Easy, refreshing, and fun, Italian Cream Soda is the perfect non-alcoholic drink and special treat to serve on a hot summer day! It's just 4 ingredients (including ice!) and takes less than 5 minutes to prep and serve!
If your local coffee shop sells Italian sodas, you’re probably familiar with the concept. The barista mixes them up on the spot with sparkling water and fruity syrups, making a refreshing alternative to caffeinated iced coffees.
This Italian soda recipe builds on this foundation, creating a sweet drink that’s delightfully creamy and just a little bit indulgent.
What Is Italian Cream Soda?
Italian cream sodas are refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks that are made with carbonated water, flavored simple syrup, and heavy cream or half-and-half.
Think of this Italian cream soda recipe as more of a guide rather than something you need to stick to. You can add as much or as little syrup as you like, use any combination of flavors, and go light or heavy on the dairy.
Let me tell you, kids love making Italian sodas because they can experiment and mix up their own creations! It one of our favorite activities during the hot summer months.
Is Italian Cream Soda Actually Italian?
Italian cream soda has a sophisticated continental feel, but they’re actually an American original!
While there's no argument that Italian cream soda is an American invention, there is some dispute about where and how it originated. Some people say the Torani syrup company invented Italian cream sodas in the 1920s, while others think they’re a variation of the creamy drinks soda fountains used to sell back in the early 20th century.
Regardless of their origin, Italian cream sodas are a delicious and refreshing treat that is perfect for summertime! For more refreshing summer drinks, try my Fresh Squeezed Homemade Lemonade, The Best Shirley Temple Drink Recipe, and Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Sparkling water
- Flavored syrup – You can use store-bought Torani syrups from your local grocery store, or even make your own homemade fruit syrup with fresh fruit, herbs, vanilla bean, lavender, or citrus rinds.
Seltzer, Club Soda, and Sparkling Mineral Water: What’s the Difference?
Club soda, seltzer water, and sparkling water are each a different type of carbonated water with a slightly different flavor profile, but any of them will work for Italian sodas.
- Seltzer is simply carbonated water with no added ingredients, so it has a clean, crisp taste.
- Club soda is infused with minerals and salt, so it has a slightly salty flavor.
- Sparkling mineral water (aka soda water) is carbonated water that has been naturally infused with minerals. The water may come from a spring or a well. Sometimes it’s naturally carbonated, while other times, carbon dioxide is added to make it fizzy.
I usually use club soda when I’m making Italian cream sodas, but you can use whatever you prefer or have on hand.
How to Make Italian Cream Soda
Italian sodas are ridiculously easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Prepare your glass. Fill a tall glass with ice, then fill it about ⅔ full with club soda.
Add the syrup. The amount depends on how sweet you want your soda and, of course, how big your glass is! I recommend starting with a little bit less and working your way up, tasting as you go.
Add the half-and-half, then garnish. Pour in a tablespoon or two of half-and-half, depending on how creamy you want it. If you’d like, you can garnish with a maraschino cherry, fresh fruit, sprigs of herbs, or even a dollop of whipped cream.
Italian Soda Flavor Combinations
The best thing about homemade Italian cream sodas is experimenting with different flavors of syrup to find your favorite flavor combinations! If you have time, you can make some herb-infused simple syrups to combine with store-bought fruit syrups, or try some of these fruity combos:
- Raspberry Peach
- Peach Mango
- Blueberry Lemon
- Pineapple Coconut
- Passionfruit Orange
Ideas for an Italian Soda Bar
Italian cream sodas are always popular at parties and the flavor possibilities are endless, so creating a make-your-own Italian soda bar is a fun idea for summer get-togethers! Set out a variety of flavors of syrups and your guests can assemble their own Italian cream sodas.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plenty of glasses and fun straws
- A selection of syrups (raspberry, blue raspberry, coconut, vanilla, mango, and passionfruit are always popular options)
- Sparkling water
- Ice cubes
- Fruit garnishes
You can make a little sign with basic instructions and a few flavor suggestions and then give yourself a break—you can enjoy your party without playing bartender!
If you are looking to decrease your sugar intake, Torani makes very good sugar-free syrups that work well in Italian sodas.
Coconut milk is a great substitute for the half-and-half or cream in this recipe if you have someone with a dairy allergy.
More Refreshing Summer Drinks You'll Love
- Orange Julius Recipe
- Homemade Hawaiian Punch Recipe
- Homemade Blackberry Lemonade
- Easy Brazilian Lemonade (Limeade)
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Raspberry Peach Italian Cream Sodas
- Ice to fill a glass
- Club soda
- 2-3 Tablespoons Torani Raspberry Flavored Syrup
- 2-3 Tablespoons Torani Peach Flavored Syrup
- 1-2 Tablespoons half-and-half
- Fresh raspberries & peach slices for garnish optional
- Whipped cream optional
- Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in enough club soda to fill approximately ⅔ full.
- Add both syrup flavors to the club soda, followed by the half-and-half. Measurements will vary depending on the size of the glass and your taste preference for levels of sweetness or creaminess, so you may want to start with the smaller amounts and adjust up.
- Swirl together and garnish with fresh raspberries, peach slices, and whipped cream, if desired.