Take large fine ripe oranges, with smooth thin rinds, and roll each orange under your hand upon the table to increase the juice. Set a very clean sieve upon a large bowl, and cut the oranges over it; first halving them, and then notching each half to let out as much juice as possible when squeezing them. Press them with all your strength in a wooden squeezer, letting the juice drain through the sieve into the bowl. To each pint of juice allow a pound and a half (a quart and a pint) of the best double-refined loaf-sugar broken up. Put the sugar into a preserving-kettle; pour the juice upon it; cover it, and let it stand till all the sugar is quite soft, and can be easily mixed with the juice. Next set the kettle over a moderate fire that has no blaze or smoke, and boil it slowly; skimming it carefully till the scum ceases to rise. Then take it off, remove the syrup from the kettle, and when it is milk-warm, put it into very clean bottles, (new ones will be best,) cork them tightly, and seal the corks. Keep it in a dry, cool place. It is very fine for flavouring cakes, puddings, sweet sauces, etc. Or for mixing with ice-water as a pleasant beverage. Also for ice-cream or water-ice, when oranges are not to be had. Or for mixing with powdered sugar to make the confection called orange-drops. Some persons, to increase the strength of orange syrup, add the yellow rind of the oranges grated on lumps of the sugar. This will do very well if the syrup is to be used up soon. But by long keeping, the peel will give it a very disagreeable taste and odour, resembling turpentine; unfitting it for all purposes.
Break up twelve pounds of the best double-refined loaf-sugar. Put it into a preserving-kettle, and pour on it a gallon of very clear soft water. When it has dissolved set it over a moderate fire, and boil and skim it till the scum ceases to rise. Then take it off, and stir in immediately, while the syrup is hot, one large table-spoonful of the best oil of lemon, and a quarter of an ounce of tartaric acid. When cold, bottle the liquid, and cork it tightly. The bottles for this purpose should either be quite new, or such as have been used before for lemon syrup. Mixed with ice-water it is a wholesome and refreshing beverage, and if you stir into a half tumbler of the mixture a half tea-spoonful, or more, of carbonate of soda, it will foam up, and be just like the soda-water you buy in the shops at six cents per glass.
The above is the lemon syrup generally used for this purpose by the druggists and confectioners.
Put into a tumbler lemon, raspberry, strawberry, pine-apple, or any other acid syrup, sufficient in quantity to flavour the beverage very highly. Then pour in very cold ice-water till the glass is half full. Add half a tea-spoonful of bicarbonate of soda, (to be obtained at the druggists',) and stir it well in with a tea-spoon. It will foam up to the top immediately, and must be drank during the effervescence.
By keeping the syrup, and the carbonate of soda in the house, and mixing them as above with ice-water, you can at any time have a glass of this very pleasant drink; precisely similar to that which you get at the shops. The cost will be infinitely less.