How-To & Diy

How to Make Orange Soda at Home

August 12, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Recreate the preferred beverage of your childhood -- orange soda -- in just ten minutes. Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest shows us how. 

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I am not a soda kind of girl. Growing up, I always chose sparkling water, but my brothers loved root beer, cola, ginger ale, and yes, orange soda, too. 

I was never tempted to give their sodas a try until one crazy hot mid-summer day in humid Ohio -- the kind of day my family spent floating on a raft in a lake with a drink in hand. Somehow, my usually prepared self had forgotten to bring water. Out of sheer desperation, I drank a cold orange soda for the first time, and I had to admit, it was so refreshing! Since that day, I have come to appreciate a cold orange soda on a hot summer day. 

More: Here's the perfect thing to sip your soda with.

Even though I am not a soda freak and don't drink it all the time, I have been wanting to make homemade orange soda ever since the summer heat set in. I figure that if the soda is homemade, I can control the ingredients and the amount of sugar.

I was originally thinking it might be a little tricky to make soda at home, but after a little research, I realized that I only needed four ingredients and about ten minutes of my time (seriously, just ten minutes). 

If you want to serve this to a crowd, simply double or triple the recipe as needed. I guarantee that whoever you serve these to -- your kids, your significant other, your friends -- will love you. 

DIY Orange Soda 

Serves 4

4 oranges
1 lime
1 cup granulated sugar
Lemon-lime flavored seltzer water 

Homemade Orange Soda

Zest the oranges and the lime, then add the zest to a medium sauce pot. 

More: While you're at it, why not juice that lime? You can make this cocktail with it.

Squeeze the juice out of the oranges; you should have around two cups of fresh orange juice, but if there's less, just add water until you reach two cups. Pour the orange juice over the zest and add the sugar to the pot, too.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once it's at a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by about a third. Remove the syrup from the stove and let it cool slightly. 

Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar, discard the pulp and the zest, and then place the jar in the fridge until it's cold, about one hour. 


When you're ready for soda, fill a glass with ice. Pour in the syrup so that it reaches 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up the glass (add more or less depending on how sweet you like it). 

Fil the glass with seltzer and stir to combine. 

Serve the soda with orange slices for an easy garnish, and drink through a fancy straw

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Tieghan Gerard

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lynn Rugh
    Lynn Rugh
  • LittleFrier
  • Tieghan Gerard
    Tieghan Gerard
  • Joy
Recipe creator at Half Baked Harvest, food lover + picture taker.


Lynn R. August 17, 2014
Looks delish, but seriously misleading to say 10 minutes when recipe clearly says boil syrup for 8-10, then strain and fridge for at least an hour. Disappointed in you for the very first time, y'all.
Tieghan G. August 17, 2014
Hi Lynn,

I am sorry about that, you are right. I must have put the wrong time in. Very sorry.
Joy August 2, 2018
Please what can I add to this drink to persevere it for long life ?
LittleFrier August 12, 2014
Where did you get those cool glasses?