Grapefruit Kombucha Agua Fresca
Yesterday I went to a toy store and bought a glittery fairy figurine. For a birthday cake intended for a very rad adult.
As much as I’d prefer to explore in anonymity, it’s a small store. Meaning I couldn’t avoid conversations with the smiling clerk. She had a sparkling stud implanted on her cheekbone and short brown hair. She laughed easily and pointed me towards the new coloring books. Which I could only assume are commonly bought by solo adults wandering toy shops. But I didn’t come for a coloring book.
Actually, now I wonder if I even came for the fairy figurine.
I ran my hands over the flexible rubber miniatures, eyes scanning the bins for appropriately girly fantasy characters. I wanted a unicorn, ideally. But I would compromise for an affable mermaid if I could find one without crossed eyes. I found the tiniest white and pink unicorns. Too tiny, really.
It didn’t matter. I wanted to wander around just for the hell of it.
A mother and her little girl padded lightly into the toy store. The mother was looking for a specific, large, French mobile kit with cut out paper faeries and flowers. The little girl picked up everything pink and sparkly at eye level (2 feet). A tea set packed in glossy clear plastic is a revelation. She cried out “mommy mommy mommy!” And I whirl around to watch her run with the tea set to her mother. “Wow! A tea set! That IS a wonderful find! But look at this book. It has pages that are so thick that babies can’t tear them. So you and sister can share this book.” This little girl is apparently wonderfully concerned with her library. With keeping it whole and in-tact. Her baby sister, of course, is the page-tearing culprit. And she is in awe of the book with cardboard pages.
I remember being this little girl. The toddling awe. The fervor for books. Dreaming of imaginary tea parties with imaginary friends.
I roll a felted horse figure in my hand, looking over it’s gentle face. I feel a pang of nostalgia in my gut. A clear memory of being 5, running around a toy store and touching the faces of soft felt figurines as if they were living baby birds. The smell of fruit scented plastic, sawdust and silly putty. The enormity of the toy store, the height of the cash register, the intimidating warmth of the parents looking out at their salivating children.
I find a pink fairy toting butterfly wings sitting atop a sparkly horse. Good enough.
I do this for myself, very occasionally. I walk around a toy store or a candy shop (or, let’s face it, Whole Foods). I wander. I pick things up and put them down. I let myself stumble upon strange delights. And I’ll get one thing. It might be small. A mood ring, a pack of strawberry gummies, a new spice. These things keep me feeling childlike and fresh. Keep my brain from imploding with the pressure of being an adult. Keep me excited about discovering the newness of any ordinary moment.
Sometimes you just need something for no reason at all.
Take this grapefruit kombucha agua fresca, for example. I made it just… because. It’s simple. And yeah, it’s barely a recipe. And it’s pink, which I’ve decided is my power color. But I’ve been making it for myself. And it feels wonderful. It’s super punchy and lightly sweet, with that naturally effervescent kick from the kombucha. Like grapefruit lemonade. I added some fresh rosemary. Because citrus and hardy herbs are friends, in my book. I love the smell of the rosemary as I sip. It’s really refreshing. If you’re a grapefruit fan, this one’s for you. Adjust the sweetness as you like, of course. I like mine on the less-sweet side.
- 1 cup 100% grapefruit juice
- 1 cup unflavored kombucha, like GT's trilogy
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup + more to taste
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- optional: pure sparkling water
- In a pitcher or 2 cup measure, combine the grapefruit juice, kombucha and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Fill two glasses with ice and pour the drink over top. If your kombucha isn't naturally effervescent, top each glass off with a little sparkling water. Rub each sprig of rosemary between your hands to help release the oils on the leaves. Pop a sprig in each glass. Adjust sweetness, to taste. Enjoy!