Every now and then the recipe powers that be shine upon me, and that happened recently when I was looking for a way to jazz up a fruit salad I was bringing to a cook-out. I stumbled across a recipe from the Pioneer Woman (love her!) for fruit salad with orange-vanilla syrup.
Not only did it make my fruit salad the hit of the party, it led to a brand new creation of delicious homemade orange soda that is delicious. The idea of making my own orange soda had never crossed my mind, but both necessity and leftovers are the mothers of invention.
The syrup was upper easy to make and we tweaked it just a bit because, well, I’m not the kind of woman who always has a vanilla bean on hand. Maybe in my next life? Nah, probably not.
When deciding what to do with the syrup that didn’t go on the fruit salad, I looked around the pantry, and we also had orange flavored sparkling water from Trader Joe’s.
I mixed the orange-vanilla syrup and the soda water together. Voila!
It’s delicious. Even better, my daughter loved it. A sweet treat but with much less sugar than actual soda. Mom score!
For adults, add a bit of orange flavored vodka, and you have an orange party in your mouth.
Place the sugar, 1 cup water, orange zest, juice and vanilla in a small pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken. Set aside to cool.
We add approximately 1/4 cup of syrup to a tall glass of soda (approximately 14 ounces).
Now, my daughter loves vanilla. It’s her favorite, so this was a big hit. Even then, just a little goes a long way. Depending on the amount of vanilla, you could call it orange cream soda.
If your people aren’t huge vanilla fans, skip it. The orange has enough oomph to carry this syrup all by itself.
We made another batch recently and found that using Cara Cara oranges works well given how sweet that they are.
It was an interesting experiment to compare the number of ingredients in a something like a Fanta orange soda to this incredibly simple recipe for homemade orange soda.
The fizz and the orange combine to make this a perfect warm weather treat that’s not too sweet, not too tart.
We are thinking we’ll try this with either lemons or limes next, as Trader Joe’s also has lemon and raspberry-lime flavored sparkling water.
Looks like we found our summer beverage! What are you drinking these days?
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