If you are adventurous in trying new tastes, you may have come across a glorious sun-coloured juice made from new grapefruit varieties. The new varieties are sweet and the flesh and juice is red in colour. Note: The red grapefruit juice drink although bottled in Australia, comes from America as, until now, there has been insufficient local fruit production. Now the fruit itself is becoming available in commercial quantities in Australia.
Pink fleshed varieties of grapefruit, such as ‘Ruby’ and ‘Thompson’, have been available for some years, but have often failed to colour well in Australian gardens. Two varieties have been introduced which are reputed to colour in temperate areas, these being ‘Ray Pink’ and ‘Henderson Pink’. However, the new red varieties,’Star Ruby’ and ‘Rio Red’, surpass the pinks in colour, flavour and reliability.
Red grapefruit plants grow into a medium-sized tree. The fruit is much like ordinary grapefruit in appearance, although the rind is somewhat thicker and ripens with a red hue. Red grapefruit are slightly more difficult to juice than an ordinary grapefruit, but the effort is worth it for the beautiful sweet red juice, with just a hint of sour tang.
Availability and cost
Red grapefruit juice is now available at health food stores, some delicatessens and supermarkets.
Fresh pink grapefruit is available at local fruit markets. Keep your eyes open for the new red varieties as they become more plentiful.
The ordinary and pink grapefruit plants are available at nurseries, at a cost of about $25 for a 15L bag. The new red varieties are expected to cost around the same price but will not be available until 1998.
Should your local nursery have trouble in obtaining red grapefruit plants in 1998, wholesale stockists can be located care of the Australian Citrus Propagation Association, 15 Bowen Crescent, West Gosford, NSW, 2250. Phone: (02) 4325 0247.