June is here and with it comes summer, and with summer comes shorts, flip flops and lots of sunshine. Nothing beats an ice cold drink on a hot summer day, especially while I’m experiencing my first SoCal summer. Iced tea is normally my summertime drink of choice, but it’s also fun to make inspired summertime drinks on occasion.
Here’s where homemade soda comes in to play – it’s fresh, it’s fizzy and it’s flavorful! If given a choice, I will choose a fizzy drink over a flat drink. I love fizzy drinks because they’re so much more interesting and seem to satisfy a little better than non-fizzy. The down side is that most fizzy drinks are pop which isn’t something I drink very much of, but I love this idea of making my own soda using Seltzer and flavor. I can now make my own interesting homemade sodas anytime.
I decided to make a California inspired citrus soda and also a soda that was inspired by what I had in my fridge. I made each flavor using seltzer and club soda just to see which tasted better.
- Grapefruit Juice
- Orange Juice
- Lime Juice
- Seltzer/Club Soda
To make the citrus soda, juice the grapefruit, oranges and lime. I did 1 large grapefruit, 2 medium oranges and 1 large lime. Add all this juice to a saucepan with the sugar and simmer over medium heat about 15 minutes or until the liquid becomes syrupy.
Let the syrup cool to room temperatures and then add some to a glass with ice, and top with seltzer or club soda.
This flavor was DELICIOUS. I added more grapefruit juice because I really like grapefruit but the amounts can be adjusted – just be sure to use a total of 1-1/2 cups of fruit juice.
Strawberry, Lemon & Basil Soda
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Seltzer/Club Soda
In a bowl, add the fresh lemon juice and sugar. Cut the tops off the strawberries, quarter them and add them with the basil leaves to the bowl. Muddle this mixture together until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries are broken down. I actually ended up using my immersion blender to help break it up more.
When this has been mixed and has had a chance to sit in the fridge to get the flavors combined, add in seltzer and then strain into a glass.
When I was making this recipe I didn’t realize I was only making enough for one serving, and it called for club soda so I never tried it with seltzer. The strawberry-basil flavor was delicious! I even added a little of the strawberry fruit to the drink to add a pretty touch.
*the original recipe called for a pinch of salt but that with the club soda was not a good match, so definitely do not use a pinch of salt.
Homemade sodas are a fun way to add something special to get together with friends or a 4th of July party AND they’re a really great alternative to soda. There are so many different flavor options using syrups or fresh ingredients, it would be a fun idea to use for a fizzy drink bar. Either seltzer or club soda can be used, but I definitely prefer seltzer. I read that club soda actually has more salt in it and seemed to add it’s own flavor to the drink mixes, whereas seltzer just added some fizz! Get creative and make your own soda today using ingredients you already have on hand!
- 2 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 5 small Strawberries, quartered, or 3 large
- 6 Basil leaves
- 1 cup Seltzer
- Add ingredients to a bowl and muddle together until sugar is dissolved and mixture is mashed well. But not too finely.
- Let set about 10 minutes
- Add in 1 cup Seltzer to mixture and strain into a glass
- Add a small spoonful of the mixture to the drink
- *Makes 1 Serving
- Grapefruit juice, 1 whole fruit
- Orange juice, 2 medium
- Lime Juice, 1 whole large
- 1 cup sugar
- Seltzer or Club Soda
- Squeeze enough fruit juice to make 1-1/2 cups using grapefruit, oranges and limes.
- Pour juice into a saucepan with 1 cup sugar
- Stir over medium heat until syrupy, about 15 min.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature then add in Seltzer
- Mix 4 Tablespoons with every 1 cup Seltzer
- *Makes about 4-6 servings