Lemon Soda – Old Fashioned Recipe

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See our affiliate policy for more info.
See how to make a fantastic lemon soda

Lemon Soda

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



Learn how to make an old fashion lemon soda


  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Lemon Syrup

  • 1/2 oz 15 ml Lemon Juice

  • 8 oz 240 ml Soda Water


  • Technique: Saxe Soda Shake
  • Combine syrup and juice in a cocktail shaker.lemon soda
  • Add one medium or two small ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake until the ice fully melts.lemon soda
  • Pour the chilled and aerated syrup into a collins glass without a strainer.lemon soda
  • Slowly pour the soda water down into the top of the drink. This will build both body and a foam head.lemon soda

Recipe Video

Making A Old Fashion Homemade Lemon Soda

An old fashion lemon soda is very different from today’s store-bought lemon-lime sodas. It tastes more like a sweet sparkling lemonade than a sprite. Adding a little lemon juice adds a bit of extra sourness to offset the sweetness and makes for a complex and flavorful lemon soda.

How To Make Lemon Syrup

A Basic lemon syrup is made of:

  • 2 cups Lemon Juice
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon Extract

You can add two optional ingredients: 1/4 tsp citric acid, yellow food coloring, and 3 grams lecithin powder. The citric acid adds additional acid and lemon flavor that helps retain the lemon flavor once the syrup is diluted. While it doesn’t affect the flavor, a small amount of yellow food coloring helps with the appearance of the soda. Simply add 3 drops of yellow food dye to 3 cups of lemon syrup. The lecithin powder acts as an emulsifier and a foaming agent. It helps add a nice stable foam head to your soda or cocktails. For more information about old fashion homemade lemon syrup check out my full article

How To Get A Nice Foam On Your Sodas.

It was typical for high-end sodas in the late 1800s to have a nice foam on top. Similar to high-end molecular gastronomy restaurants today, a nice soda fountain would ensure that some drinks had an air or foam on top as you sipped your drink. The foam provides both a creamy texture and olfactory stimulation. These were called foaming agents, and in the 1800s, soap bark or other extracts were added to syrups to provide foam when shaken and mixed with soda water. A popular one today in the United States is propylene glycol, and while it is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) in the US, it is banned for consumption in the EU. Another modern alternative, and the one I use, is adding lecithin to my syrups. Lecithin is flavor neutral, a natural emulsifier that provides a nice foam, and is often taken as a health supplement. It is also the foaming agent many high-end restaurants use to make foams for food. So I’ll add 0.5% of the total syrups weight of lecithin powder to my syrups as a foaming agent. Check out my lemon syrup recipe for exactly how that is done.

If you want to learn more about this topic and make your drinks better, check out De Forest Saxe’s 1894 book “Saxe’s New Guide Hints to Soda Water Dispensers.

Recipe Resources

Tools Used:

Download the free Vintage American Cocktail app.

See what you can make with what you have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover More Classics

Search our collection for more historically accurate drink recipes