Make Your Own Soda Pop

by Merissa on April 24, 2013

in Featured, Make Your Own

make your own soda pop

Make Your Own Soda Pop

We all know water is the healthiest beverage, but sometimes it’s nice to change things up a bit. Most people reach for soda to break the monotony, despite it being chemical-laden, habit-forming, and made primarily from high fructose corn syrup. It’s time to go homemade! Soda’s sweet and fizzy appeal may be hard to replicate, but this homemade cola syrup comes pretty close. Pepsi wishes it tasted this good!

Homemade cola syrup has a delightfully complex flavor with the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, floral and tart. Stirred into a tall glass of seltzer and ice, it feels like a gourmet treat. Add a lemon wedge for a special twist and invite your friends over after you tell them you can make your own soda pop!

make your own soda pop

Homemade Soda Pop

Makes about 3 cups of syrup

What You Need:

  • Grated zest of 3 large lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sections of a star anise pod, crushed (Where to Buy)
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers (Where to Buy)
  • 4 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (Where to Buy)
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid (Where to Buy)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar

make your own soda pop

Combine all ingredients except the sugars in a large saucepan. Add 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

make your own soda pop

Remove from heat and strain out the solids using a double layer of cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Rinse out the saucepan and discard the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and set over low heat.

Add the sugars to the saucepan with the liquid and stir until completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and let the syrup cool, then transfer to your desired containers and keep refrigerated.

To make soda:
Combine 1 tablespoon syrup with 1 cup of seltzer or club soda. Serve over ice.

mulled apple cider

Want a warm drink that you can make for yourself at home? How about some Mulled Apple Cider?

Get more from-scratch recipes!
Enter your email below to get our weekly newsletter!
No spam here! Just the latest and greatest articles from Little House Living once a week.

Have you ever tried to make your own soda pop?

amanbio

Print Friendly
Facebook Twitter Email Stumbleupon
Get even more great articles!
Get a free ebook, Fast Breakfasts!
Keep in touch by signing up for our weekly newsletters and get my free mini ebook, Fast Breakfasts with recipes and inspiration for quick, from-scratch breakfasts!

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda @Natural Living Mamma April 24, 2013 at 7:55 am

What a great recipe! I know a few people who will love this. Thanks for sharing. :)

Reply

2 Lauren April 24, 2013 at 8:49 am

I had no idea you could make your own! Defiantly need to try this out! Thanks!

Reply

3 Jen E April 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

Nice. :)

I was given a Soda Stream but the syrups available are all gross and chemically tasting. I’ve made homemade ginger ale but I am always looking for more flavors to try. Thanks!

Reply

4 samsarah morgan April 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This is great but it still have a VERY high amount of sugar in it… Any suggestions on making this sugar free? Would stevia work?

Reply

5 Julie June 3, 2013 at 5:29 am

I am going to try making it with Agave Necter!

Reply

6 Angelica October 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I personally beleive stevia would go great with this soda because of the spice micture. I will try it with stevia and not sugar!

Reply

7 Gabriel February 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

It has, but you don’t drink all the syrup at once. You dissolve it in clean or sparkling water, so it’s not that high ammount of syrup at the end.

Reply

8 Paige R April 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Can you make the syrup with Stevia in place of the granulated sugar?

Reply

9 Sue June 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

I have the combination of stevia and sugar that I will be trying with my next batch. I found it at Walmart.

Reply

10 HazyShayd April 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm

This looks awesome! I cannot wait to try this in some mixed drinks … looks like it would make a killer combo with bourbon! Old Fashioned, 86 sugar + sub cola syrup!

Reply

11 Diana April 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm

YUM…I want to come to your house. LOL

Reply

12 Sherry April 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm

You can definitely use stevia to sweeten it. I have a friend who makes her own soda, and she used a mix of half sugar and half stevia, but does some using all stevia for a couple of diabetic relatives, and it comes out great.

Reply

13 FoxWood April 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Sherry –

any chance she’s shared those recipes for you? we use our sodastream w/ a wonderful ginger syrup (not sugar free, yet) I’m happy to share with anyone who wants it, but I’m at a loss trying to do other flavors that are low-sugar or sugar-neutral…

Reply

14 Lori April 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I am dating myself, but does anyone remember Apple Slice? It was apple flavored soda from the 80′s. I make my own version by boiling apple cider until it is reduced to about 1/7 of what I started with. It turns into a pretty syrup and I mix 1 TBSP with 1 cup of seltzer. Yummy and no added sugar. I am going to have to try my hand at cola now!

