The Internet's Favorite Shirley Temple Critic Just Launched His Own Line of Shirleys

Leo Kelly, better known as the Shirley Temple King, created three drinks nobody can critique.

The Shirley Temple King with his own line of Shirley Temples for Main Event
The Shirley Temple King with his new creations. | Kathy Tran for Main Event
The Shirley Temple King with his new creations. | Kathy Tran for Main Event

Leo Kelly, better known as the Shirley Temple King, achieved legend status at age 6, when the internet discovered his brutally honest and painfully adorable Shirley Temple reviews on Instagram.

More than a year later, the now-7-year-old has taken his authority to new heights. Kelly just announced his own line of Shirley Temples, now available at Main Event Entertainment's 44 family fun center locations nationwide. 

We sat down (virtually) with Kelly ahead of the launch for a brief but insightful interview to discuss his new business venture and learn how he landed on the perfect, Leo-approved Shirley Temple recipes. Read highlights of the conversation below to hear about Kelly's new drinks in his own words.

Leo Kelly, the Shirley Temple King, with his own drinks for Main Event
Each of the Shirley Temple King's new drinks are "Leo-approved." | Kathy Tran for Main Event

Thrillist: I want to know more about the Shirley Temples you made and the process you went through to make them. First, though, how old were you when you realized that you loved Shirley Temples so much?
Leo Kelly: Okay, I was actually pretty young. I was like 2… 3… yeah, like 3 years old.

Would you say that it's still your favorite drink?
For sure. 

As the Shirley Temple King, I'm sure it would be! So how did it feel to create your own Shirley Temples? Was it hard?
It was really, really fun. We got to make the garnishes, there were tons of different options, and it was just really, really fun. There was like candy, and lollipops, and cool fruits like oranges and limes and all this stuff, and it just looked really cool.

Did it take a long time to figure out the perfect recipe?
Actually, not really. Not at all, no. It was actually pretty easy and it was really good.

Do you think you found a 10/10 recipe? How would you rate your own Shirley Temples?
*With two thumbs up* It's Leo-approved.

What are the different kinds of Shirley Temples you made? Can you tell me which ones you landed on?
There are not one, not two, but three Shirley Temples that we made.

The first one is the Classic Shirley, a traditional Shirley Temple.

And then there's a Cotton Candy Shirley Temple, which is a regular, traditional Shirley base, and then at the top there's a giant, puffy, delicious cloud of cotton candy that adds a zing and a zang and it's really, really good.

And then the third one is a Floaty Shirley, which has a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream and the traditional Shirley Temple.

Okay, wow, those sound so fun. I'm sure they're all great, but do you have a favorite between the three?
I… I kind of like them all. I don't have a favorite, I like them all.

Do they all give you something different?
Yes, and that's what I actually like them all for.

That they're the three different kinds of Shirley Temples you could ever want?
And there's something special about every single one.

Leo Kelly, the Shirley Temple King, with his Shirley Temples for Main Event
The Shirley Temple King doesn't play favorites with his new line of drinks. | Kathy Tran for Main Event

Here are the full details of the three Shirley Temple options:

  • The Classic Shirley: Featuring a blue, sugary rim, the perfect amount of cherries, ginger ale, and Rose’s grenadine, resulting in the King-approved “perfect color.”
  • The Cotton Candy Shirley: The Classic Shirley with a choice of pink or blue cotton candy on top to add a delicious color combo to the drink.
  • The Floaty Shirley: What can make any Shirley delicious is a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the classic recipe, creating the perfect combo of bubbly and creamy.

Kelly's line of Shirley Temples is now available at all Main Event centers, starting at $2.99. Each drink comes with a candy gummy cherry, unicorn candy bacon, and three maraschino cherries. Guests can also add a candy sucker straw to their order for extra sweetness.

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.