Not many people have a long pumpkin juice story but I do:
I am a long time Harry Potter fan. When I started reading the books there was only a book# 1 and a book #2. I had to pace myself and do a lot of waiting. This was back when J.K. Rowling wouldn’t allow the books to be turned into merchandise. You couldn’t find a single shirt, pez dispenser, Funko Pop doll, Hermione Granger American Girl doll clothes, Hufflepuff scarf, or anything else. There were the books and that was it. The world of Harry Potter existed on the pages of the books and in your head ONLY. When the movies came out there started being more Harry Potter stuff but it never looked like I thought it should. I still don’t own anything Harry Potter but the item that I have most wanted is pumpkin juice.
My obsession with this beverage started simply. I purchased some pumpkin flavored Torani syrup and added it to seltzer water for a pumpkin Italian soda. That was okay but I didn’t think that the Harry Potter version would taste similarly. Next, I tried to find some recipes but none of them sounded appealing. I randomly found some pumpkin juice at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian food court and it was pretty amazing. I felt like the Smithsonian’s version was the closest that I would ever get and I was satisfied enough to check “drink pumpkin juice” off of my mental bucket list.
When Universal Studios Orlando opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter I just knew that they would have pumpkin juice and so pumpkin juice went back on the bucket list. It seemed like a far fetched goal; I’d never been to Florida and did not have any plans to go. 5 or 6 years ago a friend of ours went and brought us back a bottle of pumpkin juice. It was such a cute bottle and it seemed so special that we put it in the fridge with the intention of drinking it on a special day. It sat in our fridge for a few years. The day just never seemed special enough or we would forget about it until the fridge was cleaned out and then the cycle would begin again. Eventually, I looked at the bottle and there was no expiration date so I put it in the freezer where it stayed for many more months. I realized that we were never going to drink it because it was old enough and had passed the expiration date of our willingness to ingest something that old. I risked a quick lick of the now frozen pumpkin juice and threw it away.
We eventually did visit Universal Studios Orlando and bought another bottle of pumpkin juice. Guess what happened! We brought it home, put it in the fridge, forgot about it and eventually had to throw it away.
A closer Wizarding World of Harry Potter was recently built at Universal Studios Hollywood and so we began the pumpkin juice hunt again. We got annual passes and visited on the second day of the soft opening. We intended to get pumpkin juice every time we went but the butterbeer always lured us in first. While it is yummy, butterbeer is soo sweet that pumpkin juice just never sounded appealing afterwards and we didn’t want to purchase it and take it back to our refrigerator of pumpkin juice doom. It wasn’t until our 3rd trip that we bought one. We refused to take it home and we drank it right there.
Finally! I now know that Pumpkin Juice from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter tastes exactly like you think it would. It’s a little too sweet. It strangely tastes like pumpkin pie would taste if it was magically turned into a liquid. The juice itself is a little too thick and textured…almost grainy. It’s still really good and it’s even almost worth the splurge of $7 but it is certainly worth checking another item off of the mental bucket list. It’s just not super great.
We saved a small amount for me to take home so that I could take pictures. I later noticed that the Pumpkin Juice from Universal Studios Hollywood does have an expiration date of only a few months. Both times that we opened the super old Pumpkin Juice from Orlando it smelled fine and the lick from the old pumpkin juice popsicle also tasted fine. It’s weird that one place would have an expiration date and the others none, right?
Anyway, our fridge is now a little less magical with no pumpkin juice inside but I can now say that I have tasted it and that you should too!