Everything you need to know about Jukes Cordialities

Posted by Sloane Sweitzer


Jukes general explanation

Elegant and healthy non-alcoholic drinks, assembled around a base of organic apple cider vinegar and mirroring the flavor complexity of fine wine.  To be mixed with still or sparkling water to precisely suit your palate. 

Specific Jukes Series one-liners -

Jukes 1

The ‘white’. Centered around a citrus, stone fruit and herb theme, resulting in an aromatic, uplifting and dry style.

Jukes 6

The ‘dark red’. Black fruit-themed with a deeper, earthier, spicier feel and a mellow, long, savory finish.

 

Jukes & Food

The aromas and flavors of Jukes 1 & 6 are not the whole story because it is my mission to make these non-alcoholic drinks do what no others have done before.  Just simply substituting neatly for wine is not enough for me.  The Jukes series must also work with a vast repertoire of dishes.  My mother was a teacher at both Cordon Bleu and Prue Leith’s Cookery School and so food is ingrained into our family’s psyche.  My inspiration for the complicated flavors in each of the Cordialities is because they are designed to go perfectly with food as much as they make great aperitif drinks. 

They are based on the flavors of a multitude of different wine styles which match almost all of the dishes in the world.  By definition, Jukes 1 & 6 also work extraordinarily well with a global collection of cuisines.  This is vital to our story because I have worked as a wine buyer for elite restaurants for over a quarter of a century covering virtually every style of cooking imaginable.  I have also written 13 wine books, each of which has a food-matching chapter, and so food and drink are embedded in my system and this is why Jukes Cordialities are so delicious with food.  We have been thrilled to receive hundreds of Jukesand Food communications from our private clients who, not content with taking a photo of their dish and the Jukes accompanying it, even recommend exact recipes from all manner of famous chefs for us to cook up with our creations so we can see what they see.  It is incredibly exciting to see that our customers are using Jukes Cordialities in the same way as the elite restaurants who also list our drinks. 

 

Tasting notes

Jukes 1 – Built on a theme of peach skin, refreshing cucumber, top quality plums, tart apples and pineapple husk, this is a fragrant drink with a full flavor on the palate and, crucially a long, tart, lemon zest-tinged finish.  The apple cider vinegar allows each of the twenty or so ingredients to line up perfectly on the palate and express themselves fully thanks to the delicate maceration techniques we use in our Arch in Battersea.

Jukes 6 – The blackcurrant and blackberries lead the way, which is evident in the lusty color of this drink.  But layers of complexity come in thanks to the red fruit, raspberries, strawberries and plums which give an extra dimension and depth of flavor.  Beyond these more familiar fruit notes, there are sensitive additions of earthy vegetable and deeply flavored spices which resonate on the finish adding power, length and richness.

 Jukes

Matthew Jukes’ Essay on Taste and Food & Jukes-Matching (written back in June 2020)

Before Jukes

I was taught to taste wine by a chap called James Rogers.  He was a legendary figure in the wine trade and he, sadly, passed away far too young, many years ago.  I will never forget the speed and accuracy of his tasting analyses.  He was extraordinarily impressive and even when he was very ill and unable to drink wine any more he was able to identify blind wines, just by their perfume.  I doubt I will ever meet anyone in my life with such a finely-tuned sense of taste.   James would often open a hundred or so bottles of wine, wrap them in tin foil, so we could not see the labels, and then head off for lunch somewhere glamorous, leaving my co-worker at the Barnes Wine Shop, Katie, and me to taste the wines ‘blind’ and come up with the correct answers to questions he hadn’t yet asked. 

A few hours later James would return and quiz us – which is the best cheap white, what is wine number 24, are there any good value red Rhônes in the line-up, how many from this selection would you list, which one is a rip-off, which is the odd one out, and so on.  We did our best to answer all of these questions and we learned so much from him every time he explained his reasoning.  This discipline meant that I have always taken wine tasting extremely seriously.  My job depended on it back then and it has done every day since. 

I taste anywhere between thirty-five and forty-thousand wines a year and I treat every single sip with the same respect.  Of course, the vast majority of these tastes end up in the spittoon very speedily indeed – I only write up or buy around 2-3% of the wines I taste.  This means that 97% of this vast number of bottles are poor, dreary, underwhelming or forgettable.  But when I like a wine, I have an innate ability to remember it, in fact, I can remember every single thing about its flavor.  I rarely forget or misplace a wine in my memory banks, too.  This is because I have a way of remembering all of these tastes. 

