Grapefruit Honey Cheong (Syrup)

This grapefruit honey cheong (Korean-style fruit syrup) is insanely delicious & versatile. You can use it for desserts, drinks, dressings, & more!

I LOVE grapefruit flavored anything. This recipe is inspired by a drink I had at Starbucks in Korea last year- the Iced Shaken Honey Ruby Grapefruit Black Tea. Delicious!! But only available at Starbucks in Asia. Womp. 

It’s ok though, I recreated it at home and it’s just as delicious. This cheong can be used for much more than just drinks though- it’s truly very versatile!

What is cheong?

Cheong is any type of syrup that is made by combining fruit or vegetables with equal weight in sugar, and letting it sit for up to 3 months depending on a few factors. The purpose is to extract as much flavor from the fruit or vegetable into the syrup.

This is exactly how plum syrup (maesil) is made, which is an ingredient I use in a lot of my cooking. Plum syrup takes about 3 months (or 100 days to be more traditional), but this grapefruit honey syrup only takes about a week. 

Ingredients 

You only need 3 ingredients!! 

  • Grapefruit- try to find the juiciest, best tasting grapefruit you can. Sometimes they are overly bitter- try to avoid those. Most importantly, remove the white pith as cleanly as possible! This may take some time.

  • Honey– make sure you have real honey for this, it makes such a difference! 

  • Turbinado sugar- you can use only honey if you prefer, but I think adding a bit of turbinado sugar tastes better, plus it’s a bit more affordable than using all honey. *You can also just use white sugar (but turbinado tastes better imo).

How to make it

Making grapefruit cheong is SUPER easy, but it does take a little bit of time.

  • Peel the grapefruit- the most important and time consuming part is peeling the grapefruit clean. Make sure to remove all the bitter white pith, and remove the skins/membrane surrounding the pulp. Don’t worry if your pulp breaks apart. 

  • Weigh your ingredients– cheongs are usually a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, just like this one. The ratio gets a little more complicated because I’m using two kinds of sweeteners, but it’s really not that difficult. For the sweetener ratio, I just use half honey and half turbinado sugar.

  • Combine grapefruit with honey and sugar- mix everything together and break apart the pulp. Super important- make sure your mixing bowl and spoon are sanitized! 

  • Store in a sanitized, airtight glass jar- store your cheong in a nice big glass jar and put it in the fridge! Let it sit for a week before using it for best results, but you can start using it right way if you want. That’s it!

How to use it

Treat this the same as you would any kind of sweetener- cheong can be used for cooking, baking, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages! Here are a few ways I like to use this grapefruit honey syrup:

  • Cocktails- this is a great ingredient to add to cocktails not only for sweetening, but adding a delicious grapefruit-honey flavor. Make up your own concoction or substitute simple syrup in any cocktail recipe for this grapefruit honey cheong.  

  • Tea– yes, you can use this as a sweetener for your hot tea! This is what my mom has been doing. I gave her a 16 oz jar of this syrup and she finished it within 1 week because she loved it so much! You can also just mix it with hot water. 

  • Cooking/Baking-you can absolutely use this syrup in place of sweeteners in your desserts and savory dishes. If it makes sense to lend a grapefruit-honey flavor to the dish, use it! 

  • Salad dressing-don’t sleep on this one! Grapefruit honey cheong is an amazing addition to salad dressings, especially vinegar/oil based ones.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages- this is my favorite way to use this cheong. Actually, the reason I made this recipe in the first place was to recreate a drink I tried at Starbucks in Korea! It’s the Iced Shaken Honey Ruby Grapefruit Black Tea. I LOVE this drink, but unfortunately it’s only available at Starbucks in Asia!

More cheong recipes

If you like this recipe, try some of my other easy cheong recipes on the blog! 

