An Italian soda is a carbonated drink made with soda water and flavored syrup. Some recipes also call for the addition of half-and-half or cream. A number of different syrups can be purchased at a grocery store or specialty market. For the best results, the soda water used should be fully carbonated, and the syrups should be of high quality. If making an Italian cream soda, the ingredients should be combined in a specific order to prevent the half and half or cream from curdling and ruining the drink.
Soda water is the main ingredient of an Italian soda. Stores typically sell bottled soda water of different types. The drink usually tastes best when very bubbly, fully-carbonated water is used, and this can be best achieved by making the beverage with a newly-opened bottle. An Italian soda should be served soon after it is made, as the water tends to lose its carbonation within a short amount.
A high-quality syrup can make a big difference in the taste of an Italian soda. There are many kinds of syrup available, ranging from fruit flavors to those that taste like liqueurs, chocolate, or spices. A quality syrup is usually thick, with a strong flavor. When making an Italian soda, only a small amount of this flavoring is necessary.
Some drink recipes call for the addition of cream or half-and-half when making an Italian soda. Like the syrup, only a small amount of this rich ingredient must be used. Using one of these dairy products makes the drink thicker and creamy. Some people prefer to use milk instead to make the drink lighter.
For the best tasting Italian soda, it should be made in a way that thoroughly combines the syrup and soda water. It is recommended that the syrup is added to a glass first, followed by the soda water. The mixture should be gently stirred to combine the ingredients. More syrup may be added if a stronger flavored drink is desired. Ice should be added to keep the drink cold.
When using a dairy product to make a cream soda, the syrup and dairy product should be added together and thoroughly mixed. The soda water should then be added, followed by ice. Making the drink in this way should prevent the dairy product from curdling in the glass. These drinks are often served with a straw, and whipped cream can be added as a topping.