I am told that I use a variation on the ‘loci’ memorisation technique to carefully place all of the flavors I admire in my memory so I can recall them whenever I wish.  While many people put their memories in some sort of mental library which suits them, I place my ‘flags’ into a beach called Mawgan Porth (a beach I visited as a child in Cornwall) – each flag is the taste of a specific wine.   It is not only taste which I approach in a slightly odd manner, because I tend to listen to music in colors and color also enters my taste sphere, too.  In addition, I certainly find some numbers much more pleasurable than others, as you will see from the number series of Jukes.

Beyond Wine

When my business partner Jack Hollihan and I decided to create a series of non-alcoholic drinks we knew that they would not be obvious replicas of wine, but they would have to deliver exactly what a wine did on the nose and palate.  Perfume, flavour, palate density, length and aftertaste all had to perform at the highest level but without the assistance of alcohol.  These drinks would replace wine for those people who chose not to imbibe and they had to go perfectly with food, too.  In simple form, this meant ‘white’ with fish, ‘red’ with meat and so on.  In complex form, the sky was the limit with the depth of flavour and range of dishes that I set my sights on for my creations.

When I started experimenting with the first trials of Jukes Cordialities, I knew that there would be no grapes used.  Grapes need fermentation to release their magical flavors.  Jukes is a non-alcoholic drink and so my challenge was to mirror the aromatic complexity and build-quality of fine wine but by using any other than grapes!

I started this odyssey by combining natural ingredients which then undergo a gentle, long, cool maceration with organic apple cider vinegar, to extract exactly the right amount of color and flavor from each component part.  I was able to visualise the exact flavors that I wanted to create in my mind’s eye.  These are three-dimensional ‘objects’, each a different, sleek shape, with no imperfections or faults.

My job, from a taste point of view, was to make them complete, complex and complementary.  If I could achieve each of these aims I was certain that these drinks would be able to pick the lock of peoples’ flavor memories and hopefully send them to wonderful destinations, some which they may be familiar with and others which they might have forgotten.  If I could trigger the right taste memories and make these flavors swirl and harmonize in their brains this would allow the drinker to bathe their senses in satiating, complicated and rewardingly long flavors.

Jukes 1 (the white) is an amalgam of tastes I have found borne out of drinking great white wines.  I have stolen ideas from many of my favorite white wine styles – tasting notes if you will – and then reassembled them, piece by piece, by using fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and edible flowers to complete the overall balanced flavor that I wanted to build.  It is not simply a fruit salad, with some diced veg and a few twists of seasoning.  I use unconventional ingredients as well as commonplace items, but it is the way that these flavors combine which had to look, sound and taste right to me.

I have taken complex florals and dramatic acidity from Albariño, steely freshness from rapier-sharp Riesling, gentle herbaceous and hedgerow tones from Sauvignon Blanc, mid-palate richness and depth from Chardonnay, faint tropical peachiness from Viognier and orchard blossom tones from Roussanne.  Ground pepper from Pinot Gris, lime zest from Semillon, apple skin from Chenin Blanc and pineapple husk from Marsanne, the list of fascinating wine-inspired memories goes on.

Now some of these descriptors in isolation taste nothing like their grape variety stablemates, but when they are handled carefully, picked under-ripe or overripe, use skin, pith, juice, flesh, stalks and pips, dried or fresh, these flavors change and they can, if combined correctly, give us flavors which far exceed even the most complex of wines.  After all, great white wines are rarely made from more than two or three different grape varieties and Jukes 1 uses a great many more ingredients to layer a mille-feuille of flavor.

The same goes for Jukes 6 (the red) which leans heavily on red and black fruit for its core flavor delivery. But if this drink was solely made from fruit, you would only ever experience a complex fruit juice taste and this would only be partway to achieving a truly rounded and complex drink which must be able to stand in for a great glass of red wine for occasions when you have chosen not to drink alcohol.

For this reason, I have assembled Jukes 6 from as many of what I call ‘anti fruit’ ingredients as I have conventional fruits.  These crucial components are what bring gravitas, earth, spice and intrigue to this drink.  In wine terms we would be looking at the soil in the vineyard, the oak in the winery and the tannin coming from the grape skins, but with no grapes used in any of the Jukes series and no fermentation anywhere near these flavors, careful blending is employed to create a kaleidoscopic array of tasting notes which all work together to give the drinker a completed landscape of taste.

I looked deep into flavor memory for Jukes 6 and it took a whole year to make this one drink.  I have tried to bring the romance of Pinot Noir, the adroit stance of Cabernet Sauvignon, the irreverence of Merlot, the aromatic allure of Cabernet Franc, the succulence of Gamay, the gusto of Grenache, the elemental force of Syrah, the savory tang of Sangiovese and the freshness and lift of great Nebbiolo, to name but a handful of red grapes, for the inspiration for this creation.

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