How To Make Italian Sodas

in Drinks

How to Make Italian Sodas // www.acozykitchen.com

Sometimes (since I’m a nosey person), I wonder what people’s blogging situation looks like. Like, where are they when they’re writing, what are they wearing (not like that, you sicko!), what are they drinking…you know, all that kind of stuff.

So, here’s a very non-glamorous picture of where I write the majority of my blog posts: in bed, wearing sweats and a t-shirt with anti-wrinkling serum all over my face. I usually edit and write the recipe right after I make and shoot the dish, but the blog post is always written right before I press publish or set it on a timer. For me, the idea of writing blog posts weeks ahead of when they’re published feels weird and disconnected. I like it to be almost in real time. I dunno—there’s no right or wrong way, that’s just how I prefer it.

How to Make Italian Sodas | www.acozykitchen.com

I’m so dang excited about these Italian sodas. They’re maybe the prettiest thing I’ve made in quite some time, and my favorite part about this recipe is that it’s an idea-based recipe. You can apply the ratios below to any fruit and be met with delicious results. And seriously how gorgeous are the colors? I LOVE THEM!

If you’ve never had an Italian soda, they’re so rich and refreshing all at the same time. I decided on three flavors: rhubarb, blackberry and strawberry, but feel free to use up any fruit that cooks down well. Other fruit ideas are pineapple, blueberries, mulberries (they just came in season!) and even mangos.

How to Make Italian Sodas | www.acozykitchen.com

How to Make Italian Sodas | www.acozykitchen.com

I love the idea of serving this at a party and allowing people to sort of assemble them as they see fit.

And the inevitable question that I asked myself, and you’ll probably ask, too, is: HOW CAN I INCORPORATE ALCOHOL IN THIS?

Easy: vodka. Or whiskey. I mean, have you ever had a White Russian? My mom would order them when I was a kid and I always thought they looked so good.

They might be the most 80s drink ever invented, but who cares—this would be the modern 2014 version.

How to Make Italian Sodas | www.acozykitchen.com

How To Make Italian Sodas

Print this recipe!

Rhubarb Syrup:
1 stalk of rhubarb, chopped
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Blackberry Syrup:
1 cup blackberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Strawberry Syrup:
1 cup diced strawberries (about 10 strawberries)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Italian Soda Assembly:
Half & Half (or you can mix together 1 parts heavy cream and 1 parts milk)
Sparkling water

1. To make any of the syrups, add the fruit, water and sugar to a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over moderately medium heat and bring to a light simmer; cover the saucepan and cook for 10 minutes or so. The syrup is ready when the fruit has softened and the color of the syrup has changed. Mash the fruit with the back of a fork and pour the syrup through a sieve. Set the syrup aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.

2. To assemble the drink, pour 1/4 cup of syrup in a glass, pour 1/4 cup half & half and top with a few splashes of sparkling water. Repeat with remaining Italian sodas.

Yields 4 Italian sodas (per each syrup batch)

***A few tips:
#1 Use filtered water or bottled water for the syrups. I made a batch with unfiltered and oof, I could taste the terribleness.
#2 This will absolutely work with frozen fruit, too!
#3 If you live out of the U.S., you might have no idea what half & half is. You can make half & half by mixing together 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup milk.
#4. Almond milk tastes great, if you’re looking for a dairy alternative!

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess April 23, 2014 at 1:49 am

These look so lovely, and very impressive! A wonderful thing to whip up at a dinner party or afternoon tea… or just whenever!

http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au

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Marie @ Little Kitchie April 23, 2014 at 3:11 am

Beautiful!! I LOVE the idea of serving them at a party… stealing that!

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Belinda@themoonblushbaker April 23, 2014 at 3:16 am

Yum! These look perfectly suit for any brunch party. these remind me of those ice cream spiders but easier.

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Melene April 23, 2014 at 5:14 am

How long does this keep if I wanted to prepare a batch in advance for a brunch get together? Thanks for the great recipe!

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

Well the syrups will keep for about a week. It’d definitely recommend mixing the Italian sodas either right before serving or allowing people to assemble their own.

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Melene April 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Thanks very much for the helpful info!