Reply

15 Amanda April 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I don’t remember that, but your version sure sounds delicious!! I can’t wait to give it a try, thanks! :)

Reply

16 John January 16, 2014 at 5:20 am

Actually – I do remember Apple Slice – I loved that stuff in high school (it vanished not too long after that. Funny story, but I would wash out Corona bottles, and refill them with Apple Slice – I could *look* like one of the “Cool Kids” drinking beer… But frankly, I’ve always hated the taste of beer.

Reply

17 Heather @ My Kansas Life April 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm

If I could make Mt. Dew flavored soda, my hubby would kiss my feet :-)

Reply

18 Merissa April 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Mine too Heather!

Reply

19 Debra April 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

This made me start thinking about making my own soda again. I love citrus soda and found this site.
http://homemadesodaexpert.blogspot.com/2011/10/recipe-14-homemade-mountain-dew-sun.html

Reply

20 Billine April 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Thanks for sharing this, will have to try it. I love my rum and coke! And those of you that have the recipe for gingerale can you please share.

Reply

21 Juli April 25, 2013 at 5:20 am

Sounds deelish! I also make berry reductions and add 1tbsp (or more) to mineral water.

Reply

22 Stacy Scott April 25, 2013 at 6:44 am

I will definitely have to try this with my soda stream

Reply

23 FoxWood April 27, 2013 at 12:39 am

the apple soda sounds AWESOME, and the link to the soda blogger is invaluable… following is the recipe I have from an outstanding herbalist for ginger syrup, which we then mix right into our freshly ‘charged’ soda stream water…

Julie James’ Ginger Syrup:

2 hands ginger, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 1/2 cup sugar (we use organic from TJ’s), although I’d like to try w/ just stevia

Cover ginger w/ 4 cups of water and bring to boil.
Simmer 10-15 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer until reduced to 3 cups.
Strain and bottle. (We store in glass Mason jars for a couple of months easily…)

It works brilliantly as a natural, homemade ginger syrup for ginger ale…

Enjoy!

Reply

24 Betty June 2, 2013 at 9:22 am

Do you store it in the fridge?

Reply

25 FoxWood June 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

yup, sure do!

Reply

26 Amy January 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I’ve never heard of the term ‘hands’ in a recipe. How much is that? Maybe by volume, a cup or…?

Reply

27 Trish @ Uncommon April 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I would have never guessed lavendar!! It looks so refreshing and delicious! Thanks for sharing with us this week at Monday Funday!

Take care,

Trish

Reply

28 Debra G. April 29, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Love this! I am so anti high fructose corn syrup I was wondering could you also sub agave syrup? Want to try the apple soda and the ginger ale too! Thanks!

Reply

29 Amanda May 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I think agave would be fine.

Reply

30 Kristie April 30, 2013 at 5:39 am

I never knew you could do this!? I definitely have to try this some day! :-)

Visiting from Delicious Dish Tuesday :-)

Reply

31 Krista @ While He Was Napping May 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

How fun! My boys would love something like this and I love that it doesn’t have all the gunk that regular soda does! We will be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing and I’ve pinned this.

If you’d like to come share this at my weekly link party, I’d love to have you! What a great job!

Krista

Reply

32 Lauryn May 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I have yet to try to make my own soda, but you have totally inspired me to do so! It looks delicious. And even more delicious in that mason jar;)

Reply

33 Cheryl May 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Is there something I can use in place of the ginger? I’m highly, and deathly, allergic to ginger. Thanks!

Reply

34 Amanda May 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Ginger is a very unique flavor, so I don’t think there is an adequate substitute. I would maybe try leaving it out and adding extra lime zest instead.

Reply

35 Ashlyn May 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm

We have our own soda stream and make our own rootbeer or just plain carbonated water with fruit and mint. For the rootbeer, we make the consistency of hummingbird water: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, then boil; and then we add 1-2 tablespoons of rootbeer extract which is found in the baking aisle. much better than store bought.

Reply

36 Suze K June 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

This sounds great and I plan to try it because I drink way too much Coke, but I think I’m going to use orange zest in place of the lemon zest because the citrus in Coke tastes more orange-y to me.

Reply

37 Suze K June 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

Oops. Just went back and re-read the article. Does this concoction taste like Pepsi? Hate hate hate Pepsi and only drink Coke. Don’t want to be disappointed.

Reply

38 Amanda June 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

The comparison to Pepsi was not literal. This tastes very unique, not at all like commercial sodas. It is a cola-type syrup, with citrus, spice and herbal flavors.

