Juneteenth Red Drink: Red Soda Water

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Juneteenth marks a pivotal moment in American history, signifying the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It has become a symbol of freedom and resilience within the African American community. The celebration often features red beverages, echoing the spirit and sacrifices of our ancestors. This tradition is rooted in West African cultures, where the color red symbolizes honor, strength, and spirituality.

Juneteenth Red Drink - Red Soda Water

Red drink tradition for Juneteenth

Most notably, the red hibiscus drink stands as a heritage beverage, deeply intertwined with Juneteenth celebrations. Its significance stretches beyond its refreshing taste, serving as a conduit for honoring our forebears and their enduring journey toward liberty.

Choosing red soda water as an alternative to the traditional hibiscus drink for Juneteenth recipes brings practical benefits. Its widespread availability ensures everyone can partake in the freedom celebration without the hunt for specific ingredients. 

Red soda water also adds versatility, allowing adaptation to personal taste preferences with ease. This choice marries celebration beverage convenience with a nod to Juneteenth’s cultural history, making it a convenient choice for summer and cultural celebrations.

Juneteenth History
Here I am, celebrating with homemade red soda for Juneteenth.


Soda water is carbonated water, also called seltzer. Red soda water is carbonated water flavored with either watermelon or strawberry, and it’s perfect for a Juneteenth holiday feast!

Measurements for the recipe can be found in the printable recipe card below. 

  • Watermelon syrup – I used Monin red watermelon syrup because of its delicious, standout watermelon flavor.
  • Lemon-lime soda – The soda is needed for the beverage’s carbonation and fizz with a hint of citrus to add balance to the sweeter watermelon flavor.
  • Sparkling water – Adds more carbonation and helps neutralize the sugary syrup.
  • Ginger ale – Contributes a strong, zesty flavor while adding to the overall soda fizz.
  • Watermelon – Adds a fresh fruit-infused natural watermelon flavor.
  • Strawberries – Brings variety to the fresh fruit infusion.
  • Blueberries – Adds fresh fruit flavor and a burst of contrasting color.
  • Ice – Optional for those who prefer their beverages on the rocks!
How to make watermelon soda red drink

How to make watermelon soda red drink

Making this red soda water recipe is easy! As you sip, you honor the path to emancipation, blending the echoes of the past with the promise of tomorrow’s gatherings.

Step-by-step instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  1. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a large pitcher or punch bowl.
  2. Gently stir the beverage mixture to combine the carbonated ingredients.
  3. Add the chopped fruit for a burst of natural sweetness and a touch of elegance.
  4. Optionally, add ice to the pitcher for a refreshing pour, then serve and enjoy!

Pro tip: For those looking for complexity in flavor, combining red soda water with a splash of lemonade or iced tea creates a refreshing beverage that’s both unique and tasty. These combinations not only pay homage to the spirit of Juneteenth but also allow you to craft a drink that speaks to your individual tastes and the joy of freedom!

What does strawberry soda have to do with Juneteenth?

More food and drinks for Juneteenth

Embracing this Juneteenth red beverage alternative allows us to partake in a vibrant, cultural, and diverse festival feast, including other favorite Juneteenth red food recipes and classic Juneteenth menu must-haves like Southern potato salad and BBQ ribs.

Juneteenth Red Drink - Red Soda Water

Juneteenth Red Drink: Red Soda Water

Choosing red soda water as an alternative to the traditional hibiscus drink for Juneteenth brings practical benefits. Its widespread availability ensures everyone can partake in the freedom celebration without the hunt for specific ingredients. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Fruit Chopping Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Soul Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 189kcal


  • 1 cup watermelon syrup Monin watermelon syrup
  • 3 ½ cups lemon-lime soda
  • 3 ½ cups sparkling water
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • ¾ cup watermelon chopped
  • ¾ cup strawberries chopped
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 4 cups ice optional


  • Pour all the liquid ingredients (watermelon syrup, lemon-lime soda, sparkling water, and ginger ale) into a large pitcher or punch bowl.
  • Gently stir the beverage mixture to combine the syrup and the carbonated ingredients.
  • Add the chopped fruit to the soda water for a burst of natural sweetness and a touch of elegance.
  • Optionally, add ice to the pitcher for a refreshing pour, then serve and enjoy!



Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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Juneteenth Red Soda Water
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
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5 from 1 vote

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One Comment

  1. Charlotte says:

    5 stars
    This was easy to make and delicious to drink. Better than store bought red drinks.