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Refreshing Jamaican Bag Juice
An Inexpensive But Effective Way To Cool Down In Jamaica

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Jamaican Bag Juice | Sorrel VersionJamaican Bag Juice | Sorrel Version

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

I remember when my greatest worry was having enough money to buy my very own bag of bag juice to combat those hot summer months when school was out. Those were much simpler times.


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You aren’t sure what exactly a Jamaican bag juice is?

A bag juice is a cheap, often very sweet flavoured drink packaged in small plastic bags and sold either individually or as a pack usually with 10 -12 individual juices. There are multiple flavours to choose from.

If you have heard of a “suck-suck”, it is the same idea. A ‘suck-suck” is a homemade version of the bag juice.

Jamaican Bag Juice | Homemade Suck SuckJamaican Bag Juice | Homemade Suck Suck

Bag juice is a very popular drink in Jamaica because of the actual cost of the product. It can cost as little as $30 (US 0.20) for a single bag. An entire bag which has a dozen in all usually costs $200 ( US 1.32).

My favourite thing about the bag juice is that the flavours were never actually flavours but were instead, just the colours of the one you were interested in. “Red” and “orange” were always the first to go. Other colours of note were green, purple and "clear" which was either water or the ever elusive cream soda.

Nutribun and milk are popular school snacks and the milky goodness was also packaged as a bag juice. This prompted many other dairy-flavoured drinks and so now you can easily find chocolate, cherry or strawberry milk (and even peanut punch), packaged in a bag as well.

Jamaican Bag Juice | Dairy VersionsJamaican Bag Juice | Dairy Versions

By now I think you can notice a trend with these bagged delights. They are incredibly high in sugar and truth be told, we were never entirely sure what we were drinking as the labels did not always have the ingredients, or they were very simple; water, cane sugar, juice concentrate, and “artificial flavouring”.

Getting into the cool, and a refreshing icy bag of juice is very easy. The only thing required is for you to use your teeth to puncture a large enough hole so that the contents will come out when you suck on it. The best kind of bag juice to have are those that are slightly frozen. This will allow the cool to last much longer than one that is merely chilled.

If you feel the urge to have a cool, sweet refreshment on a hot summer day you can beat the heat with a bag of juice or two purchased from a supermarket or wholesale (in packs) or individual bags bought from a street vendor as you traverse busy thoroughfares.

If you're concerned about the sugary nature of these delights, you'd be pleased to know that some companies took healthier steps and began to sell fruit juices in bag juice form as well as cartons and bottles.

Bag juices were a hit for us in high school. It made our lunch money stretch because while fruit and milk flavoured bag juice would cost more than a regular one would, the cost was way less than bottled varieties.

Jamaican Bag Juice "Suck-Suck"

INGREDIENTS

  • Syrup/Kool Aid
  • Water
  • Poly bag

OR

  • Strawberry Milk
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Egg Nog
  • Poly Bag


OR

  • Fruit Drinks
  • Poly Bag


OR

  • Flavoured Lasco (Strawberry, Chocolate, etc.)
  • Water
  • Poly Bag

PROCEDURE

  1. Choose your flavour of syrup, dairy drink or fruit juice. If it needs to be made into a drink, do so in a container.
  2. Pour your drink into clear 6x9 poly bags, ensuring only to fill it up half way.
  3. make a knot at the opening of the bag to keep the drinks secure
  4. Put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until frozen solid.

Don't make just one though, you'll definitely want more.

If you are in Jamaica and would prefer to purchase them instead, almost every supermarket, shop or store that sells food products has bag juice on sale as well.

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Jamaican Bag Juice | Written: May 23rd, 2022

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