This zippy syrup includes both juice and zest, which contributes an element of bitterness, a sign that this is truly a grown-up soda. Don't like grapefruit? Try making it with other citrus for a slightly more mellow flavor.
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of the grapefruit (if using other citrus, remove the zest from all the fruit). Cut the fruit in half and extract the juice with a reamer or juice squeezer. Pour the juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1 cup of liquid.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together the liquid, zest, and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to make sure all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Using a small, fine-meshed sieve, strain the cooled syrup into a jar and discard the zest.
3. To make soda, stir 3 tablespoons of syrup into 8 ounces of cold carbonated water. The syrup will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Makes syrup for 6 to 8 glasses of soda
Grapefruit soda (right) is featured with the Hibiscus Ginger Ale
Photograph by Mitch Mandel
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, April/May 2013