Sun-Kissed Citrus

Your Main Squeeze for Nutritious and Delicious


Story by Lindsay Gifford
Information, Recipes and Photography provided by Sunkist

Warmer days call for fun in the sun with picnics on the beach and refreshing drinks on the porch. We’ve got you covered with delicious, bright drinks and recipes from one of the most well-known citrus growers in the world—Sunkist.

Sunkist isn’t your ordinary food mogul; they are a cooperative of family farms with generations of citrus growing know-how. Founded in 1893, the cooperative consists of thousands of members, stretched across sunny California and Arizona, who reflect the values and legacy of its 120-years of family-owned farms. Sunkist is a brand consumers can trust for quality, fresh, delicious, and premium fruit. The Sunkist farmers honor traditional growing practices, stewardship of natural resources, and a dedication to innovation. This philosophy has been proudly passed down year after year, crop after crop.

When I began to research Sunkist I only knew the basics: You should “eat the rainbow” every day to make sure you are receiving all your vitamins, and citrus is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps to prevent colds. Boy, was I in for an education!

I learned Sunkist offers a variety of more than 40 premium citrus fruits, each hand-picked—that’s right, hand-picked—by second, third, fourth, and even fifth generation farmers. Fresh citrus can help with weight loss, promote heart health and even reduce stress. It’s the perfect touch for countless recipes and gives a healthy boost to a variety of dishes. And, it’s an all-natural way to add flavor to food, clean your home, and decorate it, too.

Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, tangelos and mandarins are bursting with vivid colors and sweet, tangy tastes. These fruits are multitaskers with benefits way beyond tasting delicious. Various citrus fruits are used for reducing stress, preventing nausea, improving memory and aiding in digestion. The smell of citrus has many proven benefits, as well. Here are a few ways to enjoy citrus beyond the kitchen:

° Reduce Stress: Orange oil contains a soothing key ingredient that relieves tension and stress and helps create a peaceful, calm atmosphere. The fresh scent of lemon oil has been shown to perk people up and reduce anxiety. Grapefruit aromas are commonly known to curb depression and enhance memory.

° Beauty Inside and Out: Grapefruit is a super food containing phytonutrients that function as antioxidants. The results range from weight loss and lower cholesterol, to simply a more radiant and youthful look.  

° Brighten Both Home and Spirits: Fresh citrus is not only vibrant and beautiful, but also wonderfully fragrant. From simply placing citrus in a bowl on your counter top to incorporating into floral arrangements, there are many ways citrus fruits can add zest to your home.

° All-natural Cleaners: Rub your hands with a wedge of lemon to get rid of lingering odors, grease, and oil. As an added benefit, it will also keep your hands soft and smooth. To make glass sparkle like new, rub it with cut lemon or soak it in lemon juice and water. Rinse well, and dry with a lint-free cloth.

° Decorative and Delicious: Drying citrus not only fills the room with a refreshing scent, but it can be used in several ways: as décor, garnish for dishes, a gluten-free alternative to crackers on cheeseboards and in teas and drinks.

Are you ready for a luscious, juicy summer? Spritz it up with your favorite citrus recipe from Sunkist. You’re in for a flavorful zing and a whole lot of zest! Enjoy!

For more flavorful information, log on to There you will find more tips, techniques, and recipes, plus, meet the growers and witness their passion for producing only the best. There is also in-depth information about each fruit and its season, how it can affect your health and much more. Look up Sunkist on Pinterest for more ideas on getting the most out of citrus and YouTube for more decorating ideas.


Wedges are one of the most common citrus garnishes for dishes and beverages. Serve alongside seafood or perch on the glass rim of beverages. Directions: Cut the fruit in half crosswise; then Cut 3 or 4 wedges from each half.

: Citrus wheels and slices add a nice decorative (and edible!) touch to dishes and beverages. Directions: Cut a thin slice from both ends of peeled or unpeeled fruit. Then slice the fruit crosswise into the desired thickness. For slices, cut these wheels in half. Both wheels and slices may be cut with a small notch to fit over the rim of a glass.

A citrus twist is a floating garnish consisting of a very thin section of citrus peel. More than just decorative flourish for cocktails, twists add flavor and dimension to beverages because of the aromatic oils concentrated in the peel that are released. Directions: With a citrus stripping tool or paring knife, carefully and gently slice off a thin section of peel. Make the cut as shallow and even as possible so as to get a minimum of white pith. When you’re ready to serve your cocktail, gently twist the peel over the glass to release its essential oils, then drop it into the glass.

