Hot Honey Grapefruit Soda

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two tall glasses filled with bubbly liquid garnished with grapefruit slices and mint

This spicy, sweet, and refreshing homemade Hot Honey Grapefruit Soda is made with simple ingredients and takes only a few minutes to assemble.

Enjoy this ice cold, bubbly mocktail on a hot summer afternoon, or add a splash of your favorite agave spirit on Friday night for a spicy twist on the Paloma!

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I love grapefruit juice and grapefruit soda and I’m always finding new ways to mix them into drinks. This spicy citrus soda is made with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice, a simple hot honey syrup, sparkling water, and a few muddled raspberries (optional) for a pop of berry flavor.

straining a pink liquid into highball glasses filled with ice

This recipe is similar to a Collins mixed drink, using a little sour, a little sweet, and a long pour of bubbly water. You can adjust the proportions if your grapefruits are quite sour, or if you like a little more sweetness.

Adding more of the hot honey syrup will also increase the heat level, so I’ve included notes below for adjusting sweetness by adding some simple syrup or superfine sugar. 

Hot Honey Grapefruit Soda ingredients:

  • Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • Hot honey syrup
  • Sparkling water
  • Raspberries (optional)
pouring sparkling water into pink drinks in highball glasses

How to make it:

I love to add a few berries for added flavor and color, but you can leave them out if you like. You can also use frozen berries, just let them thaw a bit first so that you’re able to muddle them well.

Don’t have a muddler? The handle of a wooden spoon is a great substitute. You can also pick up a great inexpensive wooden muddler on Amazon

I use a cocktail shaker to make this recipe, but you can use a mason jar with a lid if you don’t have a shaker. And if you’re leaving out the berries, you can skip shaking the grapefruit juice and honey syrup and just pour them over the ice and top with sparkling water.

drinks in highball glasses garnished with grapefruit slices

Choose the right sparkling water

My choice sparkling water for drinks like this is Topo Chico Mineral Water, which is easy to find, has a great flavor, and plenty of bubbles. I also highly recommend Fever-Tree Club Soda, which is insanely carbonated in the best way possible!

The reason you want a highly carbonated soda water is because bubbles dissipate rapidly as soon as you start pouring the liquid into your glass. When the water hits the ice, and then the juice and the syrup, some carbonation is immediately lost.

Even more bubbles vanish when you gently stir to properly mix the drink. It might not seem like a big deal, but the more effervescent the finished drink is, the better it will taste. No one wants a flat soda.

Pro tip: always make sure your sparkling water or club soda is chilled before pouring. Pouring room temperature carbonated drinks over ice makes them go flat very quickly, sometimes completely ruining the drink.

Fresh juice vs. bottled grapefruit juice 

It goes without saying that using freshly squeezed grapefruit juice will give the best results. Citrus juices never taste as good as when they’re super fresh. 

However, bottled juice is so convenient, and I sometimes use a bottled unsweetened organic grapefruit juice from Whole Foods. If using bottled juice, make sure it’s unsweetened, pure juice (not a juice blend or juice “cocktail”). Shake the bottle thoroughly before pouring for the best flavor. 

Make a quick hot honey syrup

Hot honey is very quick and easy to make – you don’t have to buy any fancy ingredients and you don’t have to let it infuse for long at all. I make mine with either fresno peppers or jalapeños and a basic wildflower honey, and it’s ready in about 20 minutes! And if you don’t have any fresh peppers on hand, no worries. I include a second method that takes less than a minute to make! Get the Hot Honey Syrup recipes.

overhead view of pink bubbly drinks garnished with raspberries and mint

Garnish with flourish

A good garnish can make a great drink taste even better. Much of our taste comes from our sense of smell, so topping a drink with aromatic ingredients can add a lot to the overall flavor of the drink. Pretty garnishes also make your drinks so much more fun for summer gatherings (which hopefully we will have again in 2021!)

I garnished these Hot Honey Grapefruit Sodas with a juicy slice of pink grapefruit, a fresh raspberry, and a bouquet of mint. Mint is cooling, which complements the heat of the honey syrup. It’s aroma also adds a burst of freshness that makes the grapefruit flavor really sing.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love creating and writing about garnishes of all kinds. Get more garnish inspiration in my Art of the Cocktail Garnish.

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Hot Honey Grapefruit Soda

Amy Traynor
This sweet and spicy homemade grapefruit soda is the perfect refreshment for a hot summer day. Add a splash of your favorite agave spirit for a spicy twist on the Paloma!
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 drink

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ¾ oz hot honey syrup (link to recipe below)
  • 4-6 oz sparkling water
  • 3 raspberries (optional)

Instructions
 

If using raspberries:

  • Muddle raspberries in a cocktail shaker or mason jar with a screw-on lid. Add the grapefruit juice and hot honey and fill the shaker 3/4 with ice.
  • Shake until chilled, about 10 seconds. Fine strain the liquid into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Top with chilled sparkling water and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit slice, raspberry, and sprig of mint.

If omitting the raspberries:

  • Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the grapefruit juice and hot honey syrup over the ice.
  • Stir several times to chill. Top with chilled sparkling water and stir again gently just to combine.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a sprig of mint.
Keyword grapefruit, honey, hot honey, soda, sparkling water, summer drinks


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