What Is Grapefruit Soda?

Angela Farrer

Grapefruit soda is a carbonated beverage with added flavor derived from grapefruit juice or other grapefruit products such as concentrated extracts. Several brands of this type of soda are on the market from major beverage manufacturers, and some people prefer it because grapefruit soda often has few to no calories and sometimes lower amounts of sugar than other kinds of soda. Others like it for its lighter levels of carbonation compared with other types of soda. This beverage is also popular among people who like to mix their own cocktails at home; grapefruit soda can often be a flavorful mixer for a wide variety of drinks.

Grapefruit soda is derived from grapefruit juice.
Grapefruit soda is derived from grapefruit juice.

Soda with this flavoring can have different percentages of grapefruit juice depending on the brand; some can have as low as 1% while other brands can have up to 12% natural grapefruit juice. These types of soda come in a range of colors from light yellow to light pink, often with a clouded appearance due to the overall combination of ingredients. Some brands of this particular grapefruit beverage are mixed with grapefruit extract from concentrate rather than grapefruit juice; these can have up to 70% grapefruit concentrate in some instances. These kinds of carbonated grapefruit drinks can sometimes have a noticeably sour or even a slightly bitter taste.

The Paloma cocktail combines tequila with grapefruit soda.
The Paloma cocktail combines tequila with grapefruit soda.

One of the more popular cocktails that include grapefruit soda is called the Paloma; this cocktail combines it with tequila and a bit of lime juice. Experienced mixologists find that this soda flavor works the best in this drink because it has a good balance of bitter and sweet flavors as well as the right aftertaste for a tequila-based drink. Other cocktails that can be made with grapefruit soda include the Malibu Fizz, the Cable Guide, and the Nomad. These fun and flavorful drinks can easily be made at home or sometimes ordered at certain tropical-themed bars.

A Malibu Fizz combines this carbonated grapefruit beverage with light rum and a small amount of cranberry juice. The Cable Guide consists of grapefruit soda combined with vodka and mango juice, while the Nomad is a similar drink that also uses vodka but substitutes lemonade for the mango juice. Some bartenders can also add a small dash of grenadine to any of these drinks for a bit of added sweetness. Due to some soda brands' lower sugar content, a vodka-based cocktail with grapefruit soda is often a good alcoholic beverage choice for those who may be watching their intake of refined carbohydrates.

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