Rose's lime juice
Rose's lime juice, often known simply as Rose's, is a concentrated fruit juice patented in 1867. This makes it the world's first concentrated bottled fruit drink.
Around 1770, Dr James Lind discovered that a lack of vitamin C was the cause of scurvy, a disease rife throughout the navy. Captain Cook adopted his suggested solution of a daily ration of lemon or lime juice to all sailors during his long expeditiary trips. This proved highly successful with a hugely reduced death rate.
From 1795, it became normal practice throughout all long voyages within the Royal Navy, for sailors to receive a daily ration of lemon or lime juice. This quickly gave rise to the nickname "limeys" amongst non-British sailors, which arises in the early 19th century. The preservation of the fruit juice at this time was usually done through the addition of 15% rum.
Lauchlan Rose patented the method used to preserve citrus juice without alcohol in 1867. He had realised that by preserving with sugar rather than alcohol it opened a product up to a far wider market.
The first factory producing lime juice was set up by Rose on Commercial Street in Leith, Scotland in 1868. This was located conveniently adjacent to the Old East Dock (built during the Napoleonic War but now infilled). This aided both in the supply of limes (which do not grow in the UK), and in its juxtaposition to what was then Scotland's principal harbour for the Royal Navy. The limes at this time largely came from Domenica in the West Indies. In 1893 Rose purchased plantations there to ensure his supply. This was further supplemented by plantations from Africa from the region now called Ghana.
The brand was introduced to the United States in 1901.
In 1875 the company had grown so much that it built premises in London and moved its headquarters to there (though still retaining its Leith production). In 1940, during the blitz, it moved its headquarters from the London docks (a key German target) to St. Albans for safety reasons. After the end of World War II, the company saw its market share in the UK grow. In 1957, Schweppes acquired the company and operated it in the UK until it purchased Mott's in 1982. Cadbury Schweppes merged the operations of the two brands and Rose's operations were transferred to the United States.
When Cadbury divested its US beverage operations in 2008, Rose's was transferred to the newly formed Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
In the United Kingdom, Rose's Lime Juice Cordial is manufactured and distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd. In New Zealand, the label states it is made under "the authority" of Schweppes Holdings Ltd by Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ). It also bears the notation that Schweppes Holdings Ltd holds a Royal Warrant to HM Queen Elizabeth II as manufacturers of Schweppes and Rose's soft drinks.
The ingredients in the modern USA product, listed in order of concentration are: water, high fructose corn syrup, lime juice concentrate, sodium metabisulfite (preservative #223), natural flavors, Blue 1. Comparatively, in New Zealand, the list is water, lime juice from concentrate (32%), sugar, food acid 330, and preservative 223 - and when mixed 1:4 (20% concentrate), contains 6.4% fruit juice.
Over its history the company added other products to its line-up, including a non-alcoholic triple sec, grenadine, and sweet and sour. The company added a line of flavoured martini drink mixers in the early 2000s. In 2006, the company expanded its product line to feature a brand of mojito flavourings.
A licensed brand of lime marmalade is also produced in the United Kingdom, and a lemon cordial is also available in New Zealand.
- Rose's UK web site
- Rose's US web site
- Dr Pepper Snapple consumer beverage mixer web site
- Dr Pepper Snapple commercial beverage mixer web site