Travel may be a little tricky these days, but you can still traverse the globe with these delicious drink recipes to try at home. 

Today's drink hails from the USA – espresso soda. 

What is it? 

This strange stepchild of an Italian soda and iced coffee is trending in places where coffee aficionados pull shots of single-origin espresso while discussing the hand-versus-machine ground beans with great earnestness. 


Though a bottled version made by Manhattan Special has been available for ages, freshly made espresso soda is considered a trendy summer beverage, especially in the Pacific Northwest, where coffee drinking is serious business (Starbucks started in Seattle, after all) and exquisite caffeinated concoctions are developed, honed, then consumed with gusto by all. 

You'll need (Serves 1)

syrup, to taste (hazelnut, vanilla or almond all work well) 
8fl oz (240ml) soda water 
1fl oz (30ml ) half & half (or, if unavailable, cream or milk) 
2 shots espresso or 2fl oz (60ml) of cold-brew coffee 


Step 1: Put the syrup and ice in a 16-oz glass. 
Step 2: Add the soda water and half & half. 
Step 3: Add espresso/cold-brew coffee. The espresso and soda water should separate, creating a dual-layer effect with the espresso floating on top of the soda. 
Step 4: Mix and drink through a straw! 

Tasting notes

A shot of espresso served with carbonated water seems a strange mix unless one considers that the humble iced Americano, this exotic beverage’s non-carbonated cousin, is a top-selling summer coffee cart beverage.

What makes this drink exquisite is the syrup – vanilla, hazelnut or caramel work best – which, when blended with the espresso (or currently trending cold-brew coffee) and served over iced soda water, creates a carbonated, caffeinated taste sensation guaranteed to jolt your senses on a hot afternoon.

Those who normally take their coffee drinks with cream will find the combination of cream, espresso, syrup and soda produce a fantastically fizzy beverage reminiscent of a grown-up New York egg cream. 

For additional cocktail recipes, check out our Destination Drinks page 

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This article was originally published in May 2020 and updated in January 2021. 

This article was first published May 2020 and updated January 2021

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