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Fruit Cocktail

Fruit cocktail is prepared with chopped fruit that’s served in a creamy or syrupy sauce. Popular in the US during the mid-to-late 1800s, the use of the word cocktail refers to how alcohol was originally included in the dish. In the 1920s, the FDA standardized a recipe for fruit cocktail containing pears, grapes, cherries, and peaches. This also was when sugar syrup replaced alcohol due to changing social attitudes about alcohol during the Prohibition era. This simple recipe includes various fruits and can easily be customized with personal favorites. In the United States, National Fruit Cocktail Day is celebrated on May 13th.

Recipe Servings: 3

Prep Time
30 minutes
+ 1 hour resting
Cook Time
Total Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 4 nectarines, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pineapple chunks


  1. Combine the sugar, water, lime juice, and basil in a heavy saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove the sugar syrup from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine the nectarines, peaches, cherries, and pineapple in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the sugar syrup over all, stirring to thoroughly coat.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
  6. Serve in glass dishes.

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