Italian Soda


School’s out and we’re in summer mode around here. The kids are spending laid back days swimming and trying to avoid heat stroke.
In an ongoing effort to keep the kids from dehydrating I keep pushing water but they rebel and demand juice or, worse, soda. I’m not an ogre and I love an ice-cold soda on a hot day but all these store-bought, high-fructose corn syrup goodies get expensive when they’re hitting you up all day long.

Kitchen Daughter, however, discovered this thing.  It was a brief reference in The Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook on the page about ice cream sodas. Without the ice cream, the recipe said, you can make Italian sodas.

The idea took hold almost immediately.  Within a week, she was not only making her own – not only teaching Nai-Nai how to make them – but she was even devising her own ingredients. She had become an Italian soda Jedi.

Kitchen Daughter and her grandmother made some syrup from jabuticaba berries (remember them?) by boiling them down and adding a small amount of sugar. (OK, maybe more than a little.)  Right now, there are so many fruits in season you can make your own, but if time’s an issue you can buy a bottle of syrup from the store. Try some of the interesting ones like guava or passion fruit to add a different kick.


Kitchen Daddy gives us an exclusive interview with Daughter, Italian soda Jedi:

KD: So, how do you make an Italian soda?

D: First, you need a chopstick, and a bottle of soda water, and this new invented syrup that me and my grandma made. It is really good.

KD: How much of each ingredient? And how do you put them together?

D: You need one cup! Next, you pour in the soda water in it until it fills to the top!

KD: That much soda water?

D: Oh, no! About half a large glass if  you have a large glass, or half a small glass if you have a small glass.

KD: So you have half a glass of soda water.

D: That’s right. Don’t forget at least two or three ice cubes! Or four! And some syrup.

KD: How much syrup?

D: A lot! Put some syrup in the bottom until it’s so dark, it’s completely dark!

KD: So it just gets dark by itself?

D: Yup.

KD: Aaaand… is that what you use the chopstick for?

D: Yes! You stir it! And that’s how you make Italian soda! Ta-daaa!

To recap:  Pour a glass of seltzer water (which has no sugar or sodium) on ice, add a quarter cup (or less) of syrup, stir and have your own coool soda pop drink.