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DIY Grapefruit Soda - Cheaper & Better than Storebought!

Bottle of commercial storebought soda besides bottle of homemade grapefruit soda and a slice of grapefruit

Hello Friends of Cocktails. The Paloma is the national drink of Mexico for a reason, it’s simple, balanced and so refreshing… but is there a way to make it even better and cheaper? Today we’ll find out by making our own Grapefruit Soda that will create a delicious Paloma anytime of the year, while also being at least 8 times cheaper than what you’d pay in the store. If you stick around till The Bottom of The Glass too, I’ll tell you how something like this can make you rich, but first, the Batanga!

I already showed you how to make DIY Coca-Cola for the best Cuba Libre out there, and while the Batanga, a mix of tequila and cola, has been gaining in popularity, I think the Paloma is still the queen of simple Tequila mixed drinks. There’s two schools of making a Paloma: some people just mix tequila and grapefruit soda and call it a day, while others juice grapefruits and add soda water for a fresher cocktail that I prefer - adding lime & salt is optional, but beneficial if you ask me.

The problem is that, even though I love the taste of pink grapefruits, they're not available year round. So I’ll show you how to make a fresh Pink Grapefruit Syrup that you can use to make sodas, and of course Palomas, any time you want - and yes, nowadays you can find quality pink grapefruit sodas in almost any store, and they’re not crazy expensive. But if you can make something yourself, that saves you money and doesn’t skimp on quality, I think that’s a very fun part of mixology. 

At this point I’ll also remind you that grapefruits were featured in the latest Dangerous Ingredients post because they can interact with some common medications, so check with your doctor first. Once you have a greenlight though, we’ll follow a process similar to the one we used for our Homemade Orange Fanta, so something quick and simple with amazing results. It’s Cocktail Time.

Pink Grapefruit Syrup

● 40g Grapefruit Peels

● 450g Sugar

● 450g Water

● 1.5g Ascorbic Acid

● 4.5g Malic Acid

● 18g Citric Acid

● 0.4g MSG

● 2g Beetroot Powder

● 1.4g Rose Water

● 7.64g 20% Saline Solution

First, let’s get the oils from the grapefruit peels by placing them in sugar, muddling and leaving the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. When doing this always use organic grapefruits, and since these can be even harder to come by, making a syrup like this that you can freeze and use anytime makes even more sense. Then place the mixture with the other ingredients into a high quality blender and blend at high speed for 60 seconds.

In the meantime get your straining gear ready. I’ll be using a cloth filter, which should be pretty fast, but in the end you can help it along with a potato ricer. We ended up with around 720mL or 24oz of syrup, which means we’ll be able to make a little under 5 liters of Pink Grapefruit Soda, which is about 1.3 gallons or around 24 small bottles of soda. Based on the price of all ingredients that went into making of this syrup, that will cost us a total of 2,78€ - that’s exactly $3. 

All that’s left now is to add 1oz or 30mL of our Pink Grapefruit Syrup into a small soda bottle, topping it up with highly carbonated and chilled soda water, adding and pressing a bottle cap, gently turning it to mix the ingredients, and that’s it. Even if you’re carbonating your own soda water, after adding the price of the CO2 cartridges, a bottle of your DIY Pink Grapefruit Soda won’t cost you more than 20 cents per bottle - so save on the mixer from now on and treat yourself to a better bottle of Tequila! 

But what does our Pink Grapefruit Soda taste like? It’s nicely grapefruit-forward, which I can’t say for every store-bought option, but we also have a subtle floral note from rose water. It’s also well carbonated & refreshing, and the bitter and sweet balance is spot on for drinking on its own or mixing in cocktails. These are definitely a great gift, but if you aren’t a fan of bottling your soda in advance, another option is to use a soda siphon or an iSi Twist&Sparkle. 

Now we can move on to making a couple of cocktails, starting with the classic, La Paloma.


● 45mL · 1.5oz Tequila MIJENTA 

● 15mL · 0.5oz Lime Super Juice

● 105mL · 3.5oz Pink Grapefruit Soda

Grab a highball glass, add a salt rim, then fill it with ice, to chill it. Add the tequila, Lime Super Juice, and lastly our DIY Pink Grapefruit Soda. I’m giving it a gentle stir with a barspoon and garnishing with a grapefruit wedge. That’s it, let’s take a sip before we move on to the second cocktail, cheers!

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better Paloma, if you ask me. Perfectly carbonated, bitter, the tequila shines in this simple cocktail, and a salt rim that just elevates the experience even more. Wonderful. But grapefruit doesn’t mix well with only tequila - just ask Ernest Hemingway and his Hemingway Special Daiquiri. Instead of fresh grapefruit juice though we’ll make this cocktail a little lighter and more vibrant with Pink Grapefruit Soda.


Fizzy Hemingway Daiquiri

● 60mL · 2oz White Rum

● 7.5mL · 0.25oz Maraschino Liqueur

● 15mL · 0.5oz Lime Super Juice

● 45mL · 1.5oz Pink Grapefruit Soda

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution

As always I’m starting with a chilled shaker, then adding everything but the grapefruit soda. Now drain the ice, add the cocktail, seal the shaker and shake to properly chill, mix and dilute. Then double strain into a chilled coupe glass and make sure you have enough room to top it up with 1.5oz or 45mL of our Pink Grapefruit Soda. Before drinking, just cut a small circle of grapefruit peel, express essential oils over the cocktail and place the peel in the glass.

This might not have enough rum for his taste, but here’s to Papa Doble, cheers! The Fizzy Hemingway cocktail has a wonderful zesty bitterness with a touch more tartness than the original, which somehow makes it even better. This perfect summer sipper is super easy to drink, but with that we’ve made it to the Bottom of The Glass. Now we can talk about a story of success and learn more about premium sodas.

3 Cents Artisanal Beverages was founded in 2014 by three Greek bartenders, with an understanding of what’s missing in the industry and a vision of how to fill this gap. 8 years later they sold the company to Coca-Cola for a whopping 45 million euro, or around 48.5 million dollars, so keep your eyes open and don’t stop dreaming - and if you’ll sell any of the homemade recipes found in this playlist for a few million dollars, hit me up with a cocktail or two. Cheers, Friends of Cocktails!


I can not wait to try this one, I love grapefruits! I am also wondering why not using the juice, like we do in super juice? Is it for conservation? Any idea how long should the syrup stay good, and how long should a bottle soda last (in the fridge or outside?) Thanks, I am anyway gonna try it this week! Cheers!

Kevin Kos
Kevin Kos
May 01
Replying to

Hi! It's mostly because of the shelf life. The juice will decrease the shelf life. The syrup itself should be good for a month because of all the acids, but I would advise you to freeze it so you can use it any time of the year. As for the soda I would use it in a week. Cheers!


Curious about two things here… why do we let the peels sit in the sugar rather than in the citric and malic acids? Also, why don’t we add the grapefruit juice to the mixture? I know we do these two things for super juice, just wondering why we do it differently here.


Doubled the recipe. Blenderized with a Vitamix at top setting (10). Filtered thru a 75 micron Superbag; after wringing it tightly & thoroughly, yield was 1.5 litres. Quality tested via Paloma. Result/Verdict: outstanding! :)


Love this! Two questions. When making the grapefruit syrup do you blend the sugar with the peels or remove the peels. Also can you link to Lime Super Juice in the recipe? Thx!!

Kevin Kos
Kevin Kos
Mar 25
Replying to

glad you watched it! Cheers!

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