National Fruit Cocktail Day

National Fruit Cocktail Day is observed next on Saturday, May 13th, 2023 (164 days from today).

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If you know the role of the food holidays every year, National Fruit Cocktail Day on May 13th may be a way to improve the calorie count.

The term fruit cocktail recalls childhood memories of finding a sweet surprise at the end of your inclusive lunch, but there's so much more to this spring and summer favorite. From its roots as a heavy, completely unhealthy aperitif of the American South to the trendy summer salad we see today, this confectionery recipe brought back a day properly. Mark your calendars for May 13th and join us for National Fruit Cocktail Day!

Why National Fruit Cocktail Day?

Fruit cocktails become an indispensable part of every meal and most of us will have unforgettable memories of this delicious concoction. Fruit cocktails often include a variety of fruits in syrup, or juice, and are often in liquid form. You can buy these from a nearby store as serving cans or cups, but you can also make fruit cocktails with fresh berries and fruit of your choice. Fruit cocktails can add delicious flavor to your meal while adding a natural sweetness to your palate. These cocktails are often served in office cafes, schools, and buffets, for those looking for healthier options. Celebrating such a varied yet delicious dish is a blessing and that's why we celebrate National Fruit Cocktail Day every year on May 13th.

History of National Fruit Cocktail Day

Fruit cocktails consist of various fruits served in a liquid of juice or syrup. While we buy it in individual serving cans and cups, we can also make it fresh with berries and other fruits. Coffee shops serve fruit cocktails as a healthy fruit option in schools and also in buffets.

Despite the word cocktail in the name, fruit cocktails do not contain alcohol. The term itself refers to a mixture and can be either food or spirits. For example, the sub-definition of a cocktail is "An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood."

In the United States, the USDA requires that canned fruit cocktails must contain some proportion of pears, grapes, cherries, peaches, and pineapples.

William Vere Cruess of the University of California, Berkeley and Herbert Gray of the Barron-Grey Packing Company, San Jose, California are both credited with inventing the fruit cocktail.

There is no information about the creator of National Fruit Cocktail Day. However, we have all information regarding the invention of fruit cocktails in general. Credit for the fruity cocktail goes to San Jose's Herbert Gray and Berkeley from Barron-Grey Packing Company along with William Vere Cruess, University of California. But it wasn't the first time fruit cocktails were first served in 1930. There is evidence of fruit salads being served even before the cocktail was invented, sometime in 1893 by Ainsley Cannery.

Interesting facts about National Fruit Cocktail Day

  • Although cocktails are part of the name, fruit cocktails don't have a single drop of alcohol in them. It is called a cocktail because the word cocktail itself means a combination of different portions of food. And of course, it sounds interesting.
  • There is a regulation put forth by the USDA on how to make fruit cocktails, which regulates the proportions of fruit and the type of fruit used to make the right fruit cocktail.
  • Initially, in the 1920s, when food was new, it was seen as a bizarre way of eating fruit. However, the dish has gained popularity over time thanks to its delicious taste.
  • It was during World War II when fruit salads became part of the American diet to replenish essential nutrients, vitamins, most importantly Vitamin C.
  • The European fruit salads are very different from the American versions and they contain a certain amount of mayonnaise. You may know the Waldorf salad, which is a fruit salad mixed with mayonnaise.
  • Fruit salads are a delicious way to add essential fiber and other nutrients to your diet without having to compromise your appetite.

Some reasons for National Fruit Cocktail Day being loved

  • It's healthy (most of the time)

You can feel comfortable when you leave one or three fruit cocktails. Even pre-packaged varieties contain trace amounts of vitamin C and often contain more immune-boosting antioxidants than fresh fruit. Be careful, though. This mouthwatering snack can work against you quickly in the form of sugar and calories if it's canned as heavy syrup.

  • It's an American pastime

The fruit cocktail as we know today, you can be traced back to the earliest days of industrial canning in America. American fruit producers have found a way to please the public, while selling spoiled fruit that could not be sold. Thanks, American ingenuity!

  • It's simple

Whether you're buying your favorite brand off the shelf or making your own, fruity cocktails are quick solutions. And if you want an aesthetic, what's an easier way to spruce up a table than with a splash of color and a splash of foundation?

How to celebrate National Fruit Cocktail Day

  • Your own creation

For a quirky way of celebrating, let your creative juices run free and make your own fruity cocktail. For the adventurous, there's no harm in buying a mix of your favorite fruits and pairing them with the sauce of your choice to see what happens. Who knows, the next Del Monte recipe might come from your own kitchen.

  • Take this portable gift with you on the road

As summer approaches and temperatures heat up, pack a fruity cocktail to go. Bring a few friends and enjoy the outdoors with a delicious and healthy meal in hand. What is the best way to commemorate spring than enjoy a picnic in the park?

  • Put the cocktail back into a fruit cocktail

Creating an adult beverage instead of the classic kid's lunch is a quick way to add flare to your late spring party. A dessert wine such as port, low-alcohol liqueur or even brandy will add a wonderful fire-water flavor to the cool sweet nectar of a fruit cocktail.


National Fruit Cocktail Day has been observed annually on May 13th.


Thursday, May 13th, 2021

Friday, May 13th, 2022

Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Monday, May 13th, 2024

Tuesday, May 13th, 2025

Also on Saturday, May 13th, 2023

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