Drink of the week: Dirty Shirley

From the short story “Too Smart” by Emily Chenoweth, published in Tin House issue 19 (“Lies!”), Spring 2004:

It is clear to me when I arrive at the hotel that I should have chosen something else to wear. That’s because the theme tonight–why didn’t I look at my calendar?–is the Equatorial Rain Forest (do they think they’re clever?) and everyone’s in tribal. For some of the women this means baggy linen dresses, as if they are plantation wives. For others it was time to break out the jungle prints. The costumes on the men range from explorer–canvas vest, butterfly net, pith helmet–to tropical savage, which defies description.

I walk up to the bar and the man behind it shoots me a look of what is either amusement or desperation, I can’t tell. I tell him what I want: 7UP, grenadine, and lots of vodka on the rocks. I made it up myself on one of my NPR nights; it tastes like a kiddie cocktail but it doesn’t act like one. I call it a Dirty Shirley.

Our CEO, in respectable business casual, is in the corner talking to several women of the linen dress variety. I ought to say hello, but I don’t feel like leaving the bar. Not until I’ve had three more Shirleys.


3 oz vodka
.5 oz. grenadine

Glassware: highball glass

Fill glass with ice. Add grenadine and vodka, then 7UP to fill.