blood orange italian soda

Lately, I’ve been absolutely addicted to the blood orange Italian soda from Trader Joe’s. It tastes just like the orange soda I drank when I was 21 a kid but I tell myself it’s obviously healthier because it’s a) organic and b) from Trader Joe’s. Sugar schmugar! I drink what I want.

When I saw these beautiful blood oranges at the farmer’s market last weekend, I knew exactly what I would do with them: recreate my favorite sweet beverage!

This is a fun activity for a rainy wintery day….sort of like the sangria! I must be incredibly thirsty or something lately… and just you wait! I have yet another sparkly beverage coming up in a few days.

This homemade soda uses simple syrup, or sugar water, to give it that hint of sweetness without raw sugar or honey turning into a glob at the bottom of your glass. Don’t you hate it when that happens?! You could also use agave nectar here instead of the simple syrup since agave dissolves almost instantly in cold beverages.

If you can’t find blood oranges near you, try regular oranges….or grapefruits! You might need to adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your desired level of sweetness though.

Oh, and don’t wear a white shirt and make this recipe. Just don’t.

Blood Orange Italian Soda

makes about 1 pint soda (enough for one mason jar)

Print this recipe!


for simple syrup—

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

for soda—

2 large blood oranges

2 cups sparkling Italian mineral water

2 tbsp prepared simple syrup (or to taste)


To make simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a saucepot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer while stirring until all sugar has been dissolved. Take pan off heat and let cool before storing simple syrup in the fridge (I store mine in a mason jar and it lasts me about two weeks or so).

To make sodas, juice oranges and then strain juice into a large glass. Add soda water and prepared simple syrup to taste. Serve.


5 minutes (not including time to prepare and chills simple syrup)


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  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    January 19, 2012 at 3:55 am

    I have been on an orange drink making kick, too. Something about oranges this time of year…they taste so good!

    And your drink is gorgeous. I love blood oranges. I need to try this…while not wearing a white shirt. I can imagine a few stains would ensue with my luck 🙂

  • Kathryn
    January 19, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I just love the colours in this post – it looks so bright and the perfect thing to bring a little sunshine into these January days.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    January 19, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I’m not a soda drinker but I am loving that drink color.
    PS never pair a blood orange and a glass of milk. I unfortunately learned that from experience.

  • Blog is the New Black
    January 19, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Add a splash of vodka and I’m sold!

  • Anne
    January 19, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I usually don’t drink soda but I had a blood orange Italian soda a few months ago from Wegman’s…delicious! I’ll have to give this a try!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    January 19, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Mmmm I love blood oranges, but don’t buy them nearly enough. I’m still trying to get over a cold and I think a few glasses… wait, no, pitchers… of this are in need so I can load up on vitamin C!

  • Kristin @ FoodFash
    January 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

    As beautiful as the blood orange pics are, I can’t help but wish I had that fabulous brick wall in my apartment!

  • jenna
    January 19, 2012 at 5:28 am

    this looks so refreshing!! Definitely the only cold drink i could tolerate in this 20* weather!

  • Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life
    January 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

    yum!! this sounds like a great drink to break-up a slow winter’s day.

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    January 19, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I don’t think I’ve tried blood oranges before! This looks so good 😀

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    January 19, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I usually don’t drink sodas but that looks really tasty. I’ve never had a blood orange, something about the name doesn’t sound appealing to me. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try.

  • HRCK the Herald
    January 19, 2012 at 5:57 am

    This is SO beautiful and looks SO delicious. Per usual, your photography is great. I think I’d want to drink it for the pretty factor alone!

  • Amanda
    January 19, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I really need to pick up some blood oranges. I keep seeing them everywhere and the color alone justifies the purchase. So pretty!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    January 19, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I just had a clementine Fizze drink yesterday that was pretty much the best thing ever when you don’t drink soda but once in a blue moon. This reminds me of those except made even better with blood orange!

  • Urban Wife
    January 19, 2012 at 6:09 am

    I wish I could find blood oranges around here! Gah. Still pinned, just in case. 😉

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    January 19, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Stunning photos Jenna! Love the food styling / propping!
    This looks so tastey…can’t wait to see your next bevie recipe!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    January 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I’ve never had a blood orange – such a pretty color! Are they as tangy as regular oranges?

    • jenna
      January 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Yep! They taste pretty much the same, maybe a teeeeny bit tangier.

