Bitter Orange Substitute


Pati’s Bitter Orange Juice Substitute

Pati’s Bitter Orange Juice Substitute

Substituto de Naranja Agria de Pati

Recipe Yield

2 cups

Cooking time

11 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.67 from 6 votes


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

To Prepare

  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. If not using all of the mixture, cover tightly and refrigerate (it will keep for up to two weeks).


25comments inPati’s Bitter Orange Juice Substitute

  1. Brenda Brake

    Oct 09

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!! It really makes a difference. Thank you, Pati.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      Yay, yay, yay! Thanks Brenda 🙂

  2. CleElla Davis

    Aug 27

    Best pickled onions ever! Super Crisp and great flavor.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      Glad you liked them!

  3. Marta Culpepper

    May 01

    Pati, thank you for sharing the recipe for picked onions and the bitter orange juice substitute, what a wonderful taste! Had lunch with my granddaughter today and we had them on our sandwiches. She loved them and took the recipe home to make some of her own.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 10

      Awesome Marta, so glad you guys liked the onions!

  4. Anonymous

    Oct 04

    I’ve been searching for an authentic bitter orange juice substitute for Cuban dishes. I want to make pan sauces with the juices from cooking and I heard on other blogs and sites, that the vinegar will not be good for gravy or pan sauces.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 04

      Hello there, I use this substitute mostly for Yucatecan recipes with achiote paste or for pickling onions, so no gravy involved. You may be right, maybe leave the vinegar out if you are using it for pan sauces 😉

  5. Claudia

    Aug 17

    My husband cannot have anything with grapefruit. What can I substitute for that?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 19

      You can use more OJ and lime juice in place of the grapefruit juice, Claudia.

  6. Cora

    Mar 23

    Make a double batch and they were so good. I ate them with everything. Had to make more they are so good. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe. My husband and I love Mexican food and follow all your TV shows, We enjoy how you show us your beautiful MEXICAN country. All your recipe are so very delicious. You are a great cook and a wonderful person.

    1. Pati

      Mar 23

      Oh wow…thank you for your lovely message Cora!

  7. Santitos

    Mar 10

    As per my doctor: amount of grapefruit is NOT significant enough to interfere with statin medication. For example, my medication, Lipitor!

    1. Pati

      Mar 12

      Thank you for sharing Santitos.

  8. DianaQ

    Jul 08

    En mi rincón de México, le llamamos naranja cucha, mis papás tuvieron un árbol de ellas por muchos años.

    1. Pati

      Jul 11

      Gracias Diana!

  9. Hilda Lopez

    May 23

    Hola Patti
    ¿Es muy importante usar el jugo de toronja? Es que no me gusta toronja.

    1. Pati

      Jun 01

      No hay problema! Puedes usar mas jugo de naranja y limón!

  10. Ross

    Apr 15

    Chris, I also take a medicine that is not compatible with grapefruit – Lipitor. If you are on a similar statin, talk to your doctor about switching to another statin drug like Crestor which is compatible with grapefruit. That is what I am going to do.

  11. Jamie Homrig

    Feb 24

    Hi Pati, I love the combination of the three juices but am still curious about the flavor of the true bitter orange…. do happen to know the name of the variety? Is it the Seville orange?

    1. Pati

      Mar 06

      Yes…it’s the Seville orange.

  12. Chris Silvers

    Feb 11

    Hi Patti, I take medicine that grapefruit juice will interfere with, can something else be used in place of the grapefruit juice in this bitter orange substitute recipe? I realize I am asking to replace something that has already been used as a substitute, but it is a dilemma for me. Grasias

    1. Pati

      Feb 20

      Hi Chris, you can use more OJ and lime juice in place of the grapefruit juice.

    2. Jeff

      Mar 26

      The real bitter orange contains the same enzyme that causes the drug interaction with grapefruit. That is probably why it works as a substitute. There are a lot of articles about the safety of bitter orange but few mention it from a food ingredient standpoint. I wish I knew more. Seville oranges are the orange in orange marmmelade and it is also known a bergamot, the flavoring in Earl Gray tea.

      1. Ross

        Apr 15

        This is great information Jeff! I will be careful about those foods until my doctor switches me to a different statin prescription.

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