Roots on Fruit

Monday, 2 September 2013


People have sometimes asked us whether using raw, hand-juiced fruit – instead of extracts and concentrates – makes the flavour profiles of our sodas differ from the batch to batch.

The answer is yes, slightly.

While the quantities of fruit in each batch remain the same, it’s down to the seasons and the elements to dictate how the fruit actually tastes, not artificial flavourings.

A good example of this is the chillies in Hoodoo. In our own opinion (and that of our suppliers) some chilli varieties have been milder this year. This has meant certain bottles of Hoodoo taste a little less, or a little more spicy than previous batches.

The simplest solution would be to increase or decrease the quantity of chillies used in each batch depending on the raw chilli kick. However as a small producer this is difficult because we need to declare the percentage amount of chilli used on our labels. It is simply impossible for us to have new labels produced for each of our tiny batches. Recently we began experimenting with new chilli varieties such as Cayenne Pencil in our Hoodoo to give the ideal chilli burn!

Another example is the colour of our juice which can be more or less intense from batch to batch reflecting the natural variations in the raw fruit used.

As for where the fruit comes from, we do our best to source our ingredients locally when in season, such as our strawberries from Fife.

We use the best quality fruit to make the most natural, best tasting sodas possible. Using the best quality fruit makes Roots’ sodas a little more expensive.

Two possible ways of reducing costs would be buying fruit in bulk, and/or using fruit concentrates.

Since all our sodas are made in small batches, by hand, it’s important we buy the right amount of fruit. Buying in bulk like a big company means there’s a risk of the fruit perishing and creating too much work for even the most dedicated soda jerk working in a DIY soda kitchen!

Using concentrate would make our soda cheaper. We chose the word ‘Roots’ as our name because we wanted a word that reflected our drink’s use of natural whole fruit juices, in their simplest form - freshly squeezed.

Typical production of fruit concentrate involves mechanical, chemical and biological processes to remove undesirable compounds. The fruit juice is boiled down and then split and blended with other juice stored from different seasons or harvests to give a more consistent product. During the boil down many flavours are lost due to evaporation and flavour is then added back in, usually from the peel. This cut and paste juice just does not taste as good in our opinion as freshly squeezed whole fruit juice.

And that’s why we started Roots, juice that’s true to its raw ingredients, complete with its quirky little variations, which is the proof that it comes from a real place.


Fresh limes waiting to be juiced down at Roots HQ.


Fresh strawberries at Roots HQ.

Roots Soda Co. Kaleidoscope.

Roots Soda Co. Kaleidoscope.


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