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!

Make Your Own Homemade Soda Pop

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.

cola syrup (1)

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?

Have you ever tried to make your own soda pop?

amanbio

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84 Comments

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

  2. 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!

    1. I have had a Soda Stream for several years. I do not but their brand of flavorings/syrups because most of them have artificial sweetener in them. I but Torani Syrups because they contain real sugar, not artificial. Also they do not make a cola syrup so I may have to try this recipe for cola syrup. Hope this helps you!

  3. 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?

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

    2. 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.

    3. Hi Iam From Kerala {India}. Here We Have A Simple Recipe For This.

      Cardamom & Ginger Drink. U Can Take Cardamom & Ginger As Much As U Want Grind It. Boil Some Water Add The Powder And Boil Till U Get It Thick like Sugar Syrup.Instead Of Sugar You Can Use Honey.
      Without Boil U Can Make This…..Take The Powder Of Both Cardamom And Ginger Add Water And Mix It Well For About 10 Minutes In Blender.Add Honey.Done !

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

      1. Whole Earth makes a Stevia baking mix with sugar if you want it pre mixed or they also have Stevia and Monk fruit in packets, I started using this to cut calories and like it a lot. Just watch how often you use it or you will find you want more and more sweet per unit of drink. I try to treat it as (like we are supposed too) a rare treat vs a mass quantity drink of plain water, coffee or tea.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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…

  6. 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!

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

    2. 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.

    3. We are cider makers and i have never tried to make this but i will today for sure! thank you for sharing

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

      1. Ginger is sold as finger usually- because it is a rhizome- a hand refers to the entire paddle ( you can get them in ethic stores for way less than whole foods- and a hand is about the size of an adult Human hand.

  9. 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

  10. 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!

      1. Using natural syrups and sweetners is great! I love 100%Maple Syrup in my coffee or different honeys too. I recently tried molasses and blackstrap molasses (acquired taste). I also read that HFC is allowed to have ‘chemical’ boosters in it and the FDA does not require that to be labeled. Not cool in my book but big money can do what it wants as long as the government gets their payday. Try to use as natural product as you can get.

  11. I never knew you could do this!? I definitely have to try this some day! 🙂

    Visiting from Delicious Dish Tuesday 🙂

  12. 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

  13. 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;)

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

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. I worked with a chemist who said Pepsi is based on lemon and Coke is based on Grapefruit.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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! 🙂

      1. 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 🙂

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

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

    1. 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! 🙂

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

  23. 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…

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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 🙂

  27. How cool is this!?! I will have to try it…but like some of the others, if I could make Mt Dew for the hubs, I would for sure walk on water 😉

    Pinning it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. I don’t drink much soda but this is really cool. I’ve never thought of making your own cola syrup. I wonder if you could add in some tea for the caffeine. My husband drinks diet soda mostly for the caffeine and he is very sugar sensitive so he can’t drink regular soda (it makes him fall asleep). But soda with real sugar instead of HFcorn syrup might do the trick for him. Thanks for sharing this on Great Idea Thursdays I’m featuring this.

  29. I am in awe of this recipe and honestly very excited to try it. We don’t drink cola do to all the awful ingredients so imagine my surprise when I saw your recipe and all the incredible ingredients that go into it. I have been begging my parents to give up soda so I will be making this for them immediately. Thank you for sharing on the Let’s Get Real Blog Hop. Pinning!

  30. This is interesting. I need to look into making my own soda since my hubby loves drinking it and I would prefer knowing what’s in it. Thanks for sharing. Pinned.

  31. Pinning this so I have the recipe. I don’t drink cola or hardly any soft drinks but my husband and kids do and we have a soda stream machine. Thanks for sharing this.

  32. This looks like it would be so fun to make and experiment with. Thanks for linking up with us and we hope to see you next week! Sandra from Scrumptilicious4You with the Four Seasons Blog Hop.

  33. This is a wonderful sounding recipe and I can’t wait to try it. My father makes the root beer for my brother’s brewery – for the non-beer drinkers. Who knows? being able to make a tasty soda may run in the family! I think I’ll use xylitol in place of the sugar though, for a lower glycemic index and so it would be safe for my daughter who is diabetic. I’d consider stevia, but it’s not always easy to get the proper quantity due to how bitter it can be if too much is used. Xylitol is used every day in our house since you can use it cup for cup the same as sugar. Thanks for posting this to the Pintastic Pinterest Party!

  34. I have been craving Coke but the high fructose syrup is just a killer. I wonder if this will do the trick? Thanks for sharing. You will be featured at Savoring Saturdays when it goes live tomorrow at 7pm!

  35. Conrats! This was the most viewed link on last week’s Savoring Saturdays, so I’m featuring it tonight! Hope you’ll stop by and link up again. 🙂

  36. Looks like a great way to customize your own soda! Please stop on by and share with us on Five Friday Finds (open until Wednesday midnight)!

  37. Not to be a Negative Nancy but this is more of a ginger beer. For it to be an actual cola syrup and not a root beer (not all root beers need sassafras or sarsaparilla root bark) doesn’t the syrup need Kola nut? It’s not hard to get ahold of, and you just brew it like tea to extract the flavor and caffeine.

    Also, @limeinthecocanut Coca-Cola uses Kola Nut and Coca LEAF to make their beverage. Which is why it’s so addictive. Coca leaves are used to make cocaine (hence the name of the chemical). It’s sort of like how certain poppies are used to make opium, heroin, and other opiates. Kola nut, on the other hand, is mostly harmless and just produces caffeine.

  38. I make my own soda pop (sparkling water) basically anything I can juice and make into a syrup with ginger, black and red chokecherry, plum, ginger/lemon, basically anything I can juice and make into a syrup.