Sometimes we all need to add a little spice to our lives and drinks are no exception.

This fun little recipe is a great way to add a dash of heat to a cool, refreshing drink and it is very interesting. The mix uses a quarter of a fresh grapefruit, which is muddled with a DIY simple syrup and a little hot sauce. It may surprise you how well grapefruit and chiles work together and, despite the contrast, it is the perfect match for creating truly interesting drinks.

I have tried other hot sauces like Tabasco here, but they do not work as well as Cholula. Tabasco was particularly bitter, though you may want to try it because it may suit you better than me. The Cholula Chili and Garlic has a nice balance of savory and spicy flavors and the garlic adds another dimension that is surprisingly pleasant. Also, if you accidentally add a little more than you should (it’s easy because the bottle doesn’t have a dasher) the drink is not too hot and remains quite drinkable. This is a nice change from other hot sauce. It’s important to remember that spicy drinks are about balance, not how much heat you can add.

If you cannot find Q Orange, I would recommend finding another lightly flavored orange or citrus soda. Look in the specialty soda section at the market and, by all means, avoid the popular sugar-laden brands like Sunkist and Fanta as those will simply over power the drink. If the search for a good orange soda fails, you may opt for a lemon-lime soda like Sprite or a grapefruit option like Squirt.

Now, if you would like to step this drink up one more notch, the perfect option for spiking it would be tequila. It is a perfect complement to both the grapefruit and hot sauce and I would recommend a shot of a quality blanco tequila.

Spicy Side of Life Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1 Drink

Spicy Side of Life Recipe

Add a touch of hot sauce to your grapefruit soda and enjoy life on the spicy side!

Photo © S&C Design Studios



  1. Muddle grapefruit with simple syrup and hot sauce in an old-fashioned glass.
  2. Top with orange soda and stir well.
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Spicy Side of Life Recipe