Nectar Brand Comparison – Part 1

Before we close out’s summer tiki extravaganza, I’d like to share the results of a nectar tasting I conducted in response to discussion on the Tropical Itch post.

I shopped several local supermarkets for just about every brand of nectar I could get my hands on, including Kern’s, Looza, and Ceres, brands mentioned in our previous discussion. Goya, unfortunately, was not available to me for testing, but this seems to be the only brand that Rick can readily find. From a few discussions we both agreed that Kerns and Goya were fairly well matched.

Scientific Method

We tasted only the nectars themselves, unchilled. Participants were not told the flavor nor the brand of the nectar they were tasting. Flavors were grouped together so that all brands of each flavor were consumed in a short time frame.


  • Waitress/bartender skilled in the ways of mixology
  • Non-drinker who enjoys virgin drinks and nectars
  • Social drinker with no special background in mixology

Apricot Nectar

We had four brands: Ceres (shelf-stable carton), Kern’s (aluminum can), Looza (glass bottle), and Knudsen (glass bottle). When tasted by itself, the clear winner was Looza. The tasters commented that this nectar tasted more like real apricots, had a more intense flavor, and was thicker than some of the others. Ceres was the runner up, with my subjects observing that it had the strongest flavor of the bunch, but it wasn’t as obviously apricot, perhaps due to the heating process used to preserve it for the shelf. Knudsen came in third, weighed down by its thinner consistency and lighter taste, which some said tasted more like pineapple than apricot. Kern’s came in dead last, with tasters noting its weak flavor and comparing it to “apricot-flavored water.”

Guava Nectar

Again, the tasters balked at the Kern’s brand nectar, calling it “kool aid-flavored cough syrup.” Competitor Ceres fared much better, with both sweet and sour tastes in a good balance. To reiterate, all Ceres nectars are 100% juice (of the flavor listed plus apple and pear), but Kern’s brand has a low juice content — 13% in this case. In the end, Ceres won out.

An additional note about Kern’s: Kern’s comes in two forms, the aluminum cans we used, and a refrigerated carton (like orange juice). The label seems to indicate that it’s the same product in two packages, so we stuck with the cans.

What to expect in Part 2

  • Passionfruit Nectar
  • Papaya Nectar
  • Nectars tested in the Maui Sunrise
  • The Conclusion

Don’t wait for Part 2 to comment on your favorite nectar brands.

– Adam, that guy who lives near Forbidden Island

8 Responses to “Nectar Brand Comparison – Part 1”

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8 Comments to “ Nectar Brand Comparison – Part 1”
  1. erik_flannestadNo Gravatar says:


    I look forward to part 2, especially since it involves actual alcohol!

    Though, I would like to see a pineapple juice comparison, as well. Are any of those half way decent?

  2. RickNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve always just used Dole – I wonder what other pineapple juice brands are out there. Has anyone tried anything else?

  3. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been using Trader Joe’s unsweetened pineapple juice (most drinks seem to call for unsweetened). It’s a great value and great flavor. The only drawback is that it only comes in a large size (I want to say 64 fl oz.), so you need to use it all quickly — not a problem in my house!

  4. RickNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen “sweetened” pineapple juice; maybe I just wasn’t looking for it.

  5. erik_flannestadNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll have to check and see what’s available. The dole is in cartons these days? Not canned?

    I know there are a couple in the natural juice aisle; but, I think they are blends. Hadn’t thought of trying Trader Joe’s. Will get on that.

    Planning on doing the Goombay Smash for the next Mixology Monday, so will need to investigate soon.

  6. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    Actually most of these nectars were blends of the “advertised” juice plus apple and/or pear.

  7. erik_flannestadNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know if “nectar” means something legally.

    It does seem like a lot of them are composed of juices which would be too thick to drink straight.

    If you juiced a Guava or Passion Fruit, you’d end up with something a lot closer to a thick paste than something you could easily drink. So they have to cut it with something.

  8. peterNo Gravatar says:

    What was the result ? I personally have a weakness for knudsen

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