This homemade cherry vanilla soda is easy, delicious, refreshing, and contains only 5 ingredients.
Why bother making your own soda? Well... it's quite fun (if you find cooking fun), something a little bit different, and you know exactly what's going into it.
I don't normally make homemade pop (or soda as many people call it), but I was inspired after making the lemon simple syrup in my lemon champagne cocktail.
I get on cooking kicks like this sometimes. Also, cherries are now in season, and I wanted to make another cherry drink after thoroughly enjoying the cherry moscato slushes I recently made. This time, I wanted to use fresh cherries.
I am pretty new to making syrups, and after mulling it over for a while, I thought that vanilla would go well with the cherries. I probably had Vanilla Coke on the brain since up until recently I couldn't find them easily here in Canada... so I seriously rationed the ones I was able to find, and now I'm seeing them everywhere.
After a quick Google search, it turns out I'm not the first one to come up with this vanilla-cherry combination, but that's ok. People love it.
When I tried this drink, it actually reminded me a lot of the cream soda flavor of Jones Sodas I used to enjoy back in the day. No idea if they're still around, but I used to love them.
Anyway, the syrup in here is pretty simple... equal parts sugar and water, 12 cherries, and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. I thought of using vanilla beans, but I decided the vanilla extract would be easier, and that's what I had in my pantry, so I went with that.
You just mash up the cherries and simmer the mixture over medium heat until it's infused with cherry flavor and reduced a bit.
I'll say this generously makes at least 4 large drinks if you go heavy on the syrup. It really depends how much you add to each glass, but this also doesn't make a ridiculous amount that you won't use up in the week or so it'll be good for.
You could even make a big pitcher for a party. If you want to spike this drink, add a little vodka. The possibilities of homemade syrups are endless. 😉
Have you ever made your own soft drinks at home? Enjoy!
Cherry Vanilla Soda
- 12 cherries halved & pitted
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Soda water
- Cut the cherries in half and remove the pits. Add them to a small saucepan on medium heat along with the water, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Once the mixture has been bubbling for about 5 minutes, mash the cherries (I actually used a potato masher to do this... use whatever you think will work).
- Continue simmering them on the same heat for another 10 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes prior to straining it (use a sieve) into a jar.
- You can let it cool a bit further, or add some to a glass with ice and top it off with soda water. The syrup will keep in the fridge for about a week.
- Adjust the amount of syrup in your glass based on how sweet/strong you want the drink to be. The drink pictured has 6 teaspoons of syrup.
- This syrup tastes quite like cream soda.
Natasha's Sister says
Ok I know it's winter and this is very summery but I really feel like it. Can you make it for me now??
This recipe does not work. Don't bother wasting your cherries and sugar -- I had to dump this down the sink. Used a cup of cherries (overflowing) and half cup sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla. Tastes gross, not at all like cherry.
I'm sorry to hear that. I don't see how using a full cup of cherries could make this not taste like cherries, though. Maybe you didn't like the vanilla? It certainly didn't taste gross to me but ok.
Elizabeth Van Lierde | The College Housewife says
Hi Natasha! i just found your blog today. I love it! Your images are so editorial and give off such a great vibe. Also, your name is lovely, sounds like a cook book just waiting to be written!
Aw thank you!! 🙂
Pamela (BrooklynFarmGirl) says
This looks so refreshing 🙂
Thanks so much, Pamela!
This looks gorgeous. Would love to try it this weekend. 🙂
Thank you! Let me know if you make it. 🙂
Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper says
I'm totally on board with this! I've only made a few syrups in my life and never a cherry one! I love this idea 🙂
Thanks, Lindsay! Yeah... I didn't know what I was missing... I think I'll be making more syrups in my future. 🙂