This artisan juice business is based on core values

Artisan apple juice is squeezing its way into the soft drinks market.

Cuddybridge Apple Juice make small-batch artisan juices in the splendid setting of a courtyard in Kailzie Gardens at Peebles on the banks of the River Tweed.

‘It’s a glorious place to squash apples,’ says Graham Stoddart, the man behind the juice. ‘It’s so peaceful that you don’t hear a thing apart from birds chirping.’

Cuddybridge source apples from Scotland and England when they are in season and from Northern France when they are not.

‘We use Braeburn, Pink Lady and Granny Smith and in the summer we get Discovery and Russet,’ says Graham.

Graham also makes apple and sea buckthorn juice at Kailzie.

‘I have a forager who gets the orange berries on the East Lothian coastline,’ he explains. ‘It’s not a new discovery. The Greeks fed their horses with sea buckthorn to make their coats shine and in doing so made them look larger and more intimidating to the enemy.’ The berries are believed to have great nutritional properties and the ability to improve the condition of hair and nails.

‘This year we will be making apple and sweet cicely juice for the first time,’ says Graham.

‘It’s a herb that grows widely throughout Scotland. The season runs from mid-March until September, so we won’t be able to supply it anymore after that, but we do make seasonal products and that means just that.’

Graham has plans to expand the business and is optimistic that there’s a new, if somewhat reluctant, market for interesting soft drinks. ‘The police have given us a big helping hand by lowering the drink drive limit,’ chuckles Graham. ‘Designated drivers get bored drinking cola or orange juice and are always on the lookout for a tasty alternative.’

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(This feature was originally published in 2016)