DIY Orange Soda

[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]

DIY orange soda delivers the same satisfying combination of sweet and tart you get from the commercial version, but mixed in with the familiar sharpness and prickly joy of orange soda is a new and exciting flavor I wasn't used to tasting in my soda—real oranges.

This recipe suggests 1 part orange soda syrup to 3 parts seltzer, for a sweetness comparable to a commercial orange soda. You can adjust the amount of seltzer to taste. Mix syrup and seltzer on a glass-by-glass basis rather than mixing a large batch and storing it.

Notes: Citric acid powder, also known as sour salt, is easy to find at many markets, but you can order it online from Amazon, too.

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DIY Orange Soda

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 1 3/4 cups of syrup
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
Special equipment:zester or peeler, fine-mesh strainer
This recipe appears in: DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Your Own Orange Soda


  • Zest of 2 navel oranges
  • 1/2 cup fresh juice from about 1 navel orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • Seltzer


  1. 1

    Zest the oranges, making sure not to get any of the white pith. Juice one of the oranges to make 1/2 cup juice, then strain out the pulp.

  2. 2

    Add zest and juice to a saucepan along with sugar, water, and citric acid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  3. 3

    Bottle and refrigerate the cooled syrup. For each serving, mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts seltzer, adjusting to your personal taste.


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