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Christina @ but i'm hungry April 23, 2014 at 5:52 am

I love Italian sodas, but haven’t had one in ages! Love the idea of making my own and customizing the flavors! Fun!

Also, I totally always wonder, too, how other people write blog posts. I tell myself that it must be infinitely more glamorous than over here, where I’m constantly shooing little hands out of my photos and writing posts while scarfing lunch at nap time. Good to know I’m not alone in my lack of glamor! ;)

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

Definitely not glamorous!

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Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen April 23, 2014 at 6:17 am

This is kinda weird, buuuut, I’ve always wished I could write my blog posts in bed. It just doesn’t work for me…..I think I get too comfortable and then I get distracted. I like sitting in my office at on a stool at the kitchen counter.

I have not had an Italian soda in way too long. So pumped to make my own now!

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

Oooo…you know I only do it if it’s at night. During the day I sit at a desk. :/

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Matt Robinson April 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

We love Italian Sodas here and these look really amazing! Love all of the pictures.

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Giselle April 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

I love how colorful the drinks are and the fact that they are naturally flavored :)

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aida mollenkamp April 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

Oh, yes, I want one of each please!

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Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion April 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

OMG OMG, I tried Italian soda last year for the first time, and loooved it… I don’t know why I never tried to make it at home… Love this post

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jesse rae April 23, 2014 at 9:56 am

i have a soda stream and have been looking for ways to create flavored sodas that aren’t too sweet or potent. Do you think these fruit syrups would be good topped only with the sparkling water?

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

Yes, totally. I actually saved the syrups (because I didn’t use them all when I made this post) and later on added sparkling water. And then, the next night I added a bit of bourbon to them. The syrups are multi-faceted!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

So so pretty, love the layers!

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Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home April 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

These look awesome! My mind is reeling with all the possibilities–raspberry, watermelon, blueberry… I could go on :)
Can’t wait to try these!
Abby

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Pooja April 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I love #3 – you are so all-inclusive! :)

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Tracy Earley April 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

They look amazing! Now for the real question; where did you get those gold stirrers? Love them!

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Oh it’s a gold spoon I got from West Elm!

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Tracy Earley April 24, 2014 at 3:34 am

Thank you! I love them! I have some antique brass spoons…so that will work fine!

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sandra April 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm

these do look refreshing. I am with you – when blogging I write the recipe and put the pics in place shortly after I’ve made the recipe – but I write the content just before publishing… usually, not always. Sometimes my time is so constricted I need to write the post the night before I print it, but never days before. My day job, you know…

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DessertForTwo April 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Yeah, this is the greatest thing I’ve seen on a blog in a lonnnnnng time. Love it! xo

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Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Thank you, friend!

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Karen April 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

These look sooooo good! I love strawberry italian sodas, but my favorites are raspberry-apple italian sodas. It looks like I now have a way to make those at home! Thanks!

P.S. My blogging process, if you can call it that, is so not glamorous. I tend to write at my desk, because the posts I have written in bed, at bedtime, are the ones I’ve fallen asleep over. Every time.

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Francesca April 24, 2014 at 9:38 am

Wooo I loved these as a kid! With a giant scoop of shaved ice… mmM!

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Adrianna Adarme April 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

Whoa. I haven’t had it with shaved ice, but I love the idea of it being more ice than beverage so it’s almost like a creamy snow cone!

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Kitty Quintana April 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

This is lovely!

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May Cho April 25, 2014 at 4:44 am

Wow! Thanks for the lovely recipe. I would definitely try them this weekend. :)

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Lynn April 25, 2014 at 5:04 am

Hello! This is my first time viewing your blog, and these Italian Sodas look divine! It’ll be strawberry season where I live in a few weeks and these fruit syrups definitely need to happen. One quick question: do you think these syrups could be processed/canned? The sugar content seems high enough, maybe just some acid from a lemon and/or a little pectin? I just think these would make lovely gifts/ would be great to have on the shelf through the winter!