Reply

39 MotorPsychGirl June 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

I will replace the sugar with agave syrup. Much healthier and a lower glycemic index that way.

Reply

40 Amanda June 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Experimenting if half the fun! However, you might want to check out this article- http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/. Agave nectar is not the health food it claims to be. It is lower on the glycemic index because it processed through the liver, and actually contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. It also just as refined as HFCS. Not trying to step on any toes, just letting you know! :)

Reply

41 Merissa June 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Agave is also very highly processed…just something to consider when you make your sweetener choices if you are looking to go to as close to nature as possible :)

Reply

42 limeinthecocanut June 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

think the original coca cola recipe uses lime, not lemon… (and of course, coca nut – lol

Reply

43 Amanda June 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

You can use whichever citrus you prefer. This recipe is not intended to replicate the original Coca Cola recipe.

Reply

44 Sue June 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

I really enjoyed making this for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised how good My Creation was. I am going to experiment with other flavors to see what else I can come up with. Thank You so much for sharing. Can’t wait to do the next batch.

Reply

45 Amanda June 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm

So glad you liked it! It is so much fun playing around the kitchen. :)

Reply

46 Inga August 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I recently quit drinking soda cold turkey after a life-long addiction. It’s not as hard as it seems, but I do get pretty intense cravings for cola when I start to get dehydrated. I’m enjoying drinking water with lemon, but I run out of lemons often enough that sometimes I’m left at home with nothing but plain water to drink. I’m searching high and low for a drink that actually tastes like coke (or pepsi, or RC) but doesn’t have the sugar, acid and bad chemicals. So far, there’s nothing out there. Making your recipe admittedly seems pretty complicated, but it would be worth it if it could come close to the way a store bought cola tastes.
Is it like that, or is it just a different kind of taste all together?

Reply

47 Amanda August 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Honestly, I think you will have a hard time finding something like that. The acid, chemicals, and sugar are the building blocks of Coke/Pepsi. It’s like saying you want something to taste exactly like pizza but without using cheese, tomatoes, or crust. This recipe does not taste like Coke/Pepsi, but it is what cola used to taste like, a flavor combination you can find in ‘original’ colas such as Fentemans- floral, peppery, and complex. I find that, much like giving up processed foods, after a while you will come to prefer the taste of real ingredients and not miss the chemicals! :)

Reply

48 Brook September 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Can’t wait to try this! We gave up soda years ago, but often use flavored stevia and sparkling water. I haven’t found a cola yet though, so I’m super excited since I used to be a one a day coke drinker.

Reply

49 Sandy Gannaway September 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

Please post again a STEVIA version as we are all trying to cut back on inflammation causing sugar!

Reply

50 Merissa September 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

We don’t use Stevia or any kind of different sweetener so we won’t be able to do that. But if you try the recipe with something else please let us know how this goes! You could always sub the sugar for coconut sugar or raw sugar.

Reply

51 Banana November 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm

You guys do realize that that is still an extremely low amount of sugar you would be consuming, right? It calls for one tablespoon for one serving of soda. That’s not going to hurt you…

Reply

52 Amy January 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I think I am going to try this with both my organic sugar and then with a half sugar, half pure stevia and see which one tastes better. I am also intrigued by trying lime instead of lemon. I HOPE the kids go for one of the versions! They are such soda junkies, even though I don’t buy it unless we go out to eat.

Reply

53 Kerry January 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

You had me until the lavender; it just doesn’t sound good to me. I, too, would try the stevia.
Do you have any ideas for a Dr. Pepper-like taste? I recently read that sassafras isn’t always safe for all people to consume and that’s what it tastes like to me.

Reply

54 Chris at A Bar Above (@abarabove) March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Hi Amanda, Great article on making your own soda, and the flavors sound incredible. A few years back we actually made soda the hard way with a sweet liquid and champagne yeast. It was a little more dangerous than I thought it would be as 3 of the 6 bottles exploded and I was afraid to open the other three. Eventually I worked up the courage and they tasted great.

We have now resorted to the soda stream method and make a fun celery and pink peppercorn soda from time to time. It can be a bit of a mess if you aren’t patient, but it is so much better than store bought soda. http://www.abarabove.com/how-to-make-soda/ if you wanted to check out the mess we made :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts and your story. I love to hear from you! Please remember this is a supportive and encouraging community. LHL reserves the right to delete any personal attacks, rude or offensive language, or anything not deemed family friendly.

See our Comment Policy for more information.