My New Addiction: Red Jacket Orchards Juices (@redjacketny) & Giveaway!

Red Jacket Orchards apple juice is a staple at farmer's markets in New York City and at Whole Foods (their juices can also be found at fine outlets in Pennsylvania & Ohio). The familiar logo and font calls out to those who know the brand and others who may be interested. Apple juice/cider is one of those drinks that is healthy, tasty, and when warmed over the colder fall/winter months can leave you feeling calm and aching for a mug of steaming juice/cider while laying on your couch watching items from your Netflix queue. Red Jacket Orchards has a long history stemming from 1917, but it's true start as the orchard we know now began in 1980. It expanded in the early 90s where the first apple fruit juice combos were developed and has continued to do so expanding in New York and having a warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

So what differentiates Red Jacket Orchards juices from others? First off, they're all natural. I know, I know. What isn't 'all natural' or 'organic' these days? Well this really and truly is. It's not "natural" (with items from concentrate). It's not proclaiming to be 100% juice (with additives). It's natural juice in the form that we should have and continue to experience it. Each of Red Jacket Orchards juices I've tried has ingredients I know. Their juices are not loaded down with additional items and flavors to capture what you think you should be tasting when it comes to fruit.

I had the opportunity to try several juices from Red Jacket Orchards and was really happy with the flavor combinations that they are offering. I even shared some with my co-workers, making the slump of 3pm "juice hour!"

The Juices!

Blackcurrant Apple Juice: Blackcurrant may be more known to the eastern European palate. I was first introduced to blackcurrant when I went to Dublin, Ireland for a study abroad years ago. Blackcurrant tends to be bitter, reminding one of a cherry to an extent but different. I did not taste the bitterness of blackcurrant but the apple comes through all the way. This juice isn't overly sweet but crisp and satisfying. I'd recommend this for people who want a bit of diversion from their apple juice, yet still that hint of flavor.

Tart Cherry Stomp: A tad tart but not too much so. As my co-worker John said, "the slight apple taste dovetails into cherry." He's good. There's a hint of apple as it hits your lips that goes full blast cherry tartness that won't make your lips pucker. A nice treat for fans of cherry and my co-workers are. In this one the cherry is very evident, more so than in the black currant. This was the fave amongst my co-workers. They LOVED the tartness the cherry brought to the table. Loved it!

Fuji Apple Juice: This one is solid apple juice. It is sweeter than the combo juices tasted thus far (cherry & blackcurrant). The ingredients list reads: apple, fuji apple, and vitamin C. So there's a mixture of apples in this juice and fuji, being on the sweeter side in general, ups the ante! The color looks more like concentrate ones or a bit orangey so you may think of an orange/apple hybrid but it is all apple and delicious. If you're a fan of apple juice having an additional bit of sweetness than this one is for you.

Strawberry Apple Juice: This tasted like a strawberry/apple juice hybrid. I repeat, it tastes like strawberry! Real strawberries, not the syrupy sweet fake 'flavor' of strawberries, but strawberries in the raw from the market! It's a tad sweet, especially compared to the tarter flavors but not overly so. This is my favorite of the bunch for the more natural strawberry taste that has apple right up on its tail when you take a sip. If you like strawberries this is the juice for you. Raspberry Apple Juice: Like many of the juice combos the raspberry hits your tastebuds initially. And similar to the strawberry apple this one has a real raspberry taste so it's light. The organic aspect of the strawberry and raspberry juices work well together in their lightness being a good combination for the apple juice and nothing overtaking the other in terms of flavor. A great coupling if you ask me. Refreshing. Grape Apple Juice: Solid taste that is all grape, very little apple. So in essence it's like a lighter grape juice. I would choose this over any of the ridiculously saccharine grape juices on the market (especially from concentrate, which it seems most are). Nice and light and doesn't leave my mouth feeling sickly sweet and no after taste like with other brands I recall drinking from my youth. I'd recommend this to you grape lovers out here.

In summary, Red Jacket Orchards is the real deal, my friends. The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette calls them a "fresh find," I call it them New York gem.

The Giveaway!

For the next two weeks you can enter for a nice giveaway of your own six-pack (12 oz/each) of juices! You can mix and match or just have one juice. I'll send them to you via the Red Jacket Orchards' site. (Limited to US residents only)

You can enter by leaving a comment and submitting to the Rafflecopter below. You can gain extra entries by following/liking Red Jacket Orchards on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest (please note this in comments).

The contest runs for two weeks exactly. So last day to enter is 11:59pm on March 7th and I'll announce the winner on Monday, March 11th. Should I not hear from the winner once I contact him/her within 24 hours I'll have Rafflecopter choose another entrant.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Trust me, these juices are delicious! And the 12 ounce bottles are good for travel and especially to pack with kids' lunches. So take advantage and also look for Red Jacket Orchards brand in your nearby store or request that they purchase them!

Thanks a ton to Danielle Raymo with Red Jacket Orchards for allowing me to sample their juices.