Our Story

JONI is a new way to drink.

It's not a replacement or an alternative to something already out there. It's not trying to be something it isn't. JONI celebrates a long overlooked and upcycled ingredient that's been around for millennia: verjus. And JONI uses verjus in a way it never has been before: by letting you choose how to enjoy it.

Verjus Who?

Verjus is pronounced vair-joo. Think "vert jus" in French. And it means just that. Verjus translates to green juice. It's the juice of the grapes that are picked before harvest. Vines are culled about 6 weeks before a wine harvest to make some elbow room for the grapes that will be wine to stretch out, plump up, and get those sugars activated. The pre-harvest grapes traditionally have been pressed and enjoyed as a drink and used in cooking.

Some of the first records mentioning verjus as a drink date back to the Middle Ages. And chefs and home cooks alike have used verjus as a vinegar or wine substitute to deglaze pans or for sauces and dressings, because it doesn't interact with or fight the flavor of the wine that will be enjoyed with the meal. But, if you're not drinking for whatever reason personal to you, verjus has been enjoyed as a non-alcoholic drink for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. 

So, verjus is its own thing. It has its own identity. It's juice, but it's not normal grape juice. And it's wine adjacent, but it's unfermented and naturally non-alcoholic. And it's way less sweet. JONI ends on a high note. It's bright and tart, but smooth and mellow enough to not bite you in the back of the throat. And now it's officially the coolest new thing you've never heard of that's been around forever.


Who's JONI?

Having grown up in the food industry and working as a recipe writer and developer (among many other things) and knowing verjus, I knew it deserved its time in the spot light. After developing the recipes and now needing a name, the idea came to me after many months in the brainstorming department. A tip from a friend helped: think of historical firsts, and things rooted in history--just like verjus itself. JONI is designed to be the first sip of your wind-down in the evening. JONI is also deeply rooted in history but is doing things in a fresh new way. This sparked something. An old family joke. Actually, a line from a joke by comedy legends Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. It's one of those family shorthands by now. Constantly referenced, repeated, (and misquoted!)

"I'll wash up, you go save France."

The 2000 Year Old Man is lamenting about Joan of Arc, who he couldn't marry because “she was on a mission.” Oh Joanie. Deeply rooted in Medieval history, on a mission, doing things her own way. Check, check, and check.

JONI is not just low in natural sugar (and free from any added sugar,) but it's also uniquely unfermented. So many non-alcoholic options on the market have some level of fermentation to them, and even though they can be great for anyone not drinking, for whatever reason or choice, it's not always the perfect solution. We proudly work with Fusion verjus, produced in the Napa Valley from pre-season Chardonnay grapes.

So, whether you need or want a non-alcoholic option for health, recovery, or religious reasons, you're trying a new sober curious lifestyle and drinking less often, or you imbibe on a regular occasion but want a pacer drink or mixer, JONI fits into your lifestyle and you get to choose how to enjoy.

Cheers, Claire