Southern Orangeade Recipe: Fresh and vibrant, just like grandma used to make! This classic southern soda fountain favorite is a perfect beverage for summer.

Orangeade in a glass pitcher with oranges in the background.


Have you ever tasted an ice-cold orangeade?

The first time I tried a Southern Orangeade Recipe was nineteen years ago, right after we moved to North Carolina. We uprooted from the Midwest and settled in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had just given birth to my son Carson and had made a local friend who was also a new mommy.

Once a week we would meet to stroll our little bundles around the downtown area of our tiny mountain town. This particular day was hot.

As we passed by a diner, my friend asked, “Hey, you want to stop and get an Arn-gid?”

Huh? A what??

I was still working my way through the Blue Ridge dialect, so it took a couple of tries before I realized she was saying Orange-Ade. *wink*

I’ll never forget that funny conversation or the addictive beverage that followed!

Orangeade in a pint glass with a straw.

Orangeade Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this fabulous Orangeade recipe!

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice – not the store-bought kind with added sugars.
  • Sugar – we will be adding our own sugars to this drink.
  • Water – to make the simple syrup.
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice – to complement the orange citrus.
  • Vanilla extract – this gives it an old-fashioned taste.
  • Salt – flavor enhancer.
  • Club soda (or water) – depending on the type of drink you want to have.
Juicing fresh oranges to make the Southern orangeade recipe.

How to Make Orangeade

A good Southern Orangeade Recipe relies on several key factors…

First, like with lemonade, start with fresh juice, not the store-bought variety. I like to use ripe Navel oranges or Cara Cara oranges. Sometimes I use a combination of both!

Fresh squeezed orange juice being poured into a glass pitcher for orangeade recipe

Simple Syrup

Make a simple syrup using 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Warm the mixture to fully dissolve the sugar into the water.

Add a little bit of lemon juice to the mix. You don’t want it to overpower the flavor of the fresh oranges, yet adding lemon will give the orangeade a little extra pop.

Simple syrup being poured into a glass pitcher to make orangeade.

Extra Ingredients

My secret additions for the best homemade orangeade are to add a scant amount of vanilla extract, to give the southern orangeade recipe an old-fashioned soda fountain quality. Then add a pinch of salt to accentuate the natural flavors.

Southern orangeade in a glass pitcher.

Club Soda or Water

Finally, pour in additional water.

Or if you plan to serve this southern orangeade recipe right away, use club soda for a fizzy soda fountain-style orangeade. However, you can make it ahead, by just adding tap water.

That’s it!

Glass full of ice and homemade orangeade with a red and white striped straw.

This sweet invigorating beverage is a lovely diversion from lemonade and iced tea.

It has such deep southern roots, one taste might entice you to call it Arn-gid as well, with a sweet southern drawl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between orange juice and orangeade?

Orangeade contains orange juice, but it also contains additional ingredients. It is basically doctored up orange juice for added flavor, and is so much more refreshing!

What can I add to the orangeade recipe instead of simple sugar?

If you don’t want to make your own simple sugar, you can use honey or agave syrup. I don’t recommend adding plain sugar since it might not dissolve all the way!

How should I store leftover orangeade and how long does it last?

Orangeade can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days! When you are serving leftovers, make sure to give it a good stir.

See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make This Orangeade Recipe. Enjoy!

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Refreshing Southern Orangeade Recipe
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Orangeade Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Fresh and vibrant Southern Orangeade Recipe, just like grandmas used to make! This classic southern soda fountain favorite is a perfect beverage for summer.
Servings: 8 cups


  • 2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice from 6-8 juicy oranges
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cups club soda or water


  • Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a small sauce pot. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. (This can also be done in the microwave.) Stir in vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
  • Squeeze 2 1/2 cups of orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice into a large pitcher. Pour the sugar syrup into the pitcher. If making ahead, add 5 additional cups of water. Stir and refrigerate.
  • If serving right away, pour 5 cups club soda to the pitcher instead of tap water. This creates a bubbly soda fountain quality!


Orangeade tastes best when you use really juicy sweet oranges. I like to use a mix of Cara Cara oranges and Navel Oranges.


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 183kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 176mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 155IU, Vitamin C: 44.6mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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