italian soda

Italian Sodas are simple to make right at home, with the same ingredients that high end coffee shops like Second Cup or Starbucks use. While simple to make, they’re undeniably refreshing and very versatile – they can be enjoyed at just about any time of day.

While you might end up paying $4.50 at a cafe for a glass or cup, the exact same thing can be made at home for about $0.50. If you’re from Canada, you can get Italian Soda Syrups from


Italian Soda Recipe

  • 3/4 Ice Cubes
  • 1 ounce  Flavoured Syrup (4 pumps, or 2 tablespoons)
  • Glass Club Soda or Sparkling Water

There are a couple flavoured syrup options on the market, with high end brands like Torani and Monin leading the way. The small squeeze bottles you can find in the grocery stores typically have a terrible flavour compared to the real syrups.

Lime Refresher

A refresher is simply a chilled green tea with a bit of carbonation and the same flavourings you use in the Italian Sodas. They’re similar to the Italian Soda with the exception of a bit of caffeine from the tea. Quite simple to make, they’re made from:

  1. Ice (3/4 glass)
  2. Flavoured Syrup (1 ounce)
  3. Green Tea (1/2 glass with ice)
  4. Club Soda or Sparkling Water (1/2 glass with ice)

Feeling adventurous? You can use black tea instead of green tea, which works well with flavours like Vanilla or Coconut. White teas go great with lighter, fruity flavours like Blueberry.


Starbucks has started a pilot program in the U.S. (beginning with some Seattle, WA, Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX stores) to offer “Handcrafted Sodas” aka Italian Sodas. Using an in-store carbonating machine, carbonated water is combined with flavours such as Lemon and Root Beer, as well as Ginger Ale, to create Italian Sodas.

Pricing seems in-line with current Starbucks drinks, at $2.45 for a tall, $2.95 for a grande and $3.45 for a venti.

The move seems to be aimed at bringing customers in the early-afternoon hours, when the traffic dies down just after lunch. Offering some caffeine-free iced drinks may be just the key to attracting people in on hot days, who may not want another shot of caffeine for the day.

Also on the menu for that time of the day is their “Green Coffee Extract” drinks, known as “refreshers”. Using green coffee beans and flavoured syrups, the Refreshers have become mildly popular but sit at a higher price point than the Handcrafted Sodas will.

It’s not yet known whether the Italian Sodas (officially being called “Handcrafted Sodas”) will be expanding beyond the couple of test stores, only time will tell.

Torani Coconut Syrup is a hugely vesatile flavour that can be added to just about anything – from lattes to italian sodas and baking in general. While it’s great on it’s own, it’s one of the most effective flavours in terms of enhancing whatever it’s mixed with, and it can be mixed with a lot!

Popular combinations in lattes include Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough syrup, regular Chocolate syrup, Peanut Butter syrup, Cupcake syrup and Toasted Marshmallow syrup. The coconut is subtle enough not to overpower otherwise mild flavours (such as the Peanut Butter syrup) but offers a distinct tropical contrast that livens up the drink.

It’s also great when mixed with Italian Sodas and perfectly compliments almost any fruit flavour. Combine with Cherry, Raspberry or Strawberry for a truly fruity combination, or with citrus-y fruits like orange, lemon and lime.


  • 3/4 oz. Torani Coconut Syrup
  • 3/4 oz. Torani Lime Syrup
  • 8 oz. club soda
  • 2 lime wedges
  • Fill a pint glass with ice. Add soda and top with Torani.
  • Optional: Squeeze two lime wedges and drop in.

Get the Torani Coconut Syrup.