Grapefruit Honey Cheong (Syrup)

This grapefruit honey cheong (Korean-style fruit syrup) is insanely delicious & versatile. You can use it for desserts, drinks, dressings, & more!
4.99 from 79 votes
Servings 2 lbs

Ingredients
  

Makes about 2 lbs of grapefruit honey cheong (32 oz jar)

  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1/2 lb honey
  • 1/2 lb turbinado sugar or white sugar (but turbinado tastes better)

Instructions
 

  • Peel the grapefruit, removing as much of the white pith as possible.
  • Peel off the skin/membrane surrounding the pulp, and remove any seeds.
  • Add the honey and turbinado sugar.
    *Option to use only honey or sugar here! The ratio of grapefruit to sweetener should be 1:1.
    *How you divide the ratio of sweeteners is up to you, but I recommend 1/2 honey and 1/2 turbinado sugar.
  • Mix together and break up the pulp as much as you can.
  • Store in a sanitized, air-tight glass container. Keep in the fridge for 1 week before using for best results, but you may use it right away!
    This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 86 Comments

  1. Mai T

    Another cheong recipe I will be adding to my list to make 😊 Your grapefruit and blueberry versions look amazing! I love your content. Thank you for sharing and doing what you do! IG- @hoangmy

  2. Eunice

    5 stars
    delicious!!!!!!!!!

  3. ewici0finsta

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes – I love the tangy grapefruit paired with the sweet honey (as i’m a hugeeeeee grapefruit fan myself lol). I’ve been making it almost every day since the recipe came out. Can’t wait for the next drink – @ewici0finsta

    1. Anonymous

      @ewici0finsta – IG handle

  4. @hello.natto

    5 stars
    Love all your cheong recipes. I have the grapefruit tree at home and it doesn’t taste so good and somehow it never crossed my mind that I could try making the syrup out of it until saw your recipe. Excited!

  5. Jan.et_f82

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Reminds me of all the Korean teas but now I can make the syrup at home.

  6. Oliver

    5 stars
    I made a jar of this and love mixing it with soda and yakult! Delish!

  7. Mimymo20

    5 stars
    Making this recipe tomorrow! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ramey W. (IG: ramey76)

    5 stars
    Love grapefruit. What a great recipe!

  9. Selfish_Jean

    5 stars
    Just made a batch! Super easy to make. Helps me ween off packaged sweet drinks and you can control the extra sugar content.

  10. Yume

    5 stars
    Loveeeee grapefruit chung!! Easy yet so good! @yumekcha

  11. Marzy (Marzy08)

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this easy and tasty recipe!

  12. Oanh

    5 stars
    I love grapefruit and I had this when I was in Korea. Thank you for showing us how to make it. This is my favorite recipe.

  13. Krystal Graybeal (pretty_little_hen)

    5 stars
    This is the recipe that led me to your work, and I’m so glad it did! IG pretty_little_hen

  14. Jennifer sherer

    5 stars
    Love love love!
    IG:@spinefulness

  15. Natalie Arceri

    5 stars
    Super refreshing and delicious! My insta is @nataliearceri

  16. Ligie Jolie (Ligie1)

    Thanks for sharing this! I love to use this when I feel a cold coming. Plus it’s delicious!

  17. Janech87

    5 stars
    Love that you get to enjoy the pulp with this recipe! – IG: Janech87

  18. David Le

    5 stars
    I’ve been getting into making Cheong for teas and cocktails, this was a simple recipe and I myself also like to add a bit of the peel for the oils as well! @paper_folder

  19. V

    5 stars
    Soo good! I’m going to try this with blood oranges next since we have a tree.

    @vctoriaelizabeth

  20. AccidentalFashionista

    5 stars
    I don’t know why I never thought to use grapefruit for cheong! Love this!

  21. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Super easy and refreshing recipe. Looking forward to consuming mass amounts of this in the summer 😂 @khokhopuff_

    1. Judy

      5 stars
      Never heard of cheong before this but was so intrigued and wish I found out about it sooner ! Soooo refreshing and tasty !
      @missjudy717

  22. Nicoleta

    5 stars
    This cheong is beyond good @cnixarie
    Love love 💕

  23. @miche_mosh

    5 stars
    One of my favorite fruits. So excited to use it in other ways.

    1. Lancia @tulipskissn

      5 stars
      Refreshingly tasty and love the tangy sweetness!

