Homemade Cream Soda is a super simple, nostalgic soda recipe that’s easy to make at home and is so refreshing on warm summer days. Once you know how to make your own vanilla flavored soda pop, you’ll never go back to store bought.
homemade vanilla cream soda couldn’t be simpler
Everybody loves fizzy drinks, especially when it’s hot out, and nothing quenches a thirst better. The supermarket shelves are full of them. But it probably never occurred to you that you could easily make homemade soda right in your own kitchen. All you have to do is make a simple flavored syrup and mix it with plain soda water, and you’re done! Get the kids involved and you can come up with all sorts of creative flavors. You’ll avoid artificial flavors and colors, and you can moderate the sugar content, too.
what is cream soda?
- Cream soda is an old time sweetened carbonated drink flavored with a vanilla syrup. It was developed back before vanilla was a common flavoring, so it was wonderfully exotic in its time. The original was bottled by a Dr. Brown in the 1880s, along with other flavors like celery, black cherry, and ginger.
- There’s no actual dairy in this style of cream soda, but the vanilla flavor itself lends a soft ‘creamy’ impression to the soda. A touch of lemon juice keeps it refreshing and not too cloying.
- This is not to be confused with “Italian” cream sodas, which are sodas usually flavored with a fruity syrup and topped with actual cream. That’s another story for another post, for sure.
the case for making your own soda ~
I’m not a big soda drinker, but every once in a while, a sweet, cold drink is a nice treat, especially on a hot summer day. If you’re not a fan of overly sweet soda pop, making your own is a great way to adjust the amount of sugar in your drink. I’ve also discovered that delicious homemade cream soda is a fantastic base for fancier desserts and even cocktails ~ think about the amazing ice cream floats you could make!
get creative with flavor variations!
Of course, once you’ve made this simple syrup and mixed it with plain soda water it will become obvious that the sky’s the limit in terms of other flavors to try out. My homemade grape soda is one of my favorites, and of course there are countless other fruits and flavorings to experiment with. I think using a little almond extract in place of some of the vanilla in this recipe would be really interesting and delicious, or try a bit of maple syrup instead of vanilla syrup for a maple soda.
if you’re a carbonation lover, consider going pro with a soda machine
I have a SodaStream sparkling water machine and it’s great for this kind of thing. I never have to be without super fizzy water for my homemade sodas. I also love this compact Swedish model, which looks so cool on the counter and would definitely inspire me to drink more water.
more refreshing drinks to beat the heat ~
- Limonana ~ Frozen Mint Lemonade
- Blueberry Lemonade
- Honeysuckle Iced Tea
- Blackberry Moscato Slushies
- Creamy Lemonade
Homemade Cream Soda
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract Note: the quality of your extract will make a difference, so look for pure vanilla extract, and avoid artificial flavorings.
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- plain soda water, for mixing.
- Heat the sugar and the water in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove the syrup from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract and the lemon juice. Let the syrup cool and then store in the refrigerator.
- Mix 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of the syrup into 8 ounces of soda water. Or, you can make a big batch of cream soda at once, using the same ratio of syrup to soda water.
- As written this recipe approximates the sugar content of commercial sodas, but feel free to experiment with using less. You can use honey, agave, or the artificial sweetener of your choice, too.