So as I mentioned yesterday, the birthday dinner included homemade Italian cream sodas, and I promised to share the recipe today, with my notes below it. I'm also very pleased that I remembered to catch the recipe's URL too this time! Here it is, and check out her lovely photos too:

Italian Cream Sodas

Holiday food is great and all but a fun tradition we have is to make specialty drinks, particularly for New Year's. Italian Cream Sodas are a favorite of mine but they are so overpriced at restaurants I tend to not order them often. Did you know that you can make your own for a fraction of the price? Seriously! They're super tasty and I love how they look. Aren't they so festive and pretty?! They are indeed.

What you'll need:

  • Club Soda
  • Half & Half
  • Torani Syrups
  • Ice

To make one Italian Cream Soda, you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup Club Soda
  • 3 tablespoons Torani Syrup (our favorite combo was Raspberry Vanilla: 2 tablespoons Raspberry to 1 tablespoon Vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon Half & Half
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream and a cherry for the top!

Add ice cubes to glasses. Measure out about 1/2 cup Club Soda and pour into each glass. If you have larger glasses, you can double all of the ingredients.

Measure out 3 tablespoons Torani syrup. Our favorite combo was a mix of vanilla and raspberry as detailed above. Yum.

Add the syrup to the soda. Just before serving add the 1 tablespoon of Half & Half to the soda/ syrup mixture. This is the fun part — as the cream seeps down it makes a really cool design on the glass. Try not to shake the glasses around too much so the pretties are preserved. Serve with whipped cream and a cherry on top, as well as something to stir with prior to drinking. It's fun to admire the cool swirls of the syrup and cream, but encourage everyone to give it a little stir before drinking so that all the flavors meld.


Italian Cream Sodas

Italian Cream Sodas

So, that's her recipe — now my notes. First and foremost, practice at least once before you make these for guests! It means you won't make mistakes (like I did) due to not knowing this bartending stuff that apparently every guy is born with — the bums! ;) Plus, you get to drink the tasty results so there's no evidence left of any mistakes.

So, here's what I learned from my bit of practice: if you have access to seltzer water (which I do) and keep a bottle or three always refrigerated (which we do), then you can dispense with the ice cubes and the club soda, and just use the seltzer water instead — it's just as yummy. The amount the author describes in her recipe fits neatly into one of those small 6 oz. glasses which I've been informed a bartender would call a "rocks" or "whiskey" or "Old Fashioned" glass.

When you add the half & half, pour it over the back of a spoon so it dribbles down into the drink in more than just one place. That will help create the pretty mixing effect throughout the entire drink — instead of one solid column of white. Yes, I did this, and no, there is no evidence left of this blunder. ;)

Try playing with the whipped cream a bit, so you get it right when you use it on the drinks. I'm torn between starting at the outer edge and spiraling inwards — which is tidy but somewhat flat looking — or making a little heap in the middle and spiraling outwards — which is much fluffier looking but leaves you with an awful lot of whipped cream on what is really a pretty small drink. Decisions, decisions.

Finally, while drinking your Italian Cream Soda, flip through your recipe books or lists or files to find something that will use up the rest of this half & half. I'm also planning on whipped cream-topped ice cream sundaes sometime in the very near future. I do have one last problem, though: anybody know any recipes that call for a small heap of maraschino cherries? ;)


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