How to Find, Choose, & Use


(Cocktail Grapefruit)

Citrus × (hybrid)
A mandelo (cocktail grapefruit) shown in cross-section

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The Basics

  • What Is It?

    A fairly large citrus fruit resulting from the hybridization of a frua mandarin and a sweet pomelo (hence 'mandelo'). Despite the common name 'cocktail grapefruit,' it is not actually a true grapefruit.

  • Seasonality


  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet, mildly sour (subacid)

  • Other Names

    Cocktail Grapefruit, Mandalo.

Mandelo FAQs

Are Mandelos Grapefruits?

No, they're not. The commercial name 'cocktail grapefruit' is a confusing one - these are about the size of a grapefruit, and they have a similar number of seeds, but they differ a great deal in terms of flavour.

Are Cocktail Grapefruits the same as Mandelos?

Yes. The confusion arises from the fact that this fruit has never been given a formal name - the original cross (developed at UC Riverside in California) was labeled CRC 3555 - Cocktail Pummelo Hybrid.  At some point the fruit found its way into commercial cultivation, where the name mandelo (a combination of 'mandarin' and 'pomelo') was applied. Cocktail grapefruit is a more recent trade-name used by some growers and distributors.

Are Mandelos Genetically Modified?

No. Mandelos were created by cross-breeding two different citrus varieties (Siamese Sweet Pomelo and Frua Mandarin).  This technique has actually been the source of virtually all of the citrus varieties we consume today, including sweet oranges.


  • Find

    Specialty Grocery Stores, Fruit Markets, Conventional Grocery Stores (See "Need More Detail" section below regarding the names used in stores)

  • Choose

    Brightly coloured, firm, and heavy fruits. Some green colouring is normal, and does not indicate under-ripe fruit.

  • Prep

    Difficulty: Low - Easy to peel and juice. Unlike grapefruit or pomelo, the membranes are quite thin. The numerous seeds need to be strained or removed if using the juice or whole segments.

  • Use

    Most popular in their uncooked state, but as with most citrus, the fruit and the juice can be cooked or baked with. The zest can be used to for it's orange-like flavour. The entire peel can be cooked/candied/preserved.

  • Store

    Ripen: Room Temperature
    Short Term: Refrigerate
    Long Term: Not recommended unless dried or preserved

Culinary Info

  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet; Slightly Sour - Mandarin-like overtones with hints of sour and herbal pomelo or grapefruit. Lacks most of the bitterness typical of a grapefruit or pomelo. The scent of the zest is likewise somewhere between a mandarin orange and a pomelo.

  • Substitutions

    The juice can be approximated with two parts tangerine/mandarin juice and one part grapefruit juice (see "Need More Detail?" below).

  • Cuisines

    Developed in California in the 1950s and commercialized fairly recently, mandelo does not feature prominently in any cuisines around the world. Nonetheless, it is unique and locally popular.

  • Flavour Pairings

    Savory: Salty flavours (e.g. soy sauce), scallion, ginger, radish
    Sweet: Cinnamon, ginger, milk chocolate

  • Varieties

    None, but be aware of the issues around inconsistent naming.

More Info

  • Nutrition

    Nutrition Facts
    Mandelo (Cocktail Grapefruit) - 100 g (3.5 oz)
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 39
    % Daily Value*
    Carbohydrates 10g3%
    Fiber 4g17%
    Sugar 6g7%
    Protein 1g2%
    Vitamin A 500IU10%
    Vitamin C 58.6mg71%
    Calcium 10mg1%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Exceptionally high in Vitamin C.

  • Top-To-Tail

    The fruit is entirely edible or usable, including the skin (zest and pith), flesh/juice, and seeds (see below for specifics).

  • GMO Status


  • Health & Science

    As with grapefruit (and many other citrus), mandelos may interact with certain classes of drugs.

  • Organic vs. Conventional

    Both organic and conventionally grown mandelos are available, though availability may be limited.

Mandelo Recipes

Mandelo Zaru Soba

Mandelo Zaru Soba (cold buckwheat noodles with a mandelo dipping sauce) on a straw plate with chopsticks

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