I appreciate Orangina is probably still quite widely available even in lockdown, but if you’re stuck for things to do, then this is fun for kids and hopefully considerably less full of dodgy chemicals than many of your shop bought orange sodas.

Personally, I’ve always thought Orangina was the boss hog of carbonated orange drinks. Sharper and better dressed than your sickly Fanta and Tango. Don’t get me started on San Pellegrino Aranciata.

I found out through the excellent Teal Tadjine blog on Algerian cuisine that Orangina is actually of Algerian origin, when I’d previously always assumed it was French. It was a Frenchman who came up with it, but he was in Algeria, where his father was… wait for it… “a prosperous merchant of orange essential oils”.

That man was Leon Beton. It was 1936 and he produced the first bottle of Orangina using a formula devised by a Spanish pharmacist, some distance away in Valencia.

This recipe is adapted from the Teal Tadjine blog which I felt was a little sweeter than it should be.

Makes approx. 1 litre
Water 125ml
Caster sugar 125g
Lemon half, juice and zest
Oranges 4, juice and zest
Mandarins 2, juice and zest
Sparkling mineral water or soda water 750ml

Zest your fruit and place the zest in a saucepan with the sugar and tap water. Gently bring it to a simmer, stirring continuously until your sugar has dissolved and the syrup bubbles.

Strain into a jug or other large container and allow to cool. Add your citrus juices. Top with the mineral water and stir.

This will keep for about a week in the fridge or you can freeze batches of the citrus sugar syrup for use at a later date.

Enjoy the sunshine, people.