — a Shirley Temple with alcohol — has been declared the drink of the summer by The New York Times since it began popping up all over TikTok. I've been checking out the most exciting new bars and drinks for Insider's Happy Hour series, so I decided to find out a bit more about the Dirty Shirley — and obviously take it for a test spin. Legends abound over the origin of the Shirley Temple, which traditionally features ginger ale or lemon-lime soda, grenadine, and maraschino cherries. One rumor claimed that the iconic child star was once out with her parents and was jealous she couldn't have an Old Fashioned with them, so the restaurant created a non-alcoholic version with a cherry on top. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel said it was their bartenders who created the drink for Shirley Temple, who often vacationed there. But in 1986, Temple told NPR that the drink was actually created at Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood in the mid-1930s and she had nothing to do with it. In fact, she wasn't even a fan. All over the world, I am served that, she said. People think it's funny. I hate them. Too sweet! Unlike the child star, I'm a huge fan of Shirley Temples. I drank them all the time as a kid, thinking it made me fancy as I sat with my parents in whatever suburban chain we were into at the time (Marie's Callender's, Applebee's, etc.). Catching the cherry stem with my straw felt like a special expedition, and it was such a treat slurping down the bright-red concoction. It's probably no surprise that I grew up to love sweet coffees and cocktails. Manhattan bar owner Ashwin Deshmukh, who told The Times it was going to be a volcanic summer of Dirty Shirleys, theorized that the cocktail was inspired by the suburbs. I really believe it's the drink of the summer in New York City because everyone's back and they're bringing their post-suburban ironic taste with them, he said. Meanwhile, Tammie Teclemariam, the diner-at-large at New York Magazine, recently declared that nobody over the age of 22 should be ordering a Dirty Shirley. Her proclamation made me wonder if the Dirty Shirley was a legitimate trend, or just the most popular drink at Phebe's and 310 (if you've been a 20-something living in the East Village, you know what I mean). The Dirty Shirley wave hasn't yet swept LA, where I now call home, but I needed to see what all the hype was about — and if you could still feel like a grown-up while slurping it down.Bar Lis, which sits on top of the Thompson Hollywood, has attracted everyone from Malia Obama to Robert Pattinson with its Cote D'Azur atmosphere. The rooftop spot is styled to embody the sophistication and escapism of the South of France. There's a perfect view of the Hollywood sign at the open-air bar, while vintage photographs cover the interior's chic navy walls. Cocktails on the menu have names like Jane Birkin and La Vie En Rose. It feels like you're strolling in a Fitzgerald novel, or about to run into Brigitte Bardot. I know this is blowing up right now, Ratliff told me. For us, it's very important to keep it elevated, so we use hibiscus syrup, which we make in-house with fresh hibiscus flowers — which is really fantastic. <blockquote class=tiktok-embed cite=https://www.tiktok.com/@foodinsider/video/7112518369210961198 data-video-id=7112518369210961198 style=max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px; > <section> <a target=_blank title=@foodinsider href=https://www.tiktok.com/@foodinsider>@foodinsider</a> Is the Dirty Shirley the drink of the summer? <a title=dirtyshirley target=_blank href=https://www.tiktok.com/tag/dirtyshirley>#dirtyshirley</a> <a title=happyhour target=_blank href=https://www.tiktok.com/tag/happyhour>#happyhour</a> <a title=losangeles target=_blank href=https://www.tiktok.com/tag/losangeles>#losangeles</a> <a title=foodinsider target=_blank href=https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foodinsider>#foodinsider</a> <a title=drinks target=_blank href=https://www.tiktok.com/tag/drinks>#drinks</a> <a target=_blank title=♬ I Know You - Official Sound Studio href=https://www.tiktok.com/music/I-Know-You-6574664777015134978>♬ I Know You - Official Sound Studio</a> </section> </blockquote> <script async src=https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js></script>In addition to the hibiscus syrup — which replaces the grenadine — the Dirty Shirley at Bar Lis features an ounce and a half of vodka, Sprite, and ice. After giving it a stir, Ratliff adds Luxardo's Original Maraschino Cherries, plus a sprig of mint. The fresh hibiscus syrup gave my drink this gorgeous, deep ombré of burgundy and maroon, which perfectly matched the dark Luxardo cherry on top. It's just a straight-up sexy color for a cocktail. I also loved the extra pop of color from the sprig of mint, which made it feel more like a fancy cocktail than your run-of-the-mill well drink. I almost never drink vodka cocktails. I avoided vodka for many years after too many of those $10 plastic handles in college, and just assumed it wasn't for me.But I would happily drink the Dirty Shirley any day of the week. It has just the perfect amount of sweetness, while still capturing the nostalgia of a Shirley Temple. It's light and fun, and the Bar Lis version with hibiscus juice is so deliciously fresh. Every restaurant needs that dangerous and easy-to-drink cocktail, Ratliff told me. Cause whether it's summertime on the rooftop or a girl's night out, it's something that everyone can enjoy. I disagree with the theory that the Dirty Shirley is experiencing a Moment because of millennials who are back from the suburbs. When I moved back to a big city, all I wanted was a fancy cocktail after months of White Claws and Zoom happy hours — last summer's embrace of the espresso martini makes me think a lot of people felt the same (except the bartenders, sorry guys). But I think the Dirty Shirley is a bit more laid-back and fun. It's easy to make, easy to drink, and the color just feels like summer. Plus, it's a simple recipe that bartenders can put their own exciting spin on. With everything going on in the world right now, is it a surprise we want to feel like a kid again? Even if it's just for the amount of time it takes to sip a sweet little cocktail.