Mandarin Juice is a fresh and healthy drink that’s sweet with a tart ending! There’s nothing like homemade juice. This one takes 2 ingredients, 15 minutes and uses a blender!
This fresh juice uses only fresh mandarins and lemons to make an organic, healthy juice. It’s both sweet from the mandarins and has a nice pucker at the end due to the lemons. This juice recipe is one you’ll want to make over and over!
Eating clean for the past five years, my favorite recipes were those that use simple, fresh ingredients. I love making my own juices like this one. For other homemade juices try Simple Pineapple Ginger Juice, Orange Agua Fresca or Cucumber Agua Fresca.
My partner and I love buying juices. We are juice maniacs! The problem is they’re always so expensive. I like to buy all of my own fruit, or use up leftover fruit laying around the house, and make my own juice. Most juice recipes are honestly better in a juicer, but some (like this one!) are actually better in a blender!
If you're a beginner juicer or are looking for more information on juicing, check out my Ultimate Guide to Juicing. You'll find everything from what type of juicer to buy (if you even need one at all!), juicing speeds for 40+ ingredients, and juicer best practices so you feel confident when juicing.
Why this Recipe Works
This recipe is:
- Perfect for a crowd! Make a batch of this juice ahead so you can have fresh juice throughout the week or for guests if you’re entertaining for brunch!
- So easy! This homemade juice only uses two ingredients plus filtered water. It takes me less than 15 minutes!
- So refreshing! This mandarin juice recipe is sweet with a light tartness at the end. It’s refreshing for breakfast or for an afternoon sip!
- Healthy! Not only is this juice naturally Gluten free and Vegan, but it’s also a tasty way to get in some extra nutrients and vitamins!
The fact that making this fresh citrus juice only takes 2 ingredients and water makes the result oh so much better!
Mandarins - Mandarin oranges are perfect for juicing due to their sweet flavor, high juice content, and lack of seeds. Aim for classic mandarins or clementines. Avoid tangerines as they might be too tart. Choose ripe mandarins, which will have a little give when you press them with your finger.
Lemons - Because this juice on its own can be overly sweet, I like to add lemons to add a balanced tart endnote. If you prefer a sweeter juice, these can be omitted.
Filtered Water - To dilute the strong taste of this homemade juice, I add only 1 cup of water. Use filtered water if you can, as you will be drinking the water as is. You can customize this recipe based on your tastes and can dilute it more if you prefer a less strong juice.
FUN FACT! Cuties or Sweeties are a type of clementine. Clementines fall under the mandarin family. Their peels are easier to remove and have a sweet taste making them the perfect citrus for this juice!
What’s the Difference Between Mandarins, Tangerines and Clementines
So .. the Citrus Variety Collection of the University of California (aka one of the most important collections of citrus diversity in the world!) has over 167 different varieties of mandarins listed. Easy to see where the confusion begins!
Here’s a simple breakdown for the main types:
- Orange - Thick skin, second largest in size after grapefruits and has a more tart flavor.
- Mandarin - Mandarins are a type of orange. Mandarins are the parent umbrella covering tangerines, clementines and satsumas. Smaller and sweeter than oranges with a thinner, looser peel. This makes mandarins great for juices as they are naturally sweeter!
- Tangerines - a type of mandarin orange. Tangerines can be slightly more tart than other mandarins.
- Clementines - Clementines are super sweet and seedless. Typically known by brand names Cuties or Sweeties in the groceries. If you have a choice for mandarin juice, clementines would be better than tangerines.
Making Mandarin Juice in the Blender
Remove the peels of all mandarins and lemons. I like to cut off the ends (or butts) of each citrus fruit. Stand it upright on one flat end, and cut downward. Avoid cutting too much of the peel, or you’ll skip out on juice. If you get ripe enough mandarins, they should be fairly easy to peel with your hands instead.
Add to Blender
Add all peeled citrus and water into the blender.
Blend until smooth.
Strain the juice into a large mixing bowl or container. Make sure to press on pulp to release as much juice as possible.
Transfer to a pitcher or airtight container and drink immediately. Alternatively store the juice in the fridge until use.
Can I Use a Juicer?
You can use a juicer for this mandarin juice recipe, but I highly suggest against it. Why? Juicers do not fare well with juicing these tiny mandarins and a lot of the juice will be missed. If you have a specific citrus juicer then that is great, but otherwise stick with the blender for this one.
