How my trips to Thailand led to the creation of AVEC Grapefruit & Pomelo.

There is nothing better than a fresh, sharp paloma. But what if you could have a paloma or grapefruit juice that wasn’t stuffed full of sugar? This is where we begun our journey for the perfect grapefruit soda. The solution was found in the memories of my trips to Thailand where I learned of a punchy relative of the grapefruit: the Pomelo.

It is always around this time of year that I dream of being in the tropics and seeing a lil’ sun. Ok, dream a little more than usual. This is because I grew up spending my winters visiting my family in Australia. Born in Australia, to Australian/Canadian parents but living in London — we spent all of our holidays (vacation) visiting home. Back in those days you had to stop off between London and Sydney in either Singapore or Hong Kong. Never a fan of jet-lag, we used to make the most of these stops and visit somewhere for a short while on the way to the other side of the world.

These mini-trips still fill me with wonder. Childhood memories have that power. I was (and am) awestruck by the heat & humidity of Hong Kong, blown away by the beauty of Thailand and impressed by the efficiency and cleanliness of Singapore. Each memory is flooded with their unique smells, tastes, and colors — gorgeous bundles of exotic flowers or carts piled with colorful fruits.

Gif of a cut pomelo from Thailand

 I remember when I met the marvelous pomelo for the first time (story below) — big as bowling ball and more difficult to peel than one too.

The power of these travel memories is part and parcel of what we’re trying to do at AVEC. Remember that smell or taste that reminds you of somewhere. Or that first taste or sip of something when you’re away? My first thought is always, "why can’t we get this at home??"

Amongst other things, we at AVEC are trying to ease the “why can’t we get this at home” dilemma (WCWGTAHD - catchy, right?).



The power of these travel memories is part and parcel of what we’re trying to do at AVEC. Remember that smell or taste that reminds you of somewhere. Or that first taste or sip of something when you’re away? My first thought is always, "why can’t we get this at home??"

 

The story of Grapefruit & Pomelo, why we made it and how we got there.

There is nothing better than a fresh, sharp paloma. But what if you could have a paloma or grapefruit juice that wasn’t stuffed full of sugar? This is where we begun our journey for the perfect grapefruit soda. We were experimenting by diluting fresh grapefruit juice & adding other botanicals to make up for the sugar we were removing but were struggling to get the sharpness right! That’s when it struck Alex. I have a vivid memory of visiting Thailand as a child - on my way to my birth-country of Australia — of large lines of women, dressed in local garb peeling giant citrus fruit. I’d never seen anything like it. They were painstakingly stripping down this large grapefruit-like fruit with their hands — peeling away the white “pith” in hunks. Wow, I thought, that fruit must be delicious to be worth all that work!!! That fruit stuck with me forever - it’s called a Pomelo - and it is delicious but VERY pithy. It’s this bitterness we were looking for - so we tried an extract from the pith of the pomelo & bang!

Ingredients used for AVEC Grapefruit & Pomelo include grapefruit, pomelo, vanilla, and black pepper.

We added a pinch of salt & pepper & a drop of vanilla for some depth & natural sweetness - and that was it. Our grapefruit soda & juice replacement is one part bitter, one part sweet, and even a touch salty - providing incredible balance across the palate - when mixed or when drink alone. And can you believe it - has 3 grams of sugar vs 21 grams in the same amount of grapefruit juice.

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