Citrus has aromatic oils in its peel that can add a flavorful punch in your favorite recipes. The zest is the outermost layer of the peel, the white inner layer of the peel is called the pith, and it is bitter so for best results, try to get as little of pith as possible when zesting.

Make sure to wash the citrus fruit before zesting. Various zesting tools and techniques yield different sizes of zest. A fine zest, created by a microplane, rasper or grater, is ideal for salad dressings, marinades and other sauces as well as baking mixes such as cookie dough or cake batter. A course zest, made by a zester, adds texture to food and can be great for salads or heartier baked goods like muffins or bread. You can also zest with a knife or citrus stripper by carefully cutting a piece of the peel off the fruit, and then finely slicing into thin strips or dicing. This thicker zest is rich in texture and also very colorful—making it great for topping icings.

Charring citrus is an easy way to elevate an array of recipes by drawing out deeper, richer flavors and adding a striking visual to your cooking. A current food trend, charring citrus takes the bright, fresh taste of Sunkist and richens it with deep, smoky flavors. Whether you simply warm it, roast it, grill it or broil it, adding heat balances sour and adds a savory note. This technique works for many varieties of citrus, so try it out with your seasonal favorites.

How to char citrus: Cut the citrus into halves, slices or wedges and place onto a hot grill or grill pan, flesh side down, until char marks appear on the fruit. No grill? No problem. Citrus can also be roasted cut-side down on a pan in a hot conventional oven. For added caramelization, dip the flesh of the citrus into a little bit of sugar before heating.

Ways to use charred citrus: For a stunning, simple plate garnish, use smaller sized lemons or limes, cut them in half and heat until char marks appear. Serve alongside fresh fish, poultry or salads for juicing over the dish.


Citrus PopsiclesSK Citrus Popsicles FB 1200x900 edited
Pictured Left  |  Servings: 8

Vanilla Simple Syrup:
1 cup Boiling water
1 cup Cane sugar
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract

1 cups Sunkist® Valencia orange juice,
freshly squeezed
1 cup Sunkist® grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup Vanilla simple syrup
8 slices or halves of Citrus
8 small Paper cups or popsicle molds
8 Popsicle sticks

Vanilla Simple Syrup: Combine boiling water and cane sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add pure vanilla extract and let cool to room temperature.

Popsicle: Combine freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and vanilla simple syrup in a pitcher or large measuring cup with a spout. Pour mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups. Place in freezer for 1 hour or until partially frozen. Add citrus slice or half that matches the size of the popsicle most closely. Run stick through the citrus, into the popsicle, making sure it doesn’t go all the way to the bottom of the cup. Freeze 1-2 more hours, or until solid. If using paper cups, peel cup away before serving.

Shrimp Vegetable Pasta with Light Lemon Cream Sauce
Cook Time: 25 mins  |  Servings: 4

12 oz. Linguine pasta (¾ of a 1 lb. box)SK Shrimp Vegetable Pasta 2 edited
1 Olive oil (as needed)
1 cup Mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced
1/10 tsp Red pepper flakes
¼ cup Bottled clam juice
¼ cup Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup Dry white wine
1 cup Heavy cream
1 cup (2-inch) pieces of Fresh asparagus
½ cup julienned red bell pepper
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp fresh Sunkist lemon zest
½ cup peas (shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas)
1 Tbsps thinly sliced fresh chives
1 Salt and freshly ground black pepper (as needed)
1 Garnish: Sunkist Lemon wedges

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large shallow pot, heat 2 Tbsps olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 30 seconds more. Add the clam juice, freshly squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice, and wine and simmer to reduce to ¼ of the original volume, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the cream, then add the asparagus, bell pepper, shrimp, and Sunkist lemon zest and cook until shrimp is pink, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in peas and cooked pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in 1½ Tbsps chives. Serve the pasta on and sprinkle with the remaining chives and garnish with lemon wedges.

Tangelo Maple LemonadeSK Tangelo Maple Lemonade 7 edited
Servings 8

2 cups warm water
1½ cups sugar
½ cup real maple syrup
3 cups cold water
1½ cups Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup Sunkist Minneola tangelo juice, freshly squeezed

Place the warm water, sugar, and maple syrup into a large pitcher. Stir with a spoon until sugar is dissolved. Add in the cold water, lemon and tangelo juices, stir. Serve over ice. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Spiked Southern Patio-Cooler
 SK spiked southern patio cooler0122 edited

Servings: 12

1 Sunkist® orange
20 Whole cloves
8 large sprigs Fresh mint          
4 Orange pekoe tea bags         
½ cup Brown sugar, packed      
3 cups Boiling water               
1 cup Sunkist® orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups Bourbon
1 cup Peach nectar

Fresh mint sprigs and Sunkist lemon slices, peach slices if in season, for garnish
Poke the cloves into the orange, then cut it into 3 slices. Put the orange slices, mint, tea bags, and brown sugar in a large heat-proof pitcher (or container that will hold at least 10 cups). Add the boiling water and let steep for 1 hour, then remove the tea bags and mint.

