How To Make Italian Sodas


How to Make Italian Sodas //

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 |

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 |

How to Make Italian Sodas |

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 |

How To Make Italian Sodas



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


  • 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.
  • 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.


***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!
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  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

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    Reply 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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    Reply 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.

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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.

      • Avatar
        Reply Melene April 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

        Thanks very much for the helpful info!

  • Avatar
    Reply 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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    Reply 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!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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. :/

  • Avatar
    Reply Matt Robinson April 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

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

  • Avatar
    Reply Giselle April 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

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

  • Avatar
    Reply aida mollenkamp April 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Oh, yes, I want one of each please!

  • Avatar
    Reply 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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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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    Reply Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

    So so pretty, love the layers!

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    Reply 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!

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    Reply Pooja April 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme April 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

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

      • Avatar
        Reply 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!

  • Avatar
    Reply 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…

  • Avatar
    Reply 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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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.

  • Avatar
    Reply Francesca April 24, 2014 at 9:38 am

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

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kitty Quintana April 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

    This is lovely!

  • Reply I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean April 25, 2014 at 1:00 am

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  • Avatar
    Reply May Cho April 25, 2014 at 4:44 am

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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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!

      • Avatar
        Reply Lynn April 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

        Thanks! I’ll take a look 🙂

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

    these look soo yummy!!

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is April 26, 2014 at 4:19 am

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    Reply 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.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme April 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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!

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

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

  • Avatar
    Reply Ashmita April 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

  • Avatar
    Reply 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. 🙂

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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.

  • Avatar
    Reply 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! 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply 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.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply 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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  • Avatar
    Reply Adri May 2, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Beautiful and oh so inspiring! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

    • Avatar
      Reply Kelsey May 15, 2014 at 5:20 am

      I was wondering why nobody was mentioning that!

  • Avatar
    Reply Melanie May 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Oops “not” not “bit”! Darn phone.

  • Avatar
    Reply 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!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sabine May 8, 2014 at 8:02 am

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

  • Avatar
    Reply 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

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    Reply 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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    Reply Chantal August 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I blog quite often and I really thank you for your content.
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  • Avatar
    Reply Soe Min Thu December 4, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Thank you for your RECIEPE, I will make it, than creation

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    Reply Flower Paige August 7, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I really enjoyed this. I drank Italian sodas back in the 90’s. They are incredibly delicious! I make a Shrub (which is similar but involves vinegar and aging) from blackberries and figs. It’s on my blog let me know what you think of it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lynn August 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I’m making these for a church function coming up. Any ideas on how to make a coconut syrup? Maybe cream of coconut?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme August 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Yes, you could add coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. I’d probably use the light coconut milk since full fat coconut milk can be a bit thick.

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    Reply Daphne July 17, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I’m thinking of serving these at my daughters wedding reception. So can you tell me what size the glass is, please?

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