Grapefruit & Thyme Soda

My garden and I did not start the month of August off on the right foot. While I was being bombarded left and right by dishes and posts featuring beautiful tomatoes, the plants in my garden taunted me with green orbs of various shapes and sizes that refused to ripen. I obsessively checked them twice a day. I even had a dream that, amidst a bit of chaos involving Doctor Who (David Tennant, not Matt Smith), the air traffic controller from season 2 of Breaking Bad, and a woman who insisted she must go to Paris for “jewelery season,” I uncovered a vine of perfectly ripe tomatoes at the edge of my much-nicer-than-it-is-in-waking-life backyard.

While my tomato plants refused to cooperate, my garden did manage to redeem itself with a bounty of herbs, including an overabundance of thyme. I don’t know why, but the smell of thyme makes me thirsty. I love adding it to drinks and it works well with a number of things (lemon, blackberries, pears, etc.), but thyme + grapefruit = THE BEST. I was introduced to this combination nearly a year ago at my favorite Burlington restaurant, and I have been obsessed ever since.

Oh and BONUS: This soda practically begs for gin. Put ’em together and, boy, do they go down easy.

Grapefruit & Thyme Soda

  • zest and juice of 2 pink grapefruits
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 10–12 springs of thyme
  • pinch of salt
  • seltzer

Combine water, salt, zest, juices, and thyme in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.

Run mixture through a cheesecloth to filter out the solids. Return the filtered liquid to the pan, add sugar, and heat until sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, then transfer to a container. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To make soda: Combine 1 part syrup with 1.5 parts seltzer.

To make a grapefruit-thyme gin fizz: Add 1 part gin and 1.5 parts syrup to a glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer then stir to combine.


  1. Maria says

    I make this drink (with basil not thyme). I also have vivid dreams populated with celebrities that take me all over the world. I’ve never been to “jewelery season” but I work in fashion so trips to Paris are de rigeur. Your post felt very familiar. Did I mention I love to go off on tangents…

    What I meant to say is your blog is very beautiful, and next Thyme (I couldn’t resist) I will try thyme.

    • says

      Hahaha, oh Maria, this comment was a great way to start the morning. I think you and I would be friends. :)

      I’d love to try this with basil! There’s a ton of that in my garden as well.

  2. Mary Blanton says

    unfortunately, not only can i coax little fruit or veggies from my garden, my herbs have also let me down. for this i will go buy some thyme. thank you for a perfect respite from these ridiculously hot days.

    • says

      What a brutal summer this has been for gardens! (I think the only reason mine has done as well as it has is because I was a psycho about watering.) Enjoy, Mary! It seems fall is just around the corner. :)

  3. says

    First of all, you take some seriously gorgeous photos! And secondly, I’m so happy you posted this recipe because homemade soda in the summertime is just the greatest, isn’t it? :) I recently tried this wonderfully fizzy, sour ginger lime concoction at a restaurant and fell in love – your recipe looks perfect for this sunny weekend!

  4. says

    I haven’t blogged or followed blogs in years, (due to many changes in life) but my step-daughter sent me the link for the Chocolate, Roasted Cherry, & Salted Almond Ice Cream (because, well, I make darn good ice cream & she thought I’d like that recipe. and she wanted some)

    Anyway, I don’t drink commercial sodas & have made a few of my own.

    this sounds like a definite winner & will be added to my list. It is also much simpler than one of my favorites (served with or without dark rum), Herbfarm Cookbook’s Switchel (as seen here)

    • says

      Thank you, Kiki! That switchel sounds wonderful — l love how many herbs go into it! (I think I might need to buy this Herbfarm Cookbook too, since I’m already getting sucked into the online version.)

  5. says

    this. i will this for my darling, who has loved his sodastream longer than he has loved me and who, for some reason, still loves me even tho i dislike grapefruit so much.

    it’s much too cold for me to think about iced beverages but i am so eagerly awaiting the warmer temps since reading this post.

    PS. i love going thru your archives.

    • says

      Thank you, Lan! :)

      I agree, it was WAY to cold to think about icy drinks. It’s been snowing outside for the past few hours, and I’m feeling an intense anger towards Nature right now. I just want it all to melt already!

  6. says

    This looks so lovely! I was salivating at the recipe, but the Doctor Who dream is what drove me to comment :-P

    Unfortunately, my boyfriend hates grapefruit so I think I might try this with blood orange! We have a Soda Stream at home (I’m obsessed) and this just seems too easy to pass up.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hehe! Whovian solidarity, FTW! :)

      I bet this would be wonderful with blood orange too. (One of my favorites — I’ve been eagerly waiting for them to start showing up on the store shelves here!)


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