Cocktail Grapefruit

With a name like “cocktail,” you might assume the Cocktail Grapefruit is a small fruit – but on the contrary. Cocktail Grapefruits are larger than oranges and just a bit smaller than a standard grapefruit. This specialty citrus is now in season in California, and not to be missed!

Maybe they are called “Cocktail Grapefruit” because they yield a fantastic amount of juice, which is perfect with a splash of vodka over ice. Because they are a hybrid of Mandarin and Pummelo (not actually a grapefruit at all), Cocktail Grapefruits have a bright tangerine flavor with a clean, refreshing grapefruit finish. These fruits also lack the acidic bite of regular grapefruit.

Frieda’s is now receiving fruit from San Diego County, and as the season progresses, we will move to the Central Valley region of California. The season should last until January. When first picked, the fruit will be green, but turns a rich golden color as it ripens. They are quite heavy for their size because they are extremely juicy! Most fruits contain seeds.

Because they are related to Pummelos, Cocktail Grapefruits do have thicker segnment walls, which can be quite bitter. So, to enjoy the flesh, treat them as you would a grapefruit – either scoop out the segments with a spoon, or cut the segments into supremes.

Developed at the University of California, Riverside in the 1950s, the Cocktail Grapefruit was originally called “Mandalo.” But it wasn’t until the 1980s that the variety grew in popularity. This is one citrus you won’t want to miss.

What’s your favorite citrus fruit?