The American Juice Company wants to simplify the process of making cocktails, so they created a varied lineup of fruit blends meant to enhance your drink. The idea is to lower the barrier of entry to serious cocktails–both at home and in bars–without sacrificing the final product.
To create these juices, they enlisted the help of talented barman, Massimiliano Matté. The juice blends are comprised of seasonal fruits, vegetables and spices, which means that inventory will ebb and flow based on what’s currently fresh. They don’t add preservatives or artificial colors to the mix, but interestingly, each product undergoes a pasteurization process that keeps the juice fresh for six months.
And for the most part, the mixes are really straightforward to use. Combine one part mix, one part spirit and two parts club soda, and you’ve got yourself a solid cocktail. Of course, there’s plenty of room to experiment. So experiment we did.
These are the juices we were working with:
— Winter Blend: A seasonal mix of golden delicious apples, citrus zests and winter spices
— Chuck Blueberry: Blueberry and apple puree
— Lady Lychee: Lychee, rose infusion and and strawberries
— Ginger Gershwin: Spicy ginger, orange and lemon
We began by simply adding one ounce of each juice to a glass of Champagne, a pairing the American Juice Company recommends. The results were good, overall, with the blueberry and the lychee blends receiving the top marks from our panel of four tasters.
From there, we combined one ounce of bourbon with one ounce of the Winter Blend and two ounces of club soda. Not bad. Then we swapped the soda for ginger beer and added another half ounce of whiskey. Better. Then we did it again, but this time we added a quarter ounce of fresh lemon juice for an extra pop of brightness. Now that’s a good drink. Adding fresh lemon juice somewhat defies the purpose of these bottled juices, but it’s an easy tweak that can be accomplished at home or in bars by simply squeezing a lemon wedge.
We then created the same drink, but subbed in Ginger Gershwin for the Winter Blend. Another solid option, this one with a surprisingly fresh ginger bite. This cocktail also worked nicely with dark Venezuelan rum, which produced a richer drink that complemented the spice components in the juice.
Next up, we combined gin with Chuck Blueberry and soda. The result was an easy-drinking cocktail with plenty of blueberry-apple notes. Swapping the soda for tonic worked even better, adding a welcome and invigorating bitterness to the drink.
The possibilities expand from there, with countless combinations at your disposal. The American Juice Company is currently selling 10 juice blends, including the four we mentioned. Other options include rhubarb-strawberry, mango-pineapple and blood orange-turmeric. The bold flavors stand up solidly when simply mixed with sparkling wine, spirit and soda or spirit and tonic. But if you’re game to experiment–and one could take it much further than we did–you’ve got plenty to work with.