Now, in general, Jack and I are perfectly willing to drop a bundle on the various 100% juice shelf-stable blends whenever they go on sale. I will go out on a limb and say that my juice intake has one whole hell of a lot to do with my general health over the past few years. I’ve gone from catching ‘colds’ once a month — or more (auto-immune disorders like Lyme disease really do a number on the rest of the immune system) — to making it through whole seasons without so much as a sniffle. There are other factors, of course, but the main change I made to my life upon moving in with Jack was to ramp my 100% juice intake to an average of at least 8 oz. per day. I recommend it to everyone. However.

Sometimes? A girl wants some punch. Some nectar. An ade or two. Something sweet and thirst-quenching that doesn’t feel the need to smack you around with how healthy you’re being. Something unpretentious. Something —

Well, fuck it. These things? Tend to be a lot damned cheaper than the 100% juice, and they’re satisfying enough to make you forget about all the high-fructose corn syrup. Especially the Tropicana (sorry, it’s a flash-heavy site. It’s pretty easy to find the products I’m talking about, though) punches. I —

Just —

Wow. You open up one of these, you take a swig, and then a few minutes later half the carton is gone and you’re trying to remember how much you love your partner and why you want to share with them instead of pressing the carton between your breasts and doing your best impression of Gollum.

It’s not pretty. But it’s delicious.

When these bad boys went on sale, we immediately made a beeline for the Peach Orchard Punch and the Berry Punch. The Peach Orchard flavor has a powerful aroma of fresh peaches and teasingly tart apples, a flavor to match, and a finish faintly reminiscent of wine. It’s incredibly refreshing and may make you forget that summer is over. Seriously awesome.

Jack describes the Berry Punch flavor as what Kool-Aid would taste like if it were made with real fruit juice instead of all that other stuff. “Good enough to please the adult palate, but friendly enough to the palates of kids raised on fake juice beverages to help them transition to healthier real juice products.” I have to agree wholeheartedly with that. If anything, it’s more kid-friendly than the Peach Orchard Punch, which, since I’m a wildly overgrown child, means that I actually prefer it.

Normally a 64 oz. juice or juice drink will last us at least a day — at the very least, we usually pick other things to drink when the juice starts getting warm — but this stuff didn’t even make it five hours. For a while Jack was pouring it directly into my mouth and I could. Not. Let. Hir. Stop.

For both flavors, it’s honestly difficult to believe that you’re only getting 10% juice. There are none of the overly thick textures or bitter, chemical-y notes that you often get with punches and nectars, and the whole thing is handled with wonderful, food-loving professionalism.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m recommending the hell out of this product. To be sure, we’ll be buying it again, and I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors.

 

Ingredients & Nutrition Facts:

 

Tropicana Peach Orchard Punch

Ingredients: Filtered water, high fructose corn syrup, pear juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, peach puree concentrate, citric acid, natural flavors and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Nutrition Facts

  • An 8 fluid-ounce (240ml) serving contains 130 calories (Kcal), zero of them from fat;
  • 5mg (0% Daily Value) sodium;
  • 33g (11% DV) carbohydrates, of which 30 grams are sugars, 0 grams are fiber, and thus the 3 remaining grams are starches or complex carbohydrates;
  • 100% DV of vitamin C, which means around 60mg of vitamin C — if you’ve ever used vitamin C supplements, you probably already knew that 60mg is only just enough to keep you from losing your teeth to scurvy, since it’s difficult to find a supplement with less than 250mg of vitamin C per dose;
  • zero protein, and zero fat or cholesterol of any kind.

The punch contains less than one milligram, if any, of vitamin A, calcium or iron per serving. And it contains no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives — unless you count the use of added citric or ascorbic acid as preservatives.

Unlike Tropicana’s “Pure Premium” 100% juices, however, it is not Kosher certified.

 

Tropicana Berry Punch

Oops! The carton got recycled already. We’ll put up the ingredients and Nutrition Facts next time we buy some.

 

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