Among all the mixed drinks in the world, few are as universal and simple as the famous Roy Rogers. It's a non-alcoholic drink that is little more than dressing up a tall glass of cola and it's one that everyone can enjoy. In fact, it's so easy, refreshing, and tasty that you might not go back to drinking "naked" cola.
The Roy Rogers has long been one of the staples of the bar. It, along with the Shirley Temple, are the two non-alcoholic drinks that you can order at almost any bar and we could even say they were the original "mocktails." The drink is much older than that modern term, however and, essentially, both drinks are good, old-fashioned homemade soda recipes.
Though it's sometimes called a Cherry Cola, the Roy Rogers is not cherry-flavored. With a few exceptions, grenadine is made from pomegranate, not cherries (or at least real grenadine should be). This fruity syrup does add a nice sweetness to the average cola and, as always, there are a few things you can do to make the drink just a little bit better.
- Pour the ingredients into a collins glass filled with ice.
- Stir well.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Tips for Making a Great Roy Rogers
There is not much to the Roy Rogers drink though both of the ingredients warrant a little discussion. By making some good decisions, you can transform this simple drink into a great one.
The Cola. It's very easy to reach for a can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi when it is time to make a Roy Rogers.
They are an excellent base though both are already very sweet and do not really need to be sweetened any further.
As an alternative, try making a Roy Rogers with a more artisanal cola like that offered by Q Drinks. Q Kola is naturally flavored with the actual kola nut that gave this style of soda its name. It is a drier, less sweet soda and the perfect candidate for a little grenadine enhancement.
Another favorite cola for the Roy Rogers is the one from Jones Soda Co. This one is sweetened with pure cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup and it is considerably more refreshing than the big brands.
The Grenadine. Grenadine is not a cherry-flavored syrup as many drinkers assume from its red color. In actuality, pomegranate is the base for a good grenadine. The color is the same, but the taste is completely different.
Just like simple syrup, grenadine is a very easy drink mixer to make at home. It can be made from fresh pomegranate when they are in season, which is typically throughout the winter months. In the off-season, pick up a bottle of pomegranate juice and mix it with sugar to create your own grenadine.
Who Was Roy Rogers?
Known as 'King of the Cowboys,' Roy Rogers is one of the most recognized cowboys in the world. He often appeared with cowgirl Dale Evans who became his wife in 1947. Trigger, his horse, was almost as popular as the cowboy himself.
Rogers' majestic singing voice, charm, and good guy persona was portrayed in all of his movies and TV shows including "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "The Cowboy and the Señorita," and "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show."
His career began in 1935 as a member of Sons of the Pioneers and before the 1940s he became the star of his own movies. Rogers made almost 100 films in his time, ending with an appearance in the 1984 "King of the Cowboys" episode on the TV show "The Fall Guy." He passed away in July of 1998.