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Nik Sharma’s Grapefruit Soda With Chai Masala

Grapefruit comes alive with a classic chai spice combination.

In this recipe from Nik Sharma’s The Flavor Equation, the bitterness of Ruby Red grapefruit comes alive with a classic chai spice combination. “I infuse whole spices rather than ground into the simple syrup to get a lighter flavor that delicately complements the citrus,” he writes of the recipe.


Yield:8 glasses
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
  •  1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole green cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • 1 star anise
  • 2½ cups fresh grapefruit juice (from 2 to 3 large pink grapefruit)
  • One 1-Liter bottle club soda, chilled


Combine 11/2 cups of water and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, and star anise. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and immediately remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the simple syrup through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bottle or jug. Discard the spices. You should have 1½ cups of simple syrup. Refrigerate the syrup until chilled.

In a large pitcher, combine the chilled simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Fill eight tall glasses with ice. Pour ½ cup of the syrup mixture into each glass, top with ½ cup of the club soda, and stir. Store any leftover syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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