The moment we were allowed to each summer, my sister and I would collect our quarters and jump on our bikes. We’d weave through our suburban streets, heading off in the direction of the asphalt path that would lead to the corner store.
Bike locks optional, we’d lean our pedals and handlebars against the brown brick exterior and head inside, the cold blast of air conditioning hitting us in the face and prying our eyelids open on the way in. In the back corner we’d sit, staring through the floor-to-ceiling cooler doors at the bottles of colored soda.
Photo by Shaina Olmanson | FoodforMyFamily.com
My kids have been deprived of the orange glow soda I grew up with, the kind that stained your upper lip if you gulped it from a sweaty glass on a hot summer day. That faintly orange-tasting liquid with a bit of pucker punch at the end hasn’t been a part of their daily diet or their childhood memories. The nostalgic side of me has taken over and decided I should give them a bit of my childhood, just without the can.
Making your own soda is easy. The concept is simply syrup and carbonated water combining into bubbling bliss. The colder this bubbled beverage is served in summer, the more refreshing and sought after it is. So, make a bottle of syrup, keep a bottle of well chilled sparkling water or club soda on hand, and get ready to open your very own soda station.
|Homemade Orange Soda||
- 4 oranges, juiced to make 2 cups
- Zest from 4 oranges
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2/3 cup honey (use a light honey) or 1 cup sugar
- Place the orange juice, orange zest, lime zest, and the honey/sugar into a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by 1/3, stirring frequently.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth to remove any large pieces of zest and pulp. Place in a bottle and keep refrigerated.
- To enjoy orange soda, mix 1 part orange syrup with approximately 3 parts sparkling water or club soda depending on personal preference. Serve over ice.