Refreshing grapefruit-orange sparkler

23 Jun

Grapefruit-orange sparkler

Last weekend, my parents had a little gathering with friends and a riotously great card game we call “Pounce,” and everyone brought something to eat or drink. I had mostly settled on bringing lime, onion, and caramelized corn quesadillas, but flipping through a cookbook aimed at kids (and found at Ikea!), I found this little number. I altered it a little bit, but the results are close to the original. But first, let me tell you about the cookbook—because it makes me smile.

It’s true that Ikea has a whole lotta good that I love, that I covet their design, eco-sensibility, and these curtains. But cookbooks? Who knew! I picked up the Kids cookbook (published in Düsseldorf by NGV publishers…sorry, I couldn’t find an image online for it) on a whim, but it actually has plenty of good in it. It’s written tailored to the Western European sensibility, including a few ingredients I’d never heard of nor would have any idea where to get (quark, anyone?). But the recipes are fresh and although they’re geared toward kids, this kid-at-heart can see many things that the adults would like, too. The recipes are very simple, too–“Fine Cream of Carrot Soup” has seven ingredients, counting salt and pepper as one ingredient each. I also love cookbooks from or geared to other countries besides the U.S., because I guess I hope I learn a little bit about how people live in those places. Or at least what they eat. I’m interested in the new recipes like “Vegetable Rosti with Herb Yogurt” (Western Europeans do love their yogurt…but what is a rosti?), “German Steamed Pudding,” and even a recipe for gnocchi—a first for me.

This was perfect at the end of a mostly hot, humid week (a precursor, it seems, to this week) and also great for me. I’m a. standard no-thank-you-I’ll-just-have-water kind of girl, but it’s nice for a party to have a little something else for comp’ny. I don’t know if I’ve ever bought a carbonated beverage for myself more than five or so times (someone, I’m sure, will have evidence to the contrary on this, but I’ll tell them their memory is failing them) this is also perfect.

Nutritional low-down: why I’m anti-soda

I’m quite happy that although we may not see eye-to-eye on the quantity of meat needed per meal, the Midwestern Meateater and I actually agree about not buying soda/pop. It’s not so great for us or anyone else.

What’s your take on pop? Do you substitute other beverages?

Did you know that there is a negative correlation between bone mass density (the hardness of your bones; the harder, the better) and the consumption of pop, especially in the adolescent years? Yep. But listen up–it’s hard on all of us, at any age. Part of the consequence is that choosing to drink pop is choosing not to drink something with actual benefits (like milk or water), but the amount of phosphorus in pop also affects the ability of your bones to become hard. So, that means the chances of developing osteoporosis (women and men) and of having brittle, easier-to-break bones goes up. So, off the pop! Onto sparkly beverages! Oh, my weakness for beverages made with club soda…one day I’ll tell you about my career making Italian sodas and my whole berry sparkler.

What drinks remind you of warm weather? I’d love to hear what summery concoctions are waiting to be tasted out there.

Grapefruit-orange sparkler

From “raw” to eating: less than five minutes (plus time to chill)

Makes: a big pitcher full (see picture)

75-80 oz. club soda
Juice of one large grapefruit (watch the seeds!)
Juice of one large orange
½ to ¾ C sugar
¼ C concentrated orange juice

Combine, stir, and taste. Add more OJ concentrate, etc., as needed. Let chill in a pretty pitcher. Serve to guests, who will drink it quickly.

Welcome, summer!



6 Responses to “Refreshing grapefruit-orange sparkler”

  1. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen June 25, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    This is a great post Erin! I agree about the pop (we call it soda here!) – it is not good for you, and I generally don’t substitute anything for it, because I pretty much drink water. So sometimes, if I want flavor I might make herbal iced tea or pour a little juice in my water – but I have made spritzers like the one you have going on here – my favorite one I made was with watermelon! These kinds of drinks are perfect for summer.

    I also love cookbooks too – It sounds like you really found a great one at IKEA! 🙂 Who knew?

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

  2. VeganCowGirl June 27, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    Anti-Soda All the Way!
    Excellent points and yummy sounding alternative.


  3. esprout June 27, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Thanks, CowGirl, and Jenn! I’m glad so many of us are coming to agreement about soda/pop/fizzy, carbonated beverages with artificial ingredients. And now, to tackle the gallons of sugary, artificial, dental nightmare juices given to children…that one will be harder! 🙂

    Come again!

  4. Little Kahuna June 29, 2008 at 8:28 am #

    I hate soda – but I LOVE fizzy juice drinks!

  5. nightlight August 27, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Not sure you still need an answer to this, but quark is a soft, slightly sour cream-cheese. it comes in different fat – grades, I think the full cream version has 40%, down to fat free. It can be eaten on bread, mix fruit into it to make a rich fruit yogurt, or used in baked cheese cake (delicious).
    Rösti are commonplace in Switzerland. It is a fried flat pancake shaped thing, made of course shredded potato and cheese, for instance. Great in very cold weather with a fried egg on top and don’t count the calories!

  6. Jarred March 24, 2009 at 2:14 pm #


    I love your recipe but find that I often don’t have time to whip up this fresh or either want some sparkling “soda” asap so recently went in search for great a great sparkling drink. I found it oddly enough at IKEA. It’s called Kristian Regále and comes in wide variety of flavors from Kristian Regále Pomegranate-Apple Sparkler to Kristian Regále Peach Sparkler to Kristian Regále Apple Sparkler and more. It’s a great drink to bring out for the whole family when you need something quick, refreshing and fun! Enjoy!

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