Akon Confesses: ‘I Drink Shirley Temples All the Time’

Photo: Marion Curtis

You’d think that a Senegalese sex god with a rumored three wives who sings about his jail time would be into manly drinks. But at DoSomething.org’s 2009 Do Something Awards on June 4 at the Apollo, Akon told us he drinks one thing, and one thing only: Shirley Temples. “I drink Shirley Temples all the time,” he said. “That’s all I drink.” Why? As a devout Muslim, he’s a teetotaler. “I don’t drink alcohol, never have,” he explained via e-mail. “I don’t ever want to not be in control, so I just don’t go there.” Akon says he likes his Shirley Temples heavy on the grenadine, with at least two Maraschino cherries. “Some people use ginger ale, but Sprite or 7-Up is how I like to mix it up.” Mostly, though, he’s in it for the grenadine. “It gives you energy, but without the caffeine so you don’t get jittery,” he says. “Before a show I will do a hot water with lemon or cran-grape juice. But when I am out for the night, instead of drinking coffee or Red Bull, a Shirley Temple works to keep me up and going.” The singer likes the Shirley Temples at Tao and Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club, but thinks the W Times Square is tops, mainly because he often stays there: “I think they’ve perfected the Shirley Temple since I request it so much.” Friends don’t dare tease him about his drink choice (“Man, half of my crew doesn’t drink, so it’s never really an issue”), but to the haters who say it’s a girlie drink, he has one response: “Other than the name, what’s not manly about soda and grenadine?”