- pH Meter for acidity
- Refractometer for sugar levels
1. Sugar Content
According to the refractometer, there was very little measurable difference between the sugar content of the fresh vs pasteurized lime juice. 8.3% brix to 8.1% brix, respectively.
2. pH Level
The pH meter measured a .23 difference between the pH of pasteurized lime juice and fresh lime juice, with fresh lime juice being more acidic.
This is the test that really matters for our guests. How do they compare in cocktails?
In order to do a true comparison, for science, I made 2 Margarita’s and tasted them next to each other.
The fresh lime juice Margarita had bright, focused acidity and vegetal, citrus aromas that I always associate with lime juice.
The pasteurized lime juice Margarita was much sweeter than the fresh lime juice Margarita, even though I used the same exact recipe. The fact that the pasteurized lime juice contained less acid may be the reason for this. The bright acidity that was present in the fresh lime juice has become softer and duller. The aroma is very different as well, with the fresh vegetal notes being replaced by bitter, oxidized citrus notes.
There’s no doubt that fresh is always the best, but pasteurized juice is definitely a step up from the sweet and sour mix that is used behind most bars. When making the choice between fresh juice and pasteurized juices, make sure to taste them side by side in a cocktail. After all, this is what you will be serving your guest.