Homemade Orange Soda Recipe

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
5.0 from 2 reviews
Cuisine: beverage
Serves/Yield: 8-10
Homemade orange soda with all the nostalgia and none of the artificial food dyes or HFCS.
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
For even more pucker, add a small bit of citric acid to the mix at the same time as the orange juice, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon depending on your personal pucker preference.

Photo by Shaina Olmanson | FoodforMyFamily.com

More Homemade Soda Recipes

About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

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  1. This sounds incredible! My brothers and I used to drink orange soda all the time until we realized it was not all that great for us!! Your homemade version sounds SO good!
    Tieghan’s last post: Blackened Salmon with Cheesy Polenta and Spicy Peach + Chard Corn Salsa

  2. This sounds so good! I’ll have to give it a try. My four-year old daughter would love this, I’ m sure!

  3. We never buy soda but I love the idea of making our own!
    Maria’s last post: Lemon Blueberry Pudding Cookies

    • I’ve found that most of my kids can’t even handle how sweet soda is when they are given it at weddings and family events and often end up abandoning it. We never have soda or juice unless we make our own or, on rare occasions, we buy a package of Izze Fruit Juice Sodas for large barbecues and about once a year we have a root beer float night with Goose Island Root Beer or another pure cane sugar variety.
      Shaina’s last post: Dissecting Lunches for Your Summer Vacation {Eat Well, Spend Less}

  4. Beautiful, Shaina!
    Marian (Sweetopia)’s last post: Superhero Collection {Giveaway!}

  5. Such a sweet summer soda!! Hi to Shaina :)

  6. I always enjoy homemade sodas! They are always fun and so easy to make!
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking’s last post: Chipotle Lime Shrimp and Guacamole Dip with Tomatoes and Charred Corn

  7. Oh I love orange soda, but we never have pop in the house, so this will be a fun thing to make with the kids!
    Heather Christo’s last post: Grilled Salmon, Strawberries and Nectarine Kebabs

  8. What a great recipe for the kids to enjoy. My kids don’t drink pop but they like juice. Sometimes I will mix half juice with half soda to their juice.

  9. gimme gimme :)
    Gaby’s last post: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cookies

  10. Oooh, I love homemade sodas and orange is such a classic choice!

  11. My siblings and I grew up drinking orange soda and strawberry soda. Great memories. Every time we went to the river to go fishing we would bring out sodas. I will have to make this for my son. He doesn’t know what he is missing out on in his childhood.
    Tanya’s last post: Three Key Characteristics of a Smart Social Media Policy

  12. These just scream summer! Love it! My kids are going to ask if we can have this soda I just know it :)
    Jenny Flake’s last post: Brown Butter, Oatmeal and Butterscotch Toffee Chip Cookies

  13. I love that this is homemade. None of that crazy chemical stuff they put in the factory/store stuff. Perfect for summer and definitely kid-friendly :)
    Julie @ Table for Two’s last post: Glazed Orange Pound Cake

  14. My little sister saw this over my shoulder and she said, ” Mmm….make that!” :)

  15. One of my goals this summer was to make my own syrups for soda. I loved orange soda growing up but I’ve tried to cut out things like that as an adult. I can’t wait to re-introduce orange soda (really, orange pop) into my life again!
    tracy {pale yellow}’s last post: Lemon Bundt Cake

  16. I loved Orange Soda too! This would be super-fun to make with the kids! (And I like that you can control the sugar amount!) Thanks! :)

  17. Hi Aimee, you have written a beautiful evocation of childhood…I can almost taste those warm,sunfilled orangey days! Nice recipe too :)
    Mary’s last post: Jura Ena 9 Micro – Is It Worth The Price?

  18. LOVE orange soda and how it evokes many great childhood memories :)
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com’s last post: Soba Noodle Chicken Salad

  19. I grew up in a house that drank soda, and funny thing is, now as an adult I don’t really care for it, and neither of my kids drink it much……although my husband makes up for all of us! lol

    I think we all would LOVE to make our own, orange soda was always a favorite as a kid when my parents would buy the generic sodas in all the different flavors. I can only imagine how much better this tastes!….maybe over a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream in a tall glass too 😉 mmmmmm

  20. Oh, the citric acid is SUCH a good idea – like a Sour Patch Kid soda!
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Coconut Creamed Spinach: Pretty on the Inside

  21. This sounds and looks delicious Shaina! And, I love that you made it with honey. Must try soon!
    Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity’s last post: Iced Chai Tea Latte

  22. Homemade sodas with fruit juice are the best! I can’t wait to try this!
    Julia’s last post: Focaccia Bread Meets Green Bean Casserole: A Dairy-Free Recipe

  23. Woah my kids will love this!!
    Jaimie’s last post: lizzy at the market! > week 4

  24. Great recipe. The lime is a nice touch. Thanks.
    Chloe’s last post: 7 Reasons to Start a Sugar Detox Program Today

  25. A perfect refreshing drink that’s perfect for these warm Summer days.

  26. This brought back memories! I used to love Orange Crush. My parents would buy it on rare occasions. Sometimes we’d have it when I’d babysit my younger brothers, usually while eating homemade pizza… Mmmm, I need to make this. Thanks for sharing!
    Rachel (De Ma Cuisine)’s last post: Gimme Those Tomatoes! – Episode 72

  27. This sounds incredible :) I love orange soda, perfect for the summer!

  28. Is it necessary to simmer the orange juice? Won’t the heat reduce the nutrition benefits? Thank you.

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