A Spicy Perspective

Southern Orangeade Recipe

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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.
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Have you ever tasted an ice cold orangeade?

The first time I tried a Southern Orangeade Recipe was twelve 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 at this point, 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 have 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 The Best Southern Orangeade

A good Southern Orangeade Recipe relies on several key factors…

First, like with lemonade, you need to 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.

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 and 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.

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

Looking for more Southern Recipes? Try These!

Refreshing Southern Orangeade Recipe
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4.98 from 48 votes
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Southern 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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39 comments on “Southern Orangeade Recipe”

  1. This will be a wonderful addition to our breakfast, and maybe even more. Anxious to try.

  2. Can’t wait to try. I never made this before. Excited to try.

  3. The presentation style is simple and has weight. Nicely articulated. this is my favorite recipe

  4. This is absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, but used Valencia oranges (a nod to the “Orange Crush” cocktail that was invited in Maryland). Will definitely continue to make this recipe; the work with the fresh squeezed oranges and lemons was totally worth it!
    -Love from NC! 

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  7. awesome post, thanks for sharing here.

  8. Have you ever made this Orangeade with less sugar?  Trying to cut back on  added sugars in our house.  Thanks

  9. This is a great recipe for orangeade…wonderful on a hit summer day in the South!

  10. Any chance that small town was Burnsville, NC??

  11. Delicious!!! The vanilla makes it taste like a creamsicle!

  12. Your feedback helps me a lot, A very meaningful event, I hope everything will go well

  13. The South Orangeade recipe you share is easy to make. I wait for new recipes from you.

  14. The South Orangeade recipe you share is easy to make. I wait for new recipes from you.

  15. Do you think 7up or sprite soda would work? I was thinking that has sugar and lemon flavoring in it and I have it on hand. 

  16. OMG! Just made this to use up some extra oranges and lemons on hand. I used 2 different kinds of oranges, soda, and followed the recipe to a T.
    WOW IS IT GOOD!!!!!
    Think it will make a great mixer for adult beverage as well.

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  18. The orange juice you make is delicious and delicious. I will learn your formula.

  19. love these flavors, orange and lemon juices, and I prefer mine non-carbonated, so water, thank you!

  20. I appreciate this work amazing post for us. I like it.

  21. A glass of orange juice every day will help you feel relaxed, smooth and full of vitality.

  22. THis is really good

  23. The South Orangeade recipe you share is great. I will learn this formula. thanks a lot.

  24. A glass of orange juice in the morning is good for health

  25. How to make your orange juice special, I like it

  26. I am happy to find this post very useful for me

  27. Your nutrition facts seem to be WAY off, 1469 calories for 8 ounces??? Planning to make this for a gathering. Thanks for the recipe 😋

  28. Freshly squeezed orange juice and plenty of nutrition. Thank you for sharing

  29. Wonderful blog! Do you have anny tips and hints for aspiring writers?
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  31. This looks so refreshing!

  32. What a fun summer drink!

  33. So perfect for Easter brunch! 

  34. YUM! that sounds amazing for Easter morning!