because what is life without good food?

Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas

Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas

One day my daughter and I were shopping downtown and we got thirsty, so we stopped at this cute little coffee shop where they make all sorts of wonderful things and I suggested she try an Italian Cream Soda. She wasn’t really sure she wanted to, but I talked her into trying one … especially since they had several berry flavors to choose from. One taste and she was totally hooked. She has loved Italian Cream Sodas ever since. Every time we go to that little coffee shop … or any Italian place … she wants a cream soda.

So with all these berries in my house lately, I couldn’t help but think of making some syrup for her favorite sodas. And then last night we were going over to my friend’s house for dinner, so we brought along the syrup and the club soda and some half & half and everyone had a cream soda. or two. or three. I wasn’t really counting …

I’ll share the normal (non-alcoholic) version first and then at the end I will give you a grownup version.

Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas

Syrup:

  • 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulls removed (frozen unsweetened strawberries would work too)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mulberries (you could substitute raspberries or blackberries if you don’t have mulberries)
  • A big handful of fresh basil leaves (the basil is what makes these so amazing …)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sugar (or you can use a sugar/stevia mix … I think honey or another sweetener would work well too)
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Put all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium high heat till boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the berries are soft and mushy and the liquid is bright red. Strain through a cheesecloth into a bowl, then funnel the sweet syrup into a bottle, cover and put it in the fridge to cool. Don’t toss the berries, though! You can blend those up and make a nice berry sauce. I have great plans for those berries …

Anyway, now that you have this beautiful red syrup, you’re ready to make a cream soda … oh you are going to love this.

For each soda:

  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup Club soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Very Berry Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Fat free (or regular) half & half (we used the fat free version)

Fill a tall glass mostly with ice, then add about 1/2 cup of club soda and 2 tablespoons of the syrup. The glass should be mostly full at this point. (If not, you can add more soda & syrup.) You could drink it just like this, but you would be missing the BEST part! I had to enlist my daughter’s help for this photo shoot …

Very Berry Basil Italian Cream Sodas

Gently pour 2 Tablespoons of cream over the top of the soda … it will start to swirl around in the glass, making a beautiful display …

Very Berry Basil Italian Cream Sodas

Keep pouring, taking care NOT to spill over the side like we did … ;)

Strawberry Mulberry Basil Italian Cream Sodas

Watch the cream dance and swirl in the glass till you can’t stand the suspense anymore, then stir up the soda with your straw to mix all the flavors and savor the deliciousness …

Strawberry Mulberry Basil Italian Cream Sodas

Adults-Only Version of Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas:

Fill tall glass most of the way with ice, but when you add the club soda, leave a little extra room on top. Add 1 Tablespoon of the syrup and 1 shot of Chambord (or homemade berry liqueur). Drizzle a Tablespoon or two of cream on top, stir and enjoy.

Blooper shot!

We had to do this photo shoot twice … the first time, we made a bit of a mess and we had to clean up the spilled cream and the poor drowned strawberry, BUT the swirl in the glass looked really cool, didn’t it? (Added Bonus! We got to make two sodas : )

Very Berry Strawberry Mulberry Basil Italian Cream Sodas

This recipe was shared at Scrumptious SundaysCast Party WednesdayTastetastic Thursday, It’s a Keeper ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayThursday’s Treasures and the Newlyweds Recipe Linky.

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24 responses

  1. How perfect for summer!

    June 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    • Ann

      It is! We had so much fun with these :)

      June 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm

  2. I’ll take one or two or more! I can just taste the amazing combinations in the glass full of happiness! <3 and hugs sweets!

    June 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    • Ann

      Thanks Debi! I think we got the recipe just right this time … everyone who tried them just loved them :)

      June 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  3. Ann

    Yum! Love all the ways you are using those mulberries!

    June 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    • Ann

      I’m having so much fun … I just found another incredible recipe … showed it to my daughter and she said “make it NOW” … LOL I wish I could!

      June 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

  4. Awesomeness!!!
    Lynn at Southern With A Twist :-)

    June 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    • Ann

      Thank you so much Lynn :)

      June 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

  5. I must get mulberries on my way home!
    I just know that the kids and I will LOVE this,

    June 19, 2012 at 2:11 am

    • Ann

      I agree … you will! If you can’t find mulberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries would make a good substitute.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:09 am

      • Actually here you can easily find mulberries but blueberries, rasberries and black berries are next to impossible to find

        June 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      • Ann

        That’s funny! You can’t buy mulberries here … the only way to get them is to find them and pick them yourself.

        June 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  6. Berrydelicious! I have never tried this. I am wondering if I could substitute a soy creamer- what do you think?

    June 19, 2012 at 6:09 am

    • Ann

      Yes, absolutely, I think a soy creamer would work fine.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:14 am

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  8. This is about to be my new favorite summertime cooler it looks awesome! Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    June 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    • Ann

      We sure had a lot of fun making them … I’m so glad you like them! :)

      June 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

  9. So happy to let you know that you are being featured this week over at Addicted to Recipes! I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    http://iamaddictedtorecipes.blogspot.ca/2012/06/scrumptious-sunday-16-features.html

    June 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    • Ann

      Yay! Thank you … I’ll be right over :)

      June 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      • I am making the berry syrup right now!! I don’t know what mulberries are, we don’t have them here, but we have an abundance of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries!

        June 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

  10. Pingback: Newlyweds: Recipe Linky

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