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Cranberry Juice

New Jersey State Juice

Official State Juice of New Jersey

On August 7th, 2023, acting Governor Nicholas Scutari signed a law designating cranberry juice as the official state juice of New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy was out of state at the time. New Jersey also has a state fruit. All State Foods and Beverages

How did Cranberry Juice Become the Official State Juice?

It all started in Erin Zarzycki's fourth grade class at Eleanor Rush Intermediate School in Cinnaminson. Students were studying New Jersey’s state symbols and noticed there was no state beverage and proposed the idea of cranberry juice. A bill was originally introduced in February 2020, a month before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

The bill was reintroduced in 2022 while the students were in sixth grade. The bill passed almost unanimously in May 2023.

The effort was made possible because of dedicated letter writing, lobbying and even testimony at a state Senate hearing where the students argued that cranberry juice is a delicious and nutritious beverage that is important to New Jersey's history and culture. The students persevered over the course of several years but never gave up on what they believed in.

History of Cranberry Juice in New Jersey

Cranberries have been growing in New Jersey for thousands of years. Native Americans were the first to harvest and consume cranberries, and they used them in a variety of ways, including food, medicine, and dye.

English settlers arrived in New Jersey in the early 1600s, and they quickly adopted the use of cranberries. Cranberries were a valuable source of vitamin C, which helped to prevent scurvy, a common disease among sailors and explorers.

Cranberry farming began in New Jersey in the early 1800s. The first commercial cranberry bog was established in Burlington County in 1835. Today, New Jersey is the thrid-largest producer of cranberries in the United States.

Cranberry juice has been a popular drink in New Jersey for centuries. In the early days, cranberry juice was made by boiling cranberries in water and then straining the mixture. Today, cranberry juice is made using a variety of methods, including pressing, blending, and filtering.

Cranberry Juice in New Jersey Culture

Cranberry juice is an important part of New Jersey culture. It is often served at special occasions, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cranberry juice is also a popular ingredient in many New Jersey recipes, including cranberry sauce, cranberry pie, and cranberry muffins.

In addition to its culinary uses, cranberry juice is also a popular ingredient in New Jersey crafts and beverages. For example, some New Jersey breweries produce cranberry beer, and some New Jersey wineries produce cranberry wine.

Nutritional Benefits of Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is a good source of vitamins C and E, as well as dietary fiber. It also contains antioxidants, which can help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Cranberry juice has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including:

  • Reducing the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Reducing the risk of cancer
  • Promoting oral health

How to Enjoy Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice can be enjoyed on its own or used in a variety of recipes. It is a popular ingredient in smoothies, cocktails, and baked goods.

Here are a few ideas for how to enjoy cranberry juice:

  • Cranberry juice cocktail: Mix cranberry juice with vodka, gin, or tequila for a refreshing and delicious cocktail.
  • Cranberry juice smoothie: Add cranberry juice to your favorite smoothie recipe for a boost of flavor and nutrients.
  • Cranberry juice glaze: Use cranberry juice to make a glaze for meat, poultry, or vegetables.
  • Cranberry juice muffins: Add cranberry juice to your favorite muffin recipe for a tart and sweet treat.