May 3, 2013

Recipe 26 - Cherry Limeade Soda

Near the beginning of last month, (or for those living in Minnesota at this very moment) I thought that winter would never end.  As luck would have it, I think it actually did.  So now that allergy season is here, I would like to just forego spring and slip right into summer.  Since I can't really do that, I'll pretend it's summer and make some summer recipes instead.

I’ll admit that Cherry Limeade isn’t the first thing that I think of when I think of summer, but it definitely has a summer vibe to it.  You can get through a cherry limeade without summer, but can you get through summer without a cherry limeade?  It’s a question of the ages.  I’ve always enjoyed the Minute Maid cherry limeade, so when I made this, that was the flavor I was going for.  I’m confident it won’t disappoint.

You can also added some extra citric acid or increase the lemon juice to lime juice ratio if you want something that leans a little more toward a Cherry 7up clone. 

This is a syrup + seltzer recipe, but there are no changes if you want to carbonate it straight.  It scales up to five gallons rather easily if you want to keg it.  

2 1/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp pure almond or cherry extract
1 maraschino cherry
4 drops red food coloring (if desired)
1 gallon carbonated water.

To make the syrup, boil the sugar, water, and cream of tartar for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches 240°F.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Add the lemon juice, lime juice, and cherry.  Add the flavor extract last.  I added some red food coloring to mine so it looks more like cherry.  Otherwise I can't tell it apart from my Lime in d' Coconut recipe by sight.  You can choose to mash up the maraschino cherry to get all the juice out of it and remove it, or leave it alone and leave it in as almost a garnish.  I find that adding the cherry gives the flavor a bit more depth than just the extract.  You may wish to substitute sweet cherry juice if you have any on hand, but in my experience it's rather pricey.

Top up with a gallon of carbonated water and you have a refreshing summer beverage!


  1. How much fresh cherry juice would you suggest?

    1. I would suggest 1/2 to 2/3c cherry juice. I've had pretty good luck with RW Knudsen Just Tart Cherry Juice, it seems to be widely available. Adds nice color, too.

    2. Thanks! One other question, if you don't mind. I have a 5 gallon keg I was thinking about making this in. My idea was to just carbonate 4 gallons add 4x your recipe above into it. You figure that'll work?

    3. Yes, I've done that before. The thing I like about carbonating less than 5 gal is that if you're shaking to speed the process, it carbonates faster shaking 4 gallons in a 5 gal keg than shaking 5 gal because you get more surface area in the shaking, and thus more interaction between liquid and gas.
      Some people speculate that you use more CO2 that way, but that's not necessarily true.

  2. What is the function of the cream of tartar in this recipe?

    1. With heat, it breaks the sucrose (regular sugar) into it's constituent glucose and fructose, making it sweeter for the same amount of sugar.

  3. Hi, Thanks for posting these lush recipes! Is it possible to just store the syrup mix (or will it go hard?) and if so what’s the shelf life if stored in a fridge?

  4. Hello
    On your cherry limeade recipe i seen you mentioned the cream of tarter along with what it does .
    Would you advise to any soda syrup than is being made


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