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Adrianna Adarme April 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

Oooo…good question and idea. I haven’t canned syrups but you most certainly can. If you’re going to can, like you said, it’s definitely going to need some acidity like lemon juice. Here’s a tutorial of a woman canning syrups. Seems pretty straightforward!

http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/simple-syrup-video/

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Lynn April 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

Thanks! I’ll take a look :)

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Hannah Smith | Fox & Willow April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

these look soo yummy!!

http://foxandwillowblog.com/

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) April 26, 2014 at 7:16 am

My favorite, FAVORITE place to do blog work (editing photos, writing, etc.) is at a coffee shop. I find the energy very inspiring (or maybe I just like the idea of it and thats why). But really, I am most efficient when I’m at home and at a desk. Although if I’m writing, I like to sometimes lie down in bed too. So, I basically like everything, HA!

These italian sodas are gorgeous lady!! I’m crushing on your glasses and Le Creuset pot.

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Adrianna Adarme April 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

Oooo…I like doing this too, actually. I love working in coffee shops!

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Becky April 27, 2014 at 8:47 am

My son loves Italian sodas but I don’t think they have ever been made with dairy. He likes caramel and vanilla. Any ideas on how to make syrups that are not fruit based? These would be a great idea for his graduation party I’m giving in a few weeks. Any ideas would be most appreciated!

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Adrianna Adarme April 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

Vanilla syrup can be made the same way: adding the vanilla caviar and bean to the sugar and water (the water to sugar ratio of 1:1 will work!). As for caramel syrup, I’ve never made it so I’m not exactly sure. Sorry about that!

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Todd | HonestlyYUM April 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

I love this SO much!! Been staring at your photos all weekend :)

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Ashmita April 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

This is beyond perfect for summer!
*rushes off to buy berries*

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Laura April 28, 2014 at 4:09 am

I understand that ‘Italian’ is simply an adjective and it does not refer to an Italian real drink, since in Italy we never (never) use rhubarb and we never drink these kind of sodas!

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stephanie joy April 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Pouring a 1/4 cup of sugar into the glass i’m going to drink from sounds CRAZY! Can you imagine just dumping a 1/4 cup of sugar on your plate and eating it?… but that’s how much sugar is in one serving of these very small drinks.. yikes! Do you think this would still taste good using less syrup per serving? They look pretty though. :)

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Adrianna Adarme April 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

You’re welcome to decrease this amount to your liking. That’s the nice thing about cooking in our own homes—all of us can make adjustments per our preferences.

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stephanie joy April 28, 2014 at 10:47 pm

ok so in after thought.. we have some drink syrups here and they say 2 ounces for an italian ice on the bottle.. and it turns out 2 ounces IS 1/4 of a cup! i don’t no why but 2 oz sounded like less, and 1/4 cup sounded like a lot more.. i’ve never been good at gauging volume, LOL! ..and i’m very sorry if i sounded like a sugar snob! ;)

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Renee @ Awesome on $20 April 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I remember going to the city and eating at the Olive Garden when I was in high school. I would always order an Italian soda and thought they were so fancy. I obviously grew up in a very pathetic place. These look beautiful, however.

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Adrianna Adarme April 29, 2014 at 11:55 pm

No way. That’s an awesome way to grow up. I grew up like that too. Macaroni Grill was as fancy as Italian got!

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Adri May 2, 2014 at 9:39 am

Beautiful and oh so inspiring! Thank you!

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Melanie May 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Technically if you add the cream or half and half these would be considered. “French” sodas bit Italian :) but they look beautiful and so delicious. Pinned!

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Kelsey May 15, 2014 at 5:20 am

I was wondering why nobody was mentioning that!

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Melanie May 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Oops “not” not “bit”! Darn phone.

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elisa May 4, 2014 at 11:17 am

I love Italian sodas and I learned how to make them when I was living in Brazil, utilizing their tropical fruits, my favorite is pineapple syrup with coconut milk and a hint of rum!!!! Delizioso!

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Adrianna Adarme May 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

Good gracious, that sounds amazing!

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Sabine May 8, 2014 at 8:02 am

awesome drink, but we Canadians do know what 1/2 &1/2 is.

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Rebecca May 13, 2014 at 11:59 am

Its so funny, I also write the recipe right after I make them! I somehow feel that I would otherwise forget it ;) The blog post itself I also write right before I publish, I want to make it as recent as possible!
Take care, rebecca
icing-sugar.net

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Tracy June 19, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Awesome post! I love that you gave alcohol suggestions. I just bought a SodaStream so this would work well with my new carbonating abilities. :)

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