  24. Ella Churchill

    5 stars
    My sister loves grapefruits so we made this together with honey from our moms bees! We loved it 🙂

    IG: ellachurchill_

    1. Kyle Eddens

      5 stars
      Obviously using this in all my Paloma’s from here on out. So SO good.
      IG: kyle_eedens

  25. @crementchan

    5 stars
    So simple so delicious!

  26. @Eshi33

    5 stars
    I knew I would love the drink, but the dressing was amazing!! Thank you for always posting such great, comforting content!!🥰🙌🏼

  27. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Delicious!! I love grapefruit and love having this to make a refreshing cold drink or to add to my hot green tea for a comforting drink. Thank you for sharing this recipe. @joycemathew_

  28. Rachel Cho

    5 stars
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So good!!!
    @rrachelcho

    1. Morgan

      5 stars
      Recipe is easy to follow and I’m happy I was able to make some delicious cheong!

    2. Eden

      5 stars
      My parents have a grapefruit tree and this is my new favorite way to use up all the fruit! I had never made a cheong, and I’m now obsessed.
      @mamae_lhc

  29. Rachel Cho

    5 stars
    Definitely going to try this one! 😍
    -@rrachelcho

  30. J.arnel

    5 stars
    Favorite cheong recipe!

  31. Aly

    5 stars
    I love grapefruit! This is brilliant!
    Avontom10

  32. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Amazing for mock tails!

    @mindyku

  33. Anonymous

    5 stars
    We had some leftover a great route, and was struggling how to use it. So glad we found this recipe. Super easy to make a nice to always have in the fridge. @nganthebread

  34. Matthew

    amazing on ice cream or in trifles ❤️ super easy too
    @mtskibiel

  35. Bree

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this!

    @BreeMantooth

  36. @kxn.xo

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this recipe! It’s so versatile and can be a great addition to any dessert or drink. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Jocelyn

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this!

  38. Rose

    5 stars
    Love grapefruit drinks and I will be making this 🙂

    IG @ragingphoenix4u

  39. @gluedough

    5 stars
    Love this grapefruit syrup! So easy to make. I’ve been making one grapefruit/ball jar at a time. Brought jar over to my friend’s place to make her the drink with Earl grey (even more yum!), and she kept the jar and gave me an empty one in exchange to make more. Also have been byod-ing this to dine spots so I can enjoy with my meal! Thank you!

  40. Oliviaaaag

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try it, just bought a whole bag of grapefruit. 😊 (IG) @Oliviaaaag

  41. ihsoyatam

    5 stars
    Love me some good cheong. The best to add to tea or sparkling water.
    Made this with a little less sugar as the grapefruit was on the sweeter side.
    Made this less than a month ago and I’m almost finished!

  42. Helen

    Loved this so much, I’ve been making it with other fruits too! Thanks, hel.tam

  43. MAILENE

    5 stars
    Love the simplicity of the recipe!! Can’t wait to try it

    1. Anonymous

      5 stars
      I love grapefruits and this is another way to do it. @beccaria_bakes

  44. Inha

    4 stars
    I love grapefruit!
    This is good recipe for refreshing my mouth! 👄

  45. chl0054

    5 stars
    This recipe is gold! Love that is has three simple ingredients and is so refreshing when mixed with a sparkling water. Thanks, cristalclearrr (IG handle) !

  46. Anonymous

    5 stars
    I am in love with grapefruit! So excited to try this

    1. Carolyn Kwak

      5 stars
      I made this a few days ago and I am so excited to try this. I never knew you could make cheong with grapefruit. Now it just waiting time. Thank you for the recipe.

    2. Tuan

      5 stars
      Love this recipe so much. so simple and easy. refreshing and great for parties!

      IG: choochoocookaroo

  47. Ravina

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this!! I am in love with anything grapefruit

  48. @panda_vs_unicorn

    5 stars
    I was always intimidated to make cheong, but recipe made it such much less intimidating and tastes so good.

    1. Ed

      5 stars
      Amazing recipe! Will definitely try

  49. purely.kathy

    5 stars
    I love it! Made it a few say ago 🩷🤍🩷🤍 Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Carolyn Kwak

      5 stars
      I never knew you could make cheong with grapefruit. I made this a few days ago and I am so excited to try it. Now it’s waiting time and that’s the hard part. Thank you do much for the recipe.