Mandarin juice, while delicious on its own, offers many different ways to incorporate its tangy and citrusy flavor. Whether you prefer sweet and fruity recipes or tangy and refreshing beverages, this juice is a versatile ingredient!
Below you will find some of my favorite ideas on how to use any leftover juice!
1. Smoothies: Blend fresh mandarin juice with a handful of frozen fruit and a dollop of yogurt or dairy free milk for a delightful breakfast smoothie.
2. Cocktails: Use this juice as a substitute for orange juice in a Skinny Margarita, or combine 1 part fresh mandarin juice with 2 parts sparkling water and a shot of alcohol.
3. Marinades: Make a zesty marinade by mixing mandarin juice with olive oil and/or soy sauce. Marinate your choice of protein, such as chicken, carne asada, salmon or swordfish, for a citrusy and tenderizing touch. This juice lends a light and fruity flavor that compliments the natural taste of the meat.
4. Baked Goods: Infuse your baked goods with the sweet and tangy flavors of mandarin juice. Add mandarin juice to your favorite cookie or cake batter recipe to introduce a citrusy twist.
5. Salad Dressing: Create a delectable salad dressing by mixing mandarin juice with equal parts olive oil, then adding honey, salt, and pepper to taste. This light and tangy dressing pairs well with fresh greens.
Storing and Freezing Fresh Juice
Fresh juice is best when consumed immediately or within a few hours. I prefer to let my juice get slightly cold in the fridge for 30-minutes before drinking.
If you need to store the juice for later, drink it within 72 hours, but most recommended in the first 24 hours.
If you won’t finish the juice within the recommended 24-72 hours, you can freeze any leftovers. Freeze fresh juice in an ice cube maker. When frozen into cubes, remove from the ice cube mold and place in an airtight ziplock or freezer bag.
Frozen mandarin juice lasts 2-3 months.
Remove the Peels
Make sure to remove the peels of the mandarin oranges and lemons before blending them. Orange peels can add a bitter taste, so even though you will strain it, it may change the taste of the juice, which we don’t want!
To remove the peels you can either cut them off with a knife, or remove the peels with your hands.
Depending on your preferences, you may not want pulp in this juice. Just like orange juice, there are always options for adding more pulp or removing pulp. If you don’t love pulp, strain completely and be patient. It may take extra time for the juice to go through the pulp, but don’t press the pulp too hard through the strainer as the pulp will get through.
If you like pulp, you can be a little less patient with it. Push the pulp a little harder and even add a little bit of the pulp from the end after you’ve finished straining.
Choose Ripe Mandarins
To choose ripe mandarins, look for fruits that have a vibrant orange color, with no green or yellow hues. The texture should be firm but slightly give to gentle pressure, indicating juiciness without being overly mushy. A ripe mandarin will have a fragrant aroma.
Avoid mandarins with blemishes, soft spots, or a dull appearance, as they may be overripe or past their prime. Remember to check the fruit's peel, making sure it feels smooth and thin, as this indicates a good juice-to-pulp ratio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mandarin oranges are great for making juice like this recipe, because they are more sweet and easy to peel.
Yes! According to Healthline, one mandarin orange has 26% of Daily Value of Vitamin C!
No! All tangerines are mandarins, but not all mandarins are tangerines! Tangerines fall under the mandarin parent category but are more tart.
More Homemade Juices & Smoothies
- 3 pounds Mandarins about 13-16 mandarins
- 2 Lemons
- 1 cup Filtered Water
- Cut off the ends (or butts) of each citrus fruit. NOTE: If you are more comfortable peeling the peels of the citrus with your hands that is fine.
- Stand the fruit upright on one flat end, and cut downward. Avoid cutting too much of the peel, or you’ll skip out on juice.
- Cut downward around the entire citrus fruit until all peels are removed.
- Repeat until all citrus is peeled.
- Add all peeled citrus into blender and add water. Blend until smooth.
- Strain juice into a large mixing bowl or container. Press on pulp to release as much juice as possible.
- For no-pulp juice, toss the pulp. For a little pulp, simply scoop in some of the pulp.
- Transfer to a pitcher and drink immediately or place in fridge for 30-minutes to cool.