Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Soda

I have never been much of a soda drinker. I prefer my calories come from cake and cookies, but every now and then drinking something other than water (or wine) is a nice change. When my late husband, Chris, and I lived in Palo Alto we had a sailboat, Amber, we moored at Gashouse Cove Marina in San Francisco. As often as possible we would sail on the Bay armed with a picnic lunch or dinner and a couple of Hansen's Natural Grapefruit Sodas.

Before we owned Amber we were members of a sailing club. There is something about fresh air and being on the water that makes for a voracious appetite. One sailing club day Chris made especially tasty looking sandwiches on crusty french bread rolls piled high with roasted turkey, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, cheese and mayo. He wrapped them carefully in foil and put them in our cooler with two grapefruit sodas. When we arrived at the guest boat we transferred the sandwiches and drinks to the boat's built-in cooler. Unfortunately for us someone put a bag of ice on top of our sandwiches. At lunchtime Chris found our sandwiches floating in water from the melted bag of ice. They had doubled in size and felt like bricks. There is nothing quite as unappetizing as soggy bread. We tried to salvage what we could but ended up with a rather dismal lunch except for the grapefruit sodas. At the time I was really annoyed, but now it makes me laugh. If that had not happened I probably would not even remember the day. Funny how life is like that.

I was at dinner with friends recently at a trendy new restaurant. We noticed grapefruit soda on the menu. The server told us they had a local source who made them fresh grapefruit soda and they sold a lot of it. A few sips brought me back to our sailing days and made me smile. I am rather obsessed with grapefruit, so I decided to whip up a batch of my own fresh grapefruit soda to celebrate happy memories.

The soda is so bright and fresh on its own, but it would also make a nice base for all kinds of cocktails. Add a little rum and guava nectar for a tasty island punch or some tequila and lime for a south of the border taste.

I prefer my grapefruit soda a little tart, so I use 2 tablespoons of honey, but feel free to add the third tablespoon or more if you like it sweeter.

Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Soda

1 cup (250 ml) fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
2 - 3 (30 ml - 45 ml) tablespoons honey
2 cups (500 ml) sparkling mineral water
grapefruit wedges as garnish

Put the grapefruit juice and honey in a pitcher. Stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Add the sparkling mineral water and stir gently. Serve over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

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