What Are Citrus Fruits: Our Love Story With Superfruits

Our hometown is Ojai, California, so you might say that we’re a little obsessed with fresh citrus. Valencia oranges, grapefruits, tangerines...you name it. Like our children, we love all of them equally, even the lesser-known varieties like tangelos and black limes. We love taking advantage of the juicy zing of citrus fruits, which add a punch of brightness to our beverages and are refreshing enough for any occasion. But what exactly makes a citrus fruit, you ask?

The Basics of Citrus Fruits

All of the citrus fruits we know today actually come from a crossbreed of the three original fruits:

  • Mandarin orange
  • Pummelo
  • Citron 

These three OGs combine to create your favorite fruity flavors including grapefruit, lemon, and lime. It’s like the primary color wheel, but much more delicious. 

These succulent fruits are surrounded by a thick rind that people generally don’t eat—you’re not going to bite into a citrus fruit like an apple—but the rind can be used in things like marmalade, seasonings, or zests (hello, cocktail hour). 

So, that’s citrus fruits on the whole, but what makes them unique individually? 

Oranges

You can’t talk about citrus and not mention the mighty orange. Bright and delicious, oranges come in different varieties and are found in a plethora of seasonal flavor combos, pairing with cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla and more. Oranges are actually a hybrid between a mandarin and a pomelo and have been around for a very long time, dating all the way back to 314 BC

This OG of citrus grows best in subtropical climates, which is why California and Florida are the main locations for citrus farms in the United States. There’s a variety of oranges, like:

  • Blood oranges
  • Caracara oranges
  • Navel oranges
  • Valencia oranges 

We've harnessed the power of this juicy fan-favorite in Midknight Mimosa, found in our Citrus Sessions 12-pack. With a higher alcohol content of 7%, it combines the sweet flavors of the Valencia orange with the natural tang of kombucha.  

Next time you have friends over for brunch, we recommend skipping the sugar and reaching for a Midknight Mimosa instead. 

Grapefruit

Grapefruits have a unique flavor, boasting both sweet and sour notes. Grapefruits are a cross between a sweet orange and a pomelo. Did you know that they actually grow in bunches that look a bit like large grapes? The more you know.

Just like wine grapes, grapefruit comes in different varietals that affect its flavor profile. 

The redder the grapefruit, the sweeter it will be. Still, red grapefruit is less complex and way more bitter than its lighter counterparts. White grapefruit sits at the other end of the spectrum with the least amount of sweetness and a complex infusion of tanginess. Pink nestles right in the middle, with mild tartness and sweetness.

Rounding out the grapefruit family tree is oro blanco, or white gold. A mix of pomelo and white grapefruit, this is the sweetest and least bitter of the varietals. 

We love grapefruit so much that it plays a starring role in our Grapefruit Thyme Hard Kombucha.  

Limes

Limes are the perfect complement to many foods and drinks. Their slightly sour flavor lends just the right amount of acid to any dish, which is why you’ll see many recipes call for a squeeze of lime at the end for a pop of flavor.  

Limes also come in a variety of options, but if you’re shopping in your local grocery store, you’re most likely reaching for a Persian lime. Persian limes are seedless and not too sour, with a long shelf life. Key limes are used most commonly in desserts—key lime pie, anyone? 

If you find yourself adding a squeeze of lime to most of your mixed drinks, you’ll love our Black Lime Mojito Hard Kombucha with hints of coconut and mint. You’ll find it in our Citrus Sessions collection, which takes your favorite classic cocktail flavors and adds an organic, superfruit twist without the sugar.

Tangerines

Tangerines were an elementary school lunch staple and are just as tasty today as they were then. Believed to be a version of mandarin orange, tangerines are light and sweet.  

You’ll often find tangerines in salads and specialized desserts like chocolate-covered tangerine peels. Tangerines originate from Morocco and require full sun exposure to grow their best.  

What better way to show our love for citrus than to give you a double whammy? Our Grapefruit Tangie Hard Kombucha highlights not one, but two of our favorite superfruit flavors. 

This tart, floral beverage is serving up craft cocktail vibes, but without the calorie load and sugar bomb. With an alcohol content of 8.5%, this blend was made to enlighten your mood and liberate your spirits.  

It’s Raining Fruit

Citrus fruits are everywhere, from recipes to mixed drinks to perfumes. We didn’t have time to talk about all our favorites in depth, so we’ll touch on them quick: 

  • Clementines:  The slightly sweet mix of sweet orange and mandarin orange. 
  • Tangelo:  The juicy lovechild of tangerine and pomelo, or grapefruit. 
  • Kumquat: A small citrus fruit, commonly compared to sweet orange, that’s notorious because you can eat the whole thing -- peel and all!
  • Pomelo: Perhaps more commonly known as a pamplemousse and the pummelo, this is one of the three original citrus fruits.

The Benefits of Citrus Fruits

Fruit is healthy—we know this. But do you know the dirty details on why?

First off, citrus fruits are chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Oranges and limes are packed with vitamin C, while grapefruits boast tons of potassium. Even tangerines bring vitamin B6 to the table. All forms of citrus are also all full of fiber, which is necessary for digestive health.

As if that wasn’t enough, citrus fruits are low in calories and high in water, making them a fantastic addition to your diet if you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight. Last but not least, eating citrus fruits might help support heart health, as the flavonoids present in these juicy gems may help raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. 

A Vision of Citrus

As we continue to develop new hard kombuchas for our fellow fermentation-loving friends, you can bet on seeing more citrus fruits included in our recipes. The zesty flavor combo possibilities are endless, and we’re always game for a little experimentation.

Want more ways to get your citrus fix? Consider our Guava Citra Hard Kombucha. With a blend of tangy citrus and exotic pink guava, this smooth combination combines a touch of sweetness with a refreshing fizz.  

Want something other than a hard kombucha? That’s what our Fruit & Flora Hard Seltzer 12 pack is for. Filled with rich herbal notes and fruit-forward flavors, and finished with a crisp, effervescent fizz, these superfruit seltzers are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before. From Clementine Hibiscus to Passionfruit Elderflower to Black Cherry Rose, you can experience a variety of unique palate-pleasers. 

Bright, refreshing, zippy, —these are all adjectives you can use to describe our favorite citrus fruits and the feeling of cracking open a can. Consciously-crafted brews, scintillating superfruits, and a botanical buzz: what’s not to love?

 

Sources: 

24 Delicious Citrus Fruits You Should Definitely Give A Try | StyleCraze

Citrus | Food Print

Key Lime vs Lime: Is There Really a Difference? | Taste of Home

How to Use Lemons for Green Cleaning | The Spruce

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