Every fall I am one of those crazy people who looks forward to the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks (see the DIY version here). Judge not, my friends, it is a true treat in every sense of the word. I love every sugary sip.
Last week I heard they were already back in stores and was immediately conflicted. It feels too soon. Especially here in the Bay Area where our Indian summer is in full swing with 90+ degree temperatures.
I'm holding off getting one until at least October. I think I can make it 20 days. Maybe.
DIY Orange Soda
In the meantime, we need more fun summer drinks like this do-it-yourself orange soda. It is still warm here afterall.
1 cup granulated sugar
Lemon lime seltzer water
Zest the oranges and the lime and add all of the zest to a medium sauce pan.
Now juice the oranges, adding the juice to the pot. You need 2 cups fresh orange juice (I needed six oranges to accomplish this). Add the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by about 1/3.
Remove the syrup from the stove and let cool slightly. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar.
Discard the pulp and zest from the strainer and place the jar in the fridge until the liquid is cold, about one hour.
When you're ready for a drink, mix one part syrup and two parts seltzer in a glass filled with ice. Stir it up and serve with an orange slice if desired. Enjoy!
This soda is light, refreshing and perfect for a warm night. I absolutely loved it as an after dinner treat. I cannot say enough about how fresh it tasted. Sigh.
Here's a little quiz to know if this is the right recipe for you too.
- Do you regularly purchase bottled juice drinks at Whole Foods?
- Do you have a bunch or oranges (6 or more) sitting around in need of a job?
- Do you have a juicer?
- Is it still over 75 degrees where you live?
If you answered yes to any of the above, give this soda a try.
PS. Don't let the juicer question intimidate you. I did some good old fashioned squeezing and fared just fine.