I make my own sodas, I use both extracts and boil stuf down and make a simple syrup out of it. My daughters favorite is rasberry, and lemon lime. I use club soda to carbonate. I did not want to deny my kids a little treat every now and then, so I use organic sugar, and usually cut the recipe down a little. I do not want to, and will not give them high fructose corn syrup. You said something about splenda, do not use that stuff, the only thing worse then sugar is artificial sugar. Use organic sugar, or I have used some agave nectar as well, and that turned out pretty good. my favorite is ginger ale, 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp grated ginger, 1/4 teaspoon yeast, and the juice of one lemon, add it to a 2 liter bottle, and put in a warm place for two days, AWESOME. I increase the ginger, cause I like it to have a little bite. good stuff, and it helps if you have consumed too many adult beverages and have a little stomach upset.