Add in the orange and lemon juices, peach nectar, and bourbon. Stir, then chill until ready to serve. Present for service in a large drink dispenser or punch bowl. Serve over ice with fresh mint and lemon. Or, for a fun presentation, serve in mason jars over ice.

Bottled Blackberry Lemon CrushSK Bottled Blkb Lem Crush13 edited

Servings: 6
¾ cup Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup Fresh blackberries
1½ cups Water
½ cup Sugar
1 ½ cups Vodka
½ cup Limoncello
½ cup pomegranate juice
6 (187 ml) Glass bottles and crown beer cap
Place the lemon juice, blackberries, water, and sugar in a blender and blend to infuse the blackberries. Fine strain into a large pitcher. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Fill bottles 1-inch from top using a funnel. Cap using a beer capper. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Serve well chilled and shake before serving.
This bottled cocktail is perfect for a party, and can be easily doubled or tripled. You can make ahead and serve with personalized tags and decorative straws. Bottles, caps, and a hand capper can be found at homebrew stores or online.

Pummelo SpritzSK Pummelo Spritz editorial edited

Servings: 1

¾ oz. tequila
¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
¾ freshly-squeezed Sunkist® pummelo juice
¾ freshly-squeezed Meyer
lemon juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. dry sparkling wine
1 pinch of salt
1 dash of oils from lemon zest

Pour tequila, elderflower liqueur, freshly-squeezed pummelo juice, freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, simple syrup and pinch of salt into shaker and shake with ice. Strain into glass and top with sparkling wine. Zest a small piece of the Meyer lemon peel, squeeze zest over the drink to release its essential oils and add a nice aroma and slight bitterness to the drink. For a festive flourish, add a Meyer lemon twist as garnish.

Savory Cheesecake BitesSK Savory Cheesecake05 edited
with Crab, Grapefruit and Avocado

Time: 45 minutes  |  Servings: 12

2 Tbsps Plain breadcrumbs                   
1½ tsps Butter, melted
8 oz. Cream cheese                             
¼ cup Sour cream
2 tsps Fresh garlic, minced                   
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Fresh tarragon, minced             
¼ tsp Kosher salt
1 small ripe Avocado, small diced         
1 large Egg
1 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil                  
1 Sunkist® Grapefruit
½ cup (approx. 2 oz.) fresh Crab meat
2 tsps Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsps Fresh tarragon, chopped
Coarse ground black pepper and flake sea salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pan-spray 12 mini muffin cups (⅛ cup size). In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and butter, then divide among muffin cups and press down. In a mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the sour cream, garlic, cornstarch, salt, egg and tarragon. Mix until smooth. Divide the cheesecake mixture between muffin cups and bake until set and just puffing, about 12 to 14 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then loosen sides and un-mold.

In the meantime, cut the peel off the Sunkist® grapefruit and then segment using a small paring knife. Cut up segments into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Add the avocado, crab, olive oil, freshly squeezed Sunkist lemon juice and tarragon. Gently mix to combine.  Top each cheesecake with some of the topping.  Finish each cheesecake with a very light sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Classic Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust
Bake Time: 55 minutes  |  Servings: 16

½ cup Butter, softened SK classicLemonbar
¼ cup Powdered sugar
1 cup All-purpose flour
¼ tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Poppy seeds
2 tsps Sunkist® lemon zest
1½ cups Sugar
3 large Eggs
½ cup Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup All-purpose flour
Additional powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixer cream together the butter and powdered sugar then mix in the flour, salt, poppy seeds and zest. Press evenly into an 8x8-inch non-stick baking pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until edges are golden.

