Mix Juice is another popular item from old fashioned cafes or Kissaten in Japan. Mix Juice is just blended fruit juice like smoothies, but it has been around way longer than today’s smoothies. The mixture of different kinds of fruits, common kinds such as banana, tangerine, and apple, with milk has a simple taste, but it has universal appeal to people.
Mix Juice for shops was created in the 60s by a fruit parlor in Osaka, probably using their leftover fruit from the shop. It became popular enough to spread to surrounding areas, but it mostly remained as a local favorite in Kansai (western Japan) region. All the local Kissaten have Mix Juice on their menu, and customers expect that. We were both brought up in the area, and Mix Juice is a good part of our childhood memories.
Mix juice is so easy to make at home. Although it is not quite the same thing as what you can get from Kissaten, we tried to recreate the nostalgic taste from old times. In the 70s in Japan, fruit easily accessible for most people was pretty limited. It was a time before different kinds of berries and exotic foreign fruits were common in stores. Besides that, the Japanese fruit market has always been, even today, heavily dependent on seasonal fruits. They vanish after a couple of months and new ones come in. Kissaten owners must have had to choose fruits that were stable all year around with reasonable price range. We assume that a lot of canned fruits were used in the juice for that reason.
We omitted apple to avoid a grainy texture, but it is in the very original Mix Juice in Osaka. If you want to experience the authentic Mix Juice, go ahead and add apples. We always recommend substitutions in recipes, but we don’t here. If you change the fruits too much, it becomes a fruit smoothie instead of Mix Juice.
It tastes simple and has a gentle sweetness, not a flavor explosion here. But, this is the taste we always come back to. Give it a try and come along!
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup canned peaches
- 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cup canned pineapple
- 1/2 cup syrup from canned fruits
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1-2 tsp sugar, optional
- Mix everything in a blender. Add sugar to taste, and blend until smooth. Pour the juice over ice.