Kid-friendly Grapefruit Basil Spritz Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Grapefruit Basil Spritz

Recipe: Grapefruit Basil Spritz

Grapefruit Basil Spritz

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by SherSor/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Grapefruit Basil Spritz

A traditional spritz cocktail is made from sparkling water, white wine, and a bitter-tasting liquor. In this kid-friendly version, you’ll replace the bitters with the bold flavors of grapefruit and basil, and keep all the fizz, baby!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • juice :

    to extract or squeeze out the juice of a fruit or vegetable, like a lemon, orange, or carrot, often cutting open or peeling the fruit or veggie first to access its flesh.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

Equipment Checklist

  • Small saucepan
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pitcher


Grapefruit Basil Spritz

  • 1 grapefruit, juiced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 C sparkling water
  • 3 C ice (optional)


Grapefruit Basil Spritz

combine + simmer

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, the juice of 1 grapefruit (and any grapefruit juice reserved from the Grapefruit Basil Niçoise Salad), and 6 basil leaves and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.

discard + transfer + add

Discard the basil leaves and transfer the syrup mixture to your pitcher to cool before adding the ice and sparkling water.

add + stir + serve

Once the syrup has cooled down enough, add 3 cups of sparkling water and 3 cups of ice, if using. The drink only needs a few stirs, and it's ready to serve!

Surprise Ingredient: Grapefruit!

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Photo by Valentyn Volkov/

Hi! I'm Grapefruit!

"Grapefruits are one of the larger citrus fruits. You may have eaten us with breakfast or drank our juice. Did you know you can squeeze close to a cup of juice out of one grapefruit?! It may seem like pink grapefruits are sweeter but whether we are white, pink, or red, we have the same amount of sugar!"

History & Etymology

  • The grapefruit is a large, round citrus fruit that originated in Barbados, an island country in the Caribbean. It came about by accident as a natural hybrid of a sweet orange and a pomelo, the largest citrus fruit.
  • The story is told that Captain Shaddock (or Chaddock) brought pomelo seeds to the West Indies in the 17th century and grew that fruit. Then, sometime during the middle of the 1700s, the offspring of a natural cross between a pomelo and a sweet orange developed and became known initially as "forbidden fruit."
  • The word "grapefruit" was likely coined in the 1800s because the fruit tends to grow in clusters, similar to grapes (although much, much larger than grapes!).
  • China produces over half of the grapefruit in the world. Vietnam, the United States, and Mexico are the next biggest producers.
  • Florida grows the most grapefruit in the US, followed by California and Texas.
  • The Texas red grapefruit is the state fruit of Texas. 
  • February is National Grapefruit Month!


  • The grapefruit tree's scientific name is "Citrus × paradisi" (the × indicates it is a hybrid). It is a subtropical tree that grows 15 to 20 feet tall. The fruit grows in clusters. 
  • Grapefruit skin starts out green but turns yellow to yellow-orange when ripe. Grapefruit flesh has sections like lemons and oranges, and its color can be light yellow to red, depending on the variety. Its pulp contains a lot of juice. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • When selecting grapefruit in the market, choose ones that are heavy for their size (juicy!) and have a uniform color. A white grapefruit's skin will be yellow, a pink grapefruit will be yellow-orange, and a red grapefruit will be orange. A more oval than round shape means the fruit is riper. 
  • Grapefruit can taste bitter due to a flavonoid called "naringin." The riper the grapefruit, the sweeter it is. Some people add sugar to lessen the bitterness, and others add a bit of salt. Avoid eating the pith, the white tissue lining the inside of the skin, as it is always bitter. 
  • Grapefruit and its juice are popular for breakfast. The fruit is often cut in half, and the flesh scooped out with a spoon. You can buy a special grapefruit spoon that is serrated on each side to help separate the sections.
  • Cooking grapefruit also lessens its bitterness. Sprinkling a little brown sugar on a grapefruit half and broiling it is a popular way to eat grapefruit.
  • You can add grapefruit sections to salads and its juice to vinaigrettes. You can also use grapefruit and its juice in desserts, entrees, and drinks.


  • According to the USDA, one-half of a grapefruit contains the total amount of vitamin C your body needs in one day! It also has six grams of fiber, making it one of the highest-fiber fruits. Pink and red grapefruit have more beta-carotene than white grapefruit. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and changes to vitamin A in our bodies.
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interact with some medications, so it is vital to check drug interactions for a particular medicine before ingesting grapefruit or grapefruit juice. It can also affect the absorption of certain medications.

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the grapefruit stop rolling halfway up the hill?

Because it ran out of juice!

That's Berry Funny

What do you get when you cross a cat and a grapefruit? 

A sour puss.

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