Healthier Homemade Soda

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Preview: This healthier homemade soda is a refreshing treat for the holidays or summer vacation. This homemade soda syrup added to seltzer is a great alternative to traditional store-bought soda for kids and adults alike.

When holidays or summer vacation rolls around, too often our best intentions of eating well fall to the wayside with all the yummy food available. And if you are hosting parties, it can be even harder. You want good food, but wouldn’t it be nice to provide a healthier alternative?

The Soda Dilemma

My kids love soda. There. I said it. I wish they didn’t, but it’s the truth. And who am I kidding? Some afternoons, I want a fizzy drink too. But I can’t afford all the calories in a regular soda and diet sodas are not an option.

I have struggled to find a way to give my kids a fizzy treat without all the junk. I researched on the internet for all kinds of soda syrups and they were either too complicated, came in flavors my kids don’t like, (cucumber melon anyone?) or still contained too much sugar. So I decided to come up with my own recipe. While not calorie free, it is a much better alternative to the high fructose corn syrup sodas you buy at the store.

healthier homemade soda
This healthier homemade soda uses a homemade soda syrup to add delicious flavor to seltzer.

This process to make homemade soda is quite simple. You only need 5 ingredients. (And one of them is water!) I’ll show you how to make a soda syrup concentrate that you can add to store-bought seltzer or any type of carbonated water. This is a great alternative to the soda syrups you can buy for your Soda Stream.

This soda recipe can also help wean you off the overly sweetened beverages you can purchase. By using as much or as little soda syrup as you would like you can adjust the sweetness of your soda. Start off with using more soda concentrate and then gradually add a little less.

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Ways to flavor healthier homemade soda

This homemade soda can be flavored many ways. You are only limited by the types of juice concentrate you can find at the store. I have been using a cranberry blend from Old Orchard that I found at my local Food Lion store. The pretty red color is perfect for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

I used to make my homemade soda with a white grape peach blend but I have been unable to locate it recently. However, this works with any variety of juice concentrate you can find. I have used grape juice concentrate and apple juice concentrate which are both relatively easy to locate.

Sweetener for homemade soda

I prefer to use stevia in my homemade soda syrup. Since it is calorie free, you are not adding additional calories to the beverage. However, you can use sugar or honey if you prefer. Using sugar or honey will still make a healthier soda, though it will contain more calories than using a calorie-free sweetener.

While we are on the subject of sweeteners, let’s talk about stevia. You can purchase the bags of stevia that measure cup for cup like sugar at most grocery stores. Aldi even carries some and I have used it with good results. However, I feel that a stevia/erythritol blend gives a cleaner taste to the soda syrup. (I used the Walmart brand of Truvia here.)

For the fizzy part of the soda, you can purchase seltzer, carbonated water, or use a Soda Stream to make your own fizzy water. You can even purchase flavored seltzer to give your homemade soda even more flavor. I used a cranberry lime seltzer (that I found at Food Lion) with the cranberry blend juice concentrate and it was lovely.

How to make homemade soda from scratch

Healthier Homemade Soda
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

This healthier homemade soda is much better for you than the sugary-laden beverages you purchase at the store.

Course: Beverages
Cuisine: American
For soda concentrate:
  • 1 can (12 oz.) juice concentrate, any flavor
  • 1 can water (from the juice concentrate can, 12 oz.)
  • 6 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Truvia, or to taste
To make soda:
  • seltzer (flavored or unflavored) or carbonated water
  1. Mix juice concentrate, water, lemon juice, and Truvia together. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. When you would like a soda, mix seltzer (or carbonated water) and soda concentrate together in a glass. Use as much or as little soda concentrate as desired.

This simple recipe is great to serve at parties or just to have on hand when you need a fizzy drink. Have you ever tried making homemade soda?

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