Homemade Italian Cream Soda Tutorial and Recipe

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Have you ever had an Italian cream soda?  It's a delicious drink on a hot day--cold and refreshing, filled with fresh fruit flavor, effervescent fizz, and the decadent texture that only cream can provide. This italian soda recipe is fast and easy to make with just a few simple ingredients that you can get at your local grocery stores.

Homemade Italian cream sodas made with homemade fresh fruit syrup.

The Italian cream sodas you can get at italian restaurants are delicious, but they're typically made with torani brand of syrups.   Now imagine how amazing homemade Italian cream sodas can be when you make them with homemade fruit syrups.  

That's right, homemade, fresh fruit syrup.  Holy cow, now that's delectable.  You'll never buy the artificially flavored syrup once you realize how easy it is to make, and how much more delicious it is.  

Well, that's not quite true.  Even though I prefer homemade fruit syrups, there are some very good commercial products out there, too, and yes, I still buy them!  There is absolutely no need to make homemade syrup in a variety of flavors to make this amazing drink recipe.  But if you want to be "extra," as my kids might say, it's worth the effort!

Watermelon simple syrup and a cut watermelon on a wooden cutting board.

You clearly don't have to make a homemade fruit syrup to make this italian cream soda recipe (if you don't, I recommend Monin brand syrups--I prefer them over some easier to find brands like torani syrups).  But if you have bountiful summer fruit and are looking for ways to use it up, homemade syrups just can't be beat.

Strawberry Italian cream soda on a wooden cutting board on a black chalkboard background.

Either way, a homemade Italian cream soda is an amazing refreshing summer drink.

How to Make an Italian Cream Soda

Strawberry and Watermelon homemade Italian cream sodas on a black background.

My mom gifted me with some homemade strawberry syrup, and I'd just made homemade watermelon syrup, so I decided it was high time for me to learn how to make my own Italian cream sodas.  It's so easy, I'm ashamed I'd never done it before.

Ingredients for homemade Italian Cream Sodas

Italian Cream Soda Ingredients:

Simple syrup being poured in sparkling water to make homemade Italian Cream Sodas.

Place ice in a glass, and fill with any type of carbonated water.  You can buy club soda or seltzer water at any grocery store, but I actually make my own.  (My husband and I LOVE sparkling mineral water, and go through several liters a day, so we bought a carbonating kit from Amazon to save money and not create so much plastic waste.). You can also use lemon-lime soda if you don't have plain soda water, but you may want to add less fruit syrup to make this perfect summer drink.

Add fruit syrup to taste.  I don't like very sweet things, so I love making my own drinks like this so I can control the sweetness level and sugar content.  When I thought it was perfect, my girls both thought it was tasty, but needed more syrup.

Half and Half being poured in a glass to make Italian Cream Sodas

After the syrup has been added (you might need to give it a quick stir to incorporate it with the sparkling water), pour in about a teaspoon of half and half.  You don't need much at all to get that distinctive flavor and velvety feel.  You can also use a bit of heavy cream if you don't have half-and-half.  (And since I've never seen half and half in Europe, I think it's safe to say that using whipping cream is probably the more authentic way to make this classic drink!)

Alternative to Fruit Syrup for Italian Cream Sodas:

  • If you don't have time to make homemade fruit syrups, but don't want artificial flavoring either, buy frozen, concentrated fruit juice at your local grocery store.  Let the frozen juice concentrate thaw, and use that liquid to make your Italian cream sodas.  You'll get fabulous, all-natural flavor without any fuss.
  • You can also use snow cone syrup if you want more fanciful flavors!

Homemade Watermelon Italian Cream Soda

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

What are the Best Italian Cream Soda Flavors?

  • Fruit flavors are the most common Italian cream soda flavors.  But what's the best?  It depends on what fruits you love!
  • Italy is famous for its citrus crops, so lemon, grapefruit, and orange flavors are classic.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with other fruits or fruit blends, too.  The technique can be used with different flavors of syrup from anywhere around the globe!  I particularly like tamarind syrup.

Homemade strawberry and watermelon Italian Cream Sodas

What flavor would you make?  I think I'm going to have to try peach and rhubarb syrup, myself.  Oooh, and raspberry syrup.  I love raspberry!  I can't wait to throw a summer soiree with my own italian soda bar.  

Other Non-Alcoholic Drink Recipes You Might Like:

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Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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