  50. Debbie

    5 stars
    I’m definitely going to make this and mix it with seltzer @dkbk1

  51. Adeline

    5 stars
    Love love love this easy and yummy recipe! I have been making this every week for my family.
    Thank you for sharing! @jindynasty

  52. Sayra

    5 stars
    Love this super easy recipe! -@_schans

  53. Annie

    5 stars
    Spent hours peeling grapefruit but it was SO WORTH! Thanks my fave food blogger! @nannimal

  54. Isabel

    5 stars
    i HAVE to try this one day!! sounds amazing! @isabellllys

  55. Cathleen

    5 stars
    This is so good! @cathhhl

  56. MaryB

    5 stars
    This was most excellent and I put it onto a lot of foods… I’m OBSESSED with Cheong and cant wait to try the blueberry one!!! “marzbob”

  57. Hannah

    5 stars
    just made this the other day. ahh-mazing!! peeling was tedious but definitely worth it. love love love!! @princessghk

  58. Barbara Miller

    5 stars
    This is the first recipe from StellanSpice! I love grapefruit! When I saw this used in ice tea, (my favorite beverage) I had to try it!! Now I have to stop myself from making it all the time. I use it as a treat now. Don’t hesitate, try this recipe if you like tea and grapefruits.

  59. Huong

    5 stars
    Love it!! It’s so versatile! I can add it to my morning yogurt or drizzle it over a vanilla cake!
    -Aoidarlin

  60. Gloria (IG: glo_415)

    5 stars
    I love grapefruit! I made this to make your Grapefruit Honey Iced Tea. You’re absolutely right about it being super easy. I actually made two versions. One following your recipe and the other with pomelo (my cousin has a tree and they are huge) I cut back the turbinado sugar in the pomelo cheong since the fruit was sweet. Both cheongs are so tasty. I made the iced tea with both recipes and they are both so yummy.

  61. Giovanni

    5 stars
    This recipe is so good I had my wife make it for me since she is very good with following ingredients. I’m not one to enjoy grapefruit alone so this making it sweet was amazing for us. specially me with my sweet tooth @yoster71

  62. Su

    5 stars
    Love this idea! I made cheong all last summer after my garden harvest. Also the honey sounds like a great addition!
    -@sunamicide (IG)

  63. Chris C

    5 stars
    The minute you posted this recipe, I realized I had all the ingredients and immediately ran to the kitchen and made this Cheong! It’s so versatile.. I’ve made it black tea and I made a Gin based cocktail! Thank you for sharing Stella

  64. Grace

    5 stars
    I made this with pomelo instead of grapefruit and it turned out better than I thought. I will try it with grapefruit next time to see which is better.

  65. Tina Lu

    5 stars
    Beautiful recipe, I’m obsessed with anything grapefruit. Thank you for such clear instructions and pictures. Will tag you when I can post a picture on my IG @senoritatinytina

  66. JM

    Made this the other day, and it’s super delicious! Easy to make. I used one grapefruit as a test run, and I’m almost out! 100% recommend!! TheDimSumProject.

  67. Jonnah Marie

    I made this with the last of the pomelo off my parents’ tree and it’s such a nice refreshing treat to have on hand! My favorite way to enjoy this is cold, as referenced in your honey iced tea recipe 😋

    IG jonnah_marie

  68. @minami_usagi_

    5 stars
    One of my favorite recipe! We have a lot of grape fruits and honey at home so this recipe is perfect. We enjoy the grapefruit flavor and the pulp. Always a plus when we can gift this to family and friends

  69. @n.vel.j

    5 stars
    It was fun creating this cheong. My grapefruit tree was ready to harvest so I took a couple to make this cheong. I had a hard time peeling off the membranes but overall pretty easy. I use this cheong for my hot teas and also with sparkling water. 10/10 experience 🥰🥰🥰🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 – @n.vel.j

  70. joorijulie

    5 stars
    A recipe I desperately needed! I love cheong but was always scared to make it. This recipe and your video on how to make this makes it seem so simple. I can’t wait to try this out.

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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