How much nic are you using? I’m coming ever more to the conclusion that’s the problem. Fresh orange and apple (and anything light on flavour % or that omits heavy creams and bakeries) simply has nothing to mask the nic throat hit. But it’s an odd thing - if you persevere, your throat gets used to it and it almost completely disappears! I’ve mixed juices that seemed wonderful to me and tried them on a friend and they’re gagging. Then I try one first thing next morning, and sure enough I’m gagging too…
But I think I might have found a solution: Nicotine salts. In fact, it’s been known for a while that citric acid or vinegar can help reduce throat hit. This is counterintuitive, because it’s easy to assume the throat hit (especially with citrus) is due to acidity, so why would you add more? But when you add acid to nicotine you get a nicotine salt, which is less harsh than nicotine in its free amine form.
My early experiments with citric acid only produced marginal improvements. I now realise that’s because I wasn’t adding enough! I’d got myself some pH test strips and was put off that my pH’s were way lower than commercial juices like Element’s, and obviously I didn’t want to add so much CA that it would alter the flavour. But apparently to get the full effect you have to dump LOADS in the mix - roughly 2% of a 10% CA solution per mg of nicotine. I have a sample of Element NS picked up from the Birmingham expo and it is rather acidic. In fact, according to the test strips, pH is similar to my 3mg nic with 6% CA added. (Note that this is still much less acidic than actual orange juice.)
I have read that commercial nicotine salts (as used by Element and Juul) are based on Benzoic Acid rather than Citric Acid. This is more efficient (you need about half the quantity) and also is relatively flavourless. Seems it’s cheap and readily available and I will be trying some out next week hopefully.