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Swap the cocktails for mocktails with this kid friendly Italian Cream Soda! Layers of flavored syrup, club soda, ice, and cream make for a lightly sweetened fizzy drink that all ages will enjoy.
I love soda. Who doesn’t? That bubbly sensation with each sip, the syrupy sweetness, what’s not to love! What I love even more, is knowing how to make a delicious soda at home, flavored with all my favorite fruits.
Italian soda, or even better Italian Cream soda, is an easy to make at home drink that may just replace your favorite soda can. Flavored with fruit syrups that you can buy, or make pretty easily yourself, it’s a drink that can be made and enjoyed in just a few minutes. It’s creamy, dreamy, and oh so delicious.
Italian Soda Vs. Italian Cream Soda
Before we get into the fun details on how to make it…what exactly are we making? While the differences in making Italian or Italian cream soda are subtle, the difference in flavor is huge.
Both are a combination of fruit syrup, carbonated plain soda or water, and ice. The difference is all in the cream. With a gentle pour of plain cream or half and half, and a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream, Italian soda transforms. It becomes a creamy and fizzy drink that will totally knock your socks off.
Italian Soda Syrup – Homemade or Buy?
The key component to italian cream soda is the flavor base. You can buy flavored fruit syrups of course, but sometimes these are hard to find in the store, and would need to be ordered.
OR, you can make your own simple syrup! The process is so simple that I usually opt for the homemade route. Here’s how to make your own:
- Make a rich simple syrup by combining 1 part water with two parts sugar in a pot over medium heat. (1 cup water, 2 cups sugar)
- Heat until all the sugar is dissolved and you have a liquid syrup.
- Add ¼ cup of fruit to the bottom of a pint sized jar, or any heat safe container, and pour the syrup over it.
- Seal, shake, and let steep. In a few hours (or longer if you want it stronger), you have homemade fruit syrup.
Just scoop out the fruit and start making those gorgeous mocktails! The syrup keeps for 2 weeks in your fridge, so it’s worth it! Italian cream soda for days!
The flavors you choose for your italian sodas are up to you, but here are some of my favorites.
- Berry – strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or blueberry are all delicious and have great color!
- Stone Fruit – These syrups are delicious! Peach and apricot will be a light color, while plum and cherry are fantastic and beautiful.
- Citrus – These syrups may not have a huge amount of color, but they’re so good, especially when combined with other flavors.
Pro Tips: Don’t boil the syrup or it will reduce and become too thick to mix with your drink. If desired, you can also add a few drops of food dye to amp up color on homemade syrups.
How to Make Italian Cream soda
Once you have your syrup or syrups in hand, the process for making italian cream soda is so easy! You have choices, either to combine more than one syrup or to highlight one beautiful fruity flavor.
Here’s how to do it in a snap:
- Fill your glass almost all the way with ice.
- Drizzle in the syrup, 3 to 4 tablespoons will do.
- Pour over the club soda.
- Top with heavy cream or half and half, and finish with a dollop of whipped cream.
A lot of recipes add the syrup after the soda but I found no difference in flavor, and I preferred the gradient look that came with adding the soda after. Either way, your soda will be delicious!
Pro Tip: Club soda is easy, flavor neutral fizz, but I’ve seen Italian soda made with plain sparkling water as well. You could even do a flavored sparkling water to compliment your syrup.
Tips & FAQ’s
Homemade cream soda is just a lot of fun to play with and customize to your tastes.
- Play with syrup combos. For more than one flavor, slowly drizzle in one syrup after the other and build your drink as desired. I made a blueberry peach combo that was delicious!
- Use Half and half instead of heavy cream to lighten things up, or just use whipped cream instead.
- Use less ice to really see the colors get lighter as you go up.
- Increase, or decrease, the syrup for a stronger or milder mocktail.
- Top with a maraschino cherry for a traditional look, or go for a piece of fruit you flavored the soda with for a gorgeous and appropriate finish.
That’s it! Aren’t these just the cutest kiddie cocktails you’ve ever seen? So long shirley temple, you’ve got some competition.
Can I make Italian cream soda ahead of time? While the soda or sparkling water will lose some of its fizz, I found that we were able to make these an hour ahead and store in the fridge with no issues!
Should it be stirred? The look of the cream sodas is gorgeous, but once you’re ready to drink, make sure you give it a good stir, to mix all the cream and syrup together. Then enjoy sipping, or slurping, whichever suits you best.
If you liked this recipe, be sure not to miss these other recipes that feature amazingly delish simple syrups!
- Blood Orange Lemonade
- Watermelon balls with lime and mint simple syrup
- Shirley Temple Mocktail Recipe
- Non-Alcoholic Mint Julep
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- 1 cup club soda
- 6-8 tablespoons fruit syrup
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons whipped cream
- Fill a tall glass with ¾ cups of ice, or so the glass is almost full of ice.
- Pour in the syrup.
- Pour in the club soda.
- Top with heavy cream and/or whipped cream.
- Stir and enjoy!
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.