Refreshing Southern Orangeade Recipe, a soda shop favorite you can make at home!
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 tries before I realized she was saying Orange-Ade. *wink*
I’ll never forget that funny conversation, or the addictive beverage that followed!
A good Southern Orangeade Recipe relies on several key factors…
How to Make The Best Southern Orangeade Recipe
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!
Make simple syrup using 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Warm the mixture to fully dissolve the sugar into the water.
Add a little bite 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.
My secret additions are to add a scant amount of vanilla extract, to give the southern orangeade recipe a old fashioned soda fountain quality. Then add a pinch of salt to accentuate the natural flavors.
Finally pour in additional water.
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.
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.
Southern Orangeade Recipe
- 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 addition 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.
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