Apples have been prized for their refreshing juice for centuries, but there is apple juice and there is apple juice - and then there is Cuddybridge Apple Juice.
Cuddybridge is a small, artisan, producer based at Kailzie Garden, near Peebles. Although only going since 2007 it has already established a national reputation for quality and flavour.
And to help mark the start of the new Borders Railway, Cuddybridge has teamed up with Born in the Borders to supply the latter’s new cafe at The Interchange in Galashiels with its specially-created Gala Apple Juice.
“The juice is made from Gala apples; its being sold in Gala and marks the return of the railway to Gala,” said Born in the Borders proprietor John Henderson this week.
Cuddybridge founders, Graham and Julia Stoddart, hand-press a variety of apple juices, but Graham says the new Gala Apple Juice is something special.
“Gala apples are terrific for juice. They are really nice and sweet when squashed, giving a great colour to the juice as well,” Graham told us.
“And, as usual for us, it comes in a traditional clear glass bottle which is much better for the taste. We never use plastic bottles - only glass and special bags for some of our juices.”
As well as all its juices being squashed by hand - and that does mean by the turning of a bar by hand - they contain nothing else, other than a pinch of ascorbic acid acting as an antioxidant.
No flavourings, water, stabilisation agents, colouring or E numbers are added to the pure juice. What is more, Cuddybridge squashes its apples as close as possible to the delivery date, so that customers receive the juice in the freshest way possible.
The new variety of Gala apple juice was also aboard the royal train which brought The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to the Borders in September to officially declare the new railway open.
“We never heard whether The Queen tried any of our juice, but if she did we’re sure it would have been given the royal seal of approval!” laughed Graham.
“Now we want to make sure passengers boarding the fantastic new Borders Railway at The Interchange in Galashiels can try it for themselves.”