Meanwhile, in a mixer mix the sugar, eggs and lemon juice until well combined, then add the flour and mix until well incorporated. When the pastry is done, immediately pour the filling over the hot pastry. Bake about 30 - 35 minutes or until golden and puffy. Cool and cut into 16 squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Alaska Cod with Lemon, Soy, Honey GlazeSK HoneySoyLemonCod 1 of 1 edited
Prep and  Cook Time: 20 Minutes  |  Servings: 4

4 Alaska cod fillets, fresh or thawed            
1 Sunkist Lemon
1½ Tbsps Reduced-sodium soy sauce            
2 tsps Honey
¼ tsp Crushed red pepper flakes             
2 tsps Dark sesame oil
1 tsp Fresh ginger, grated (or quarter the amount if using dried ginger)

Zest the lemon into a bowl then cut the lemon into wedges. Combine the lemon zest soy sauce, honey, oil, ginger and red pepper flakes in a broiler-safe baking dish or pan (about 8 inches by 8 inches). Add Alaska cod to the dish, turning fish over to coat all sides. Let stand 10-15 minutes to marinate. For a richer taste, marinate the cod for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, set the cod on the counter for 15 minutes to take the chill off.

Set broiler temperature to high; move oven rack to 7 inches below the broiler element. Turn cod in marinade again just before broiling, and tuck in any thin cod end pieces to prevent overcooking. Cook just until cod is opaque throughout, about 5-8 minutes. Spoon cooked marinade over the cod and serve with lemon wedges.

Mason Jar Lemon Pies with Meringue Clouds
Cook Time: 45 minutes  |  Servings: 6SK Mason Jar Pies with Meringue Clouds edited

1 Raw pie-crust dough (store-bought)
½ cup Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1½ cups Water
1 Tbsp Lemon zest, finely minced
1 cup Sugar
¼ cup Cornstarch
6 Egg yolks
1 Tbsp Butter
6 Egg whites
¼ tsp Cream of tartar
1 cup Sugar

Dough: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Set a jar onto the dough and cut around the base of jar with a small paring knife. Repeat to cut 6 dough circles. Place dough on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside and let cool, leaving the oven set at 400°F.

Filling: Whisk together the freshly squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice, water, zest, sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan until it’s well combined and cornstarch is dissolved. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture is thickened and lightly simmering. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks with about ½ cup of the hot mixture to temper the eggs, and then whisk the egg mixture quickly back into the simmering mixture.  Cook about 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until totally thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Insert a cooked piecrust circle in the bottom of each of the 6 jars and divide the filling among them while the filling is still hot.

Meringue: Whip the egg whites with cream of tartar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Once the egg whites are whipped to a soft peak, gradually start beating in the sugar, a little at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy but not dry.  Pile meringue into each jar, dividing evenly, and sealing meringue onto edge of the jar to prevent shrinking of the meringue.  Swirl with a spoon for a decorative, peaky top, and bake for about 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.

Citrus French Toast BakeSK Citrus French Toast Bake 25 edited
Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Bake Time: 45-50 mins
Chill Time: Overnight in refrigerator  |  Servings: 8

4 Tbsps melted butter                    
1 cup Brown sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamon                  
8 Eggs
1 French baguette                   
1½ cups Milk
2 Sunkist® Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
2 Sunkist Minneola tangelos, zested and juiced

Drizzle melted butter into a 9x13-inch glass baking pan. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs, freshly squeezed Sunkist® Meyer lemon and Sunkist Minneola Tangelo oranges juices, freshly grated zests and milk. Set aside.

Sprinkle one-third of sugar mixture evenly over melted butter in baking pan. Cut French baguette into 20 1-inch slices. Add 10 slices of baguette to baking pan and drizzle half of egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle with half of remaining sugar mixture and top with remaining slices of bread. Drizzle with remaining egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered for about 45–50 minutes, until golden brown and custard is set. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Fresh Marinades
Elevate your recipes by adding an extra boost of flavor with a homemade citrus marinade. Marinating is a simple, versatile technique that can be used to enhance the flavor in a variety of dishes. Freshly squeezed citrus juices help carry flavor into your food. Pair your marinade with meat, poultry or fish or add a delicious zing to vegetables.

Lemon Marinade
1 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced           
6 Tbsps Olive oil
3 Tbsps Fresh thyme, minced           
Zest from Sunkist lemon
3 Tbsps Fresh chives, minced           
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup Sunkist® lemon juice freshly grated
2 Tbsps Fresh basil or rosemary, minced

Orange Marinade  
¼ cup Brown sugar, packed           
½ cup Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Fresh ginger, minced           
1 Tbsp Sesame oil             
1 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced           
2 tsps Cornstarch ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
½ cup Sunkist® orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsps Sunkist® lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Grapefruit Marinade
⅔ cup Sunkist® grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp Reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
1 Tbsp Ginger, freshly grated

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