simple grapefruit soda

We rarely had soda in our house growing up (or as we like to say in Southern Indiana, “Coke”). It just wasn’t something that was a pantry staple in my parents’ kitchen. Sure, we’d buy some two liters when company was coming over, but everyday beverages were limited to tea, water and milk. This made getting a soft drink from the gas station during a road trip a real treat. We’d be in the car pulled up to a gas pump and my Mama would turn around to the backseat and ask me if I wanted a Coke, and I remember always being so excited. And then paralyzed with indecision. So many flavorful, sugar-y choices at my disposal. It took me forever to decide.

The novelty of soda wore off when I hit high school, got my driver’s license and started making my own money. Suddenly, I could buy a soda whenever I wanted and thus began the standard country girl three-a-day Mountain Dew habit. I switched to Diet Coke in college, but the soft drink dependency still raged on. No longer was it a fun treat for road trips, but it was a necessity for daily life.

Once I started getting healthy, I began to read about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and then quickly realized that soda was nothing but bad news for my health and weight loss efforts. My daily soft drinks were replaced with water and I never looked back. Now that I’m a few years removed from a soft drink habit, I’ve gained back the novelty of it all. Buying an all-natural soda from the store now feels like a treat again! The one issue: those all-natural soft drinks are pricey as all get out. It’s hard to justify paying upwards of $2 for some flavoring and carbonated water. So, to the kitchen!

I love this refreshing soda because the sweetness level is totally customizable. I love sparkling flavored waters (like LaCroix) but sometimes I crave a little touch of sweetness, but often the natural sodas on the store shelves are sugar overkill for me. I can find a happy medium by making my own. Plus, this sucker has real fruit juice! No more empty calories. Each serving of soda provides 100% of your RDA of Vitamin C and 35% of your Vitamin A. Soda that’s not just not bad for you, but is actually good for you? What a crazy thought!

Simple Grapefruit Soda

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Makes: 2 servings


  • Juice of one pink grapefruit
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons agave or simple syrup (see note)
  • Ice
  • Seltzer water


  1. In a small bowl, combine grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, and agave or simple syrup.
  2. Fill two highball glasses with ice. Pour half of grapefruit mixture into each glass. Fill to top with seltzer water. Stir well.
NOTE: Blue agave is a great natural sweetener for this drink because it dissolves into cold liquid. However, it has a very distinctive flavor that some folks don’t like. If you aren’t a fan, use flavorless simple syrup instead. To make, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and heat until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Did you drink soda/pop/Coke a lot growing up?


  1. says

    It sounds lovely! I have a bad soda habit. However, I’ve given it up for Lent, and hopefully beyond. I don’t think seltzer counts as soda, though, so I can try this before Easter!

    • Cassie says

      Seltzer definitely doesn’t count! If you want to be sugar-free, you can even just use the juices and I’m sure it’d be delicious!

  2. says

    Yum, this sounds so great! My parents never had soda around either when I was growing up, so when I could have some it was such a novelty! I agree though, it has kinda worn off :) I don’t drink it that much now, but this sounds so refreshing! Great pics!

  3. says

    I drank a LOT of soda growing up. A LOT. I did end up switching to diet coke in 2005-2006ish, but just last year, I gave up the habit. I think I’ve had a soda twice in the past year!

    Your grapefruit soda sounds spectacular. I may need to make this sometime soon!

    • Cassie says

      The Diet Coke switch is so funny. It’s like some signal goes off in a woman’s brain and it’s officially “time” to be a Diet Coke drinker.

  4. says

    This rocks, and I’m so trying it. I avoid all but natural sugars anymore for health reasons, and sodas are long cut from my diet. I love La Croix and Lime Perrier, but I wish there was just a tad more sweet to them.

  5. Zoe says

    It is so neat to read other people’s answers!

    I’m a total dork about soda. My mom is a doctor and my dad worked for CPS, doing home visits and stuff like that, and they ended up seeing a lot of really malnourished kids, or just kids that ate nothing but junk. So they never kept it in the house (my dad actually hates the sweetness of soda, and my mom drinks it very, very rarely) and asked other parents to not offer it to me, or drink it themselves rather nonchalantly. The result? I didn’t know soda existed until I was, like, seven. And the first time I ever tried it at some kid’s birthday part, I acted pretty much exactly like Grandpa Simpson, screaming and yelling “the bubbles are burning my tongue!!!!” And then puked all over myself. I was so uncool.

    Looking back I am SO glad I hate soda. I struggle with my body image, and I’m glad soda isn’t a vice I have to worry about! If I ever become a mom, I will have a no-soda-in-the-house rule too. :) I hate even seltzer, but I can see this being delicious with ice and some fresh mint!

  6. Tena says

    Cassie, I just made this and it is fabulous!!! I’m hooked after the first sip!!! Thanks for a great and refreshing recipe!!

  7. Taja says

    I just made it and it is wonderful! I ended up using the juice of one lemon on accident and it still turned out well!

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