Orange juice is a surprisingly complex beverage. So complex that its molecular composition is used in beginning chemistry classes to exemplify how even the seemingly simplest things contain intricate chemical systems (and to illustrate that “all-natural” and “chemical-free” are nonsense marketing terms that should be banished from our lexicon).
Anyway. Orange juice has a lot going on, and it can vary greatly from brand to brand and glass to glass. Some OJs are light and sweet, some are tart, some taste bitter and flat. If you find yourself confronted with a glass of sub-par citrus juice, there is one thing you can to improve it instantly: shake the heck out of it.
I “discovered” the joys of shaken orange juice the first time I tried a Garibaldi cocktail, a mixture of aerated OJ and Campari (which, incidentally, is also very good when it’s all shook up). The air and agitation introduced in the process turned my lowly gas station juice into something that felt fresh and fancy. “This would probably be good on its own,” I thought, as I combined the OJ with booze.
Aerated OJ is very easy to “make.” Just pour it into a cocktail shaker — with some ice if you need to chill it, too — and shake it until it’s nice and fluffy. Doing so absolutely transforms the mouthfeel of the beverage. Suddenly, it’s lighter (obviously), and any unpleasant flavours are smoothed out, whether it was previously too bitter, too syrupy, or too acidic.
You can use any old cocktail shaker (or blender bottle) to do the job, or you can fluff up a whole bunch at once using a blender. Shake or blend until it looks a little lighter in colour — a nice little OJ cloud should appear on top. Then pour into glasses and enjoy, Campari optional.