Wednesday, December 18, 2019

How to Make Your Own Orange Soda at Home

Did you love to drink orange soda when you were a little kid? My younger child adores this flavor. However, as we get older, many of us tend to lose our taste for the commercial version of this drink.

If you still like the idea of a bubbly citrus beverage, but don’t miss the artificial colors and syrupy taste, you’re in luck. It’s super-easy to DIY a more sophisticated, “adult” orange soda at home.

To make your own orange soda, all you’ll need is oranges, sugar, and unflavored seltzer. You can also get crazy and make a fancy orange cream soda with half and half or heavy cream. The steps are simple.


4 oranges of any kind
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Seltzer as needed for the amount of “sodas” desired

  1. Thoroughly zest the oranges. I really like my microplane zester because the zest comes out so easily, but the zester on a box grater will work as well. Be careful not to grate into the white pith, which is bitter.
    Zesting the oranges using a microplaner
  2. Place zest into a medium saucepan.
  3. Juice your zested oranges into a measuring cup. Pour ½ cup of the resulting juice (no seeds, please!) into the saucepan. (You’ll probably have more orange juice than this. Feel free to drink it!)
    Zest, juice, sugar and water on the stove
  4. Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture, pour into a jar or container, and allow it to cool. You’ve just created some delicious orange syrup!
    Finished syrup
  6. To make your orange soda, simply mix syrup with seltzer at about a 1:3 ratio (so, for instance, 1/3 cup syrup to 1 cup seltzer) and serve over ice.
Delicious DIY orange soda

Want to really "do it up" and make your own orange cream soda? Mix as above, but before adding ice, slowly pour in about 1-2 tbsp light or heavy cream. If desired, top with whipped cream. Fancy!

Your syrup should last in the fridge for at least a month or two, but you probably won't have it around that long. It's also delicious used in mixed drinks. Try adding some Italian Campari for a low-alcohol aperitif. You can also use this syrup for soaking homemade cakes, or even on pancakes or ice cream.

You can make other citrus sodas the same way, though you'll want to increase the sugar for lime, grapefruit, or lemon.  It would also be fun to try some simple variations on this syrup--orange mint, orange cardamon, orange vanilla, or orange cinnamon, for example. Include these flavorings in the simmering step with the zest and strain them out before bottling.

Enjoy your easy, delicious homemade orange soda and other treats.

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