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Thoughts from category: juice

the dark side of the orange

 

You might have heard us mention it once or twice, but we’re really picky about the fruit we use to make our drinks. It’s kind of like when you have people over for dinner and you only put out the best condiments and use your fancy napkins. We only ever include the finest quality fruit we can find, and the tastiest possible blend of that fruit. We’re also keen to use rare and unique varieties in our recipes to make sure that our drinks are that extra bit special (especially if we can get our hands on a variety that our drinkers have asked us to try out). So, taking all of these things into account, you’ll probably see why we decided to start using the rare and deliciously tangy blood orange in our latest recipe.

We certainly set ourselves a challenge as blood orange is a unique fruit, predominantly grown on the foothills of Mount Etna, an active volcano in Sicily.

Our Maria recently visited Sicily to learn more about our blood oranges, mainly to find out exactly how they are grown and make sure we’re only using the best quality blood oranges in our juice.

 

She found out that our blood oranges aren’t just growing at the foot of an active volcano because they like to live dangerously - the rich volcanic soil means that the trees get all of the special nutrients that they need to grow big and bountiful. The weather in the area is also really important because the oranges need sunshine and warmth during the day and cooler temperatures during the night to develop that rich, deep, bloody red that they’re famous for. Trees that are tucked up in the shade of the volcano grow to be a rich red, while the oranges that sit out in the Sicilian sun catching a few rays stay a much more orangey hue.

 

You can give our extra special volcanically grown blood oranges a try by picking one of these up at Waitrose. From the first sip, we can promise that you’ll be instantly transported to the foothills of Mount Etna. Not mid eruption, obviously. That wouldn’t be good.

we like them pineapples

Pineapples are great. Not only do they put the ‘pina’ in ‘pina colada’, they also inspired the hairstyle our mum wouldn’t let us leave the house with in the 90’s. Oh, and they taste really great in our recipes too. Bonus.

We have a special team of people here at innocent who make sure that only the best quality fruit makes it into our bottles. So, last year, our George and Maria visited a pineapple farm in Costa Rica to learn more about how our pineapples are grown.

 

Costa Rica is the perfect place to grow our pineapples because, due to its proximity to the equator, it enjoys both a lot of sunshine and a lot of rain. Might not be an ideal mix if you’re there for a beach holiday but, luckily for us, it’s the perfect climate for growing tasty tropical fruit. The sun and rain combo also ensures that our pineapples can be grown and harvested all year round because the fields are planted one day and then harvested 12 months later in a staggered pattern meaning that there are pineapples on hand at all times (excellent news).

What George and Maria learnt about pineapples

When a pineapple grows, a ‘seed’ grows alongside the pineapple. These seeds are then planted six inches apart on top of small earth mounds:

 

The planters work as teams and, in an 8 hour shift, each worker can plant a staggering five thousand plants, which equates to over ten per minute.

 

When the pineapple grows, it grows on top of the plant:

 

From these baby plants the adult plants grow and, over twelve months, the pineapples grow to the size we’re used to seeing them in the shops.

Oh, and if you’re really lucky, you might even see a pineapple with a double crown. That’s as rare as a four leaf clover in the pineapple growing world (probably) so our George and Maria were pretty lucky to catch a glimpse of one on their travels:

 

We’re really proud of the pineapples we put into our drinks and think they’re definitely worth travelling all the way to Costa Rica for. In fact, let’s raise one of these to the toughest-looking yet sweetest fruit of them all. Like a Harley rider with a heart of gold. Or something.

Considering Clementines

Clementines and mandarins. Both small, both orange, both delicious. Both excellent for pretending you’re a giant holding a regular sized orange. And now both blended together in our new clementine and mandarin juice. It just made sense.

Here at innocent, we have a dedicated team of people who travel around the world selecting the cream of the fruit crop for our drinks, whilst making sure it’s all sourced sustainably. A few months back, we asked the team to find us some clementines and mandarins to squeeze into our new recipe. Always up for a challenge, our George and Robin headed off to sunshiney Spain to find the very best clementines and mandarins the country had to offer.

 

While they were there, they discovered that Spanish farmers actually call clementines the ‘king of the mandarins’ because of its sweet taste and general deliciousness. We tasted them and had to agree, which is why we always make sure that our juice is 80% clementine.

George and Robin also went to look in on some research that is currently being conducted into how the clementine harvesting window could be extended. The picture below shows a farm at the research facility where they are attempting to cross pollinate different varieties in order to create a clementine that could be harvested in either October or March.

 

They haven’t quite cracked it yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when they do.

In the meantime, we think it’s about clemen-time you gave our juice a go. Sorry. But not that sorry.

just a small time juice

Travel scrabble. The Borrowers. Micro pigs. Cold, hard proof that when you make things smaller, you make them better (sort of). So, we've gone and made some little versions of your favourite juice blends, for when you're on the move. Now, not only can you pick up a handy 330ml apple juice or orange juice, you can also plump for an apple & raspberry juice and apple & mango juice too.

You can find them in selected stores (including Waitrose) right this minute. 

Three cheers for the innocent juice team, the hardest working folks in fruit towers*.

*apart from the blog post writers, of course.

breakfast juice

Have you tried our new orange, pink grapefruit and blood orange juice yet? 

If not, we can highly recommend it. It packs a seriously citrussy punch that's best enjoyed at breakfast time (preferably on a tray, in bed, provided by a person you're quite fond of). 

We're pretty biased but it definitely beats a bit of Marmite* on toast.

*or your yeast-based brown stuff of choice.