Strawberries are summer, swollen by warm showers, deep red bulbs suspended close to the soil. The true strawberry season runs from June to August and although most supermarkets sell only one, commercially optimised, variety if you search a bit wider you’ll find a wide range of the beautifully aromatic, carnal berries. For a fine morning juice we combined a dozen delicious strawberries with four class II clementines. The soft warm sweetness of the berries blended with the cheap, imported, clementine’s tarty sweetness to create a subtly fresh and light juice with the colours of a summer sunset.

12 Strawberries
4 Clementines
Put through Matstone single-auger masticating juicer

The raw ingredients

Around 350ml of juice was produced

Brämhults Apelsiner och Jordgubbar

380ml bottle, bought for approx 17 SEK in convenience shop at Stockholm Centralstation, Sweden, July 2010

Ingredients: Freshly pressed orange juice (85%), crushed strawberries (15%).

Brämhult‘s juices are, apparently, popular across Sweden and Finland. This particular juice was amongst the cheapest not-from-concentrate bottled juices available in many shops but looks quite good on the shelf, robust, modern and with a slight sheen of honesty. Underneath the brand name, at the front of the label is printed, in a scruffy handwriting style font, ‘Instead of juicing yourself’. Also on the label is a message to consumers, ‘Because our juices are fresh goods, they only keep for 18 days.’ A genuinely pure, fresh juice is a rarity in shops. The sell-by date, when read with the 18 day claim, suggested this juice had been made in the previous four days to purchase. Pretty fresh so far, but how did it taste?

The juice, chilled from the shop, presented itself as unusually watery for a fresh juice, low on sweetness and also strong flavours. The oranges represented as quite bitter, perhaps not that ripe or not from one of the more fructose rich varieties. They were not sweetened very much by the strawberries, the berry flavour joined in but as part of the orange juice, not as its own separate hit of summer sunshine. The result was a conservative,  effectively refreshing blend. The juice left a pleasant aftertaste and, once warmed up by summer sun, the flavours of the fruit became slightly clearer with the strawberries singing a bit louder in the heat, although the heat didn’t thicken up the consistency of the liquid. While this product may be an alternative to making your own juice, I find it hard to believe that the same fruit, juiced freshly, wouldn’t provide a more rounded, rich flavour and texture. Despite it’s lack in providing sensual luxury this was, overall, a very decent juice from a brand we’ll keep an eye on.