  • Lauren
    January 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Hi Jenna, This is my first time commenting but I wanted to let you know I went to Tartine on my recent trip to San Francisco and fell in love! I was a little intimidated by the long long but totally worth it!

    • jenna
      January 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

      isn’t it great?! What did you order?

  • Cait's Plate
    January 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Everything tastes better out of a mason jar. It’s just plain fact.

    And once again, I’m so so jealous of that exposed brick. It’s just so incredible.

    • jenna
      January 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Thanks! I live in a renovated garage/cottage and the brick makes it super cozy.

  • Deborah
    January 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

    We don’t have TJs here, so I love it when people re-create things from there! This sounds delicoius and refreshing.

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl
    January 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

    What a fun idea! I’ve totally had that a TJ’s! You nailed it!

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    January 19, 2012 at 7:02 am

    This would be a perfect base for a cocktail! I love the color of blood oranges!

  • Lu
    January 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I made the most wonderful fruit salad the other day with blood orange, Meyer Lemon and Agave Nectar. Over strawberries, raspberries and blueberries it was amazing!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    January 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I love that blood orange soda from TJ’s.

    Yours looks beautiful! You & these pretty drinks lately…

  • Katrina
    January 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I need to get on this right now!

  • Emily (Edible Psychology)
    January 19, 2012 at 8:32 am

    This looks very refreshing! But most of all, I am just really jealous that you have things like blood oranges at your local farmer’s market. I need to move to a warmer climate!


  • Moni'sMeals
    January 19, 2012 at 8:33 am

    This is great. Thanks for the reminder…apron is a must as I can see.

  • Katie
    January 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I think blood oranges are the pretties things ever created. Well, in terms of fruit. This looks delicious!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    January 19, 2012 at 9:11 am

    This sounds like the perfect afternoon treat! What a gorgeous color too!

  • Mary @ Bake Break
    January 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

    You and the beverages – what else do you have up your sleeve!? These all look delicious, I can’t wait to try them!

  • Julie @ Orcas Health Journey
    January 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Yum! Gotta try this one!!!

    Do you have any other syrup recipes ?

  • Grace @ What Grace Cooked
    January 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I just picked up some blood oranges from the store yesterday – what a great use for them! I’m loving citrus season a whole lot right now.

    Do you ever find these oranges stain your fingers? I’ve had blood oranges stain mine a few times in the past – so no kidding about not wearing anything light colored while juicing them!!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    January 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    So pretty, and I bet it’s delicious!

  • Kelsey @aslolife
    January 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Gosh, those look delish! Blood oranges are so in right now–we got some with our CSA box this week and I made blood orange gin & tonics last night!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    January 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I really love blood oranges. I especially love when they are incorporated into desserts. Jenna- when you come back to SF go to Nopa. Just do it. Trust! 🙂

  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies
    January 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

    It’s so pretty – and looks delicious!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    January 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I’ve never had a blood orange before so this would be pretty fun to try!

  • elizabeth @ the kitchen counsel
    January 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    this looks amazing! and much healthier than sunkist soda that i still crave when its hot outside–or when i’ve had a little bit too much fun the night before.

  • Marina
    January 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Temperature outside is in mid- twenties, but I would have a sip of this soda. I saved the recipe for my son, he loves making all kinds of cool “cool” drinks. After I’ve read some comments, I feel better about my brick townhouse: brick is everywhere, inside and out.

  • Kendall
    January 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

    These look delicious! I was just wondering if you still drink wheatgrass smoothies. I have recently discovered it, and I’d love to know your opinion.

    • jenna
      January 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      I don’t! Or at least, I haven’t in a long time. My boyfriend loves them though!

  • Tracy @ Commit to Fit
    January 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    This looks so refreshing! I don’t think I have ever tried blood orange anything. This is giving me a reason to try.

  • Gretchen
    January 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Yeah, I just finished – seriously, 10 minutes ago – making a fruit salad with blood oranges while wearing a white sweatshirt. Not smart. I’ll have to make this with the leftovers! In an apron.

  • Heide M.
    February 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Sounds very refreshing.

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  • Nancy Jayne
    November 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I LOVE that Blood Orange Italian Soda from Trader Joe’s…I make decaf iced green tea and add a good swig of the soda…DELICIOUS! I just ran out of the soda today and will have to make a TJ run tomorrow…How does anyone survive without Trader Joe’s! I will also be looking to try blood oranges..

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