Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Italian Soda: Escaping the Inevitable

I woke up this morning convince that J was next.  It wasn't until I logged in this morning and saw everyone's I posts that I realized my mistake.  If I am being really honest, I even had to think about it for a moment and recite the alphabet in my head.

What to write for I?  The first thing that came to mind was the word inevitable, but it was just too depressing.  I wasn't thinking so much in a death and taxes sort of way, more in a dishes and laundry sort of way.  I'm already steeped in day to day reality, and need no reminders.

Instead, how about an Italian Soda?  The moniker is a little misleading, as they aren't Italian at all, but were created here in the U.S. of A.  We were drinking them growing up in Belgium, before I had even heard the term "Italian Soda."  We would buy the large, metal canisters of lemon or orange syrup and stir it into bubble water (which we always had on hand there.  I wonder why I don't keep it around now).  Since I'm greatly reducing the amount of caffeine I intake (I can't give it up completely), I've started making my own syrups.  I know you can get the Torani or DaVinci brands, but making them yourself is really easy, a lot cheaper, and you get to know everything that goes into it.  That always gives me a warm fuzzy.

It's important to take time to make things like this, little everyday treats.  If I wanted to, I am sure that everyday I could find enough stuff around my house that NEEDS to be done.  It's nice to do the things that are extra.  The fact that they are unnecessary makes them so essential.

Here is my recipe for orange-flavored soda syrup:

1 cup of orange juice (it doesn't have to be fresh-squeezed, so long as it has no added sugar)
1 cup of water
1 3/4 cups of sugar (if you make this with lemons, use 2 cups of sugar)
orange zest - about 3 thumbsize pieces

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When syrup is reduced by half, remove from heat.

Pour through a mesh sieve and allow to cool, you should have a little under 2 cups. Pour into a squeeze-bottle, jar, your choice.  My mom got me these cool glass flasks, so I like to use those.  It makes me feel like some sort of witch or mad scientist to have many multi-colored filled flasks in my refrigerator.

To make an actual Italian Soda, just mix the desired about or syrup with seltzer water, club soda, or sparkling water.  Ice and stir.


  1. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious. I'll have to Google a conversion chart for cup sizes but I think I'll have to find some multi-coloured flasks so that I can feel like a witch or a mad scientist as well. Love it.

  2. Thank you for the recipe! I've been making my own lemonade recently, with just lemon juice, sugar and water. It's so nice to have little treats, isn't it :)

    Thank you for your comment :)

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  3. That's a great idea. I have never heard of Italian soda but I really want to try it.

    All the best,

  4. sounds delicious! :D i love citrus! thanks for visiting my blog and for the lovely comments! :D