Juice. It is no longer just a noun. It has reached verb-status and for some of the more extremist folk, it has become a way of life. Juice bars, which have dotted the West Coast for the better part of a decade, are now popping up along the Eastern Seaboard, catering to corporate Americans who crave a jolt of nutrients (probably alongside a venti Americano).
There is a second wave of juicers, though – those DIY-trailblazers who take the commercial flavor out of juicing and opt for something homegrown. Actually, home-juiced. According to Google Insights, the search activity for “juicing” doubled from January 2012 to January 2013. Juicing even ranked among ABC News’ list of top New Year’s resolutions. The juicing-at-home trend is on the rise, as increasing numbers of 20-somethings bring home the Breville instead of the bacon and opt for a healthier lifestyle for 2014.
But, to be frank, juicing has all the superficial trappings of a short-lived fad: it is trendy in Hollywood, it requires special equipment and planning (read: expensive), and it is a health-conscious movement that is rooted in social status and physical appearance. Girls in yoga pants rejoice, while hipsters read and sip carrot juice from mason jars. The health benefits of juicing might provide some common ground, but juicing culture seems very much divided. With this schism in place, does juicing really have the capacity to withstand a generation? Simply put: Will we be juicing when we’re in our 40s? I say yes.
Obviously, we will still be sipping on cocktails well into middle age, so it’s only a matter of time before juicetails (juice cocktails) hit the scene.
Alcohol has the potential to introduce a new phase into the juicing movement — one that answers Generation-Y's need for a multipurpose cocktail by packing a nutritious punch into a buzz. A screwdriver with Ketel One and Tropicana? Old news. Where are the added health benefits in that vile concoction? You haven't had a screwdriver until you've had a freshly squeezed, ShopRite Organic (not everyone has a Trader Joe’s around the corner) navel orange and vodka twist. It packs a concentrated dose of vitamin C and B6, which help to stave off colds and to boost your metabolism. Benefits of the juicetail abound, making it a likely reality in our near futures. So go ahead, drink to your health.
The real power of juicing remains untapped. We know that nutrients in fresh fruit and vegetable juice help protect against cardiovascular diseases, cancer and inflammatory disease symptoms, but those problems can feel pretty far away for the people of our generation. 20-somethings aren’t necessarily thinking to themselves, “Mmm, kale, that’ll kick the rheumatoid arthritis!”
More likely, young people are attracted to juicing for its promises of better skin, a boosted immune system and weight loss. You want to go faster, last longer and look good while doing it. And, while the nutritional community still doubts whether some of the benefits of fresh juice might be cancelled by the alcohol, NYC juice-bars-by-day turned juicetail-bars-by-night are gaining a glowing reputation among health-conscious 20-somethings.
Still, there is some potential risk. While juicing sans alcohol can be considered a meal, when prepared with the right balance of fruits and vegetables, substituting food for a liquid diet of gin and juice borders on "drunkorexia." Saving up your daily allotment of calories to spend on overindulging on juicetails is not the solution. In moderation, however, juicetails could be a fun and creative way to squeeze more out of that bottle of tequila.
For juicetail ideas, check out some recipes, courtesy of Marie Claire. Of course, if you are not ready to commit to a juicer, try ordering fresh juice online from The Juice Box, which offers home delivery. It is tough to refute: Juicing is the future. It is the Gen-Y approved way to make lemonade from lemons.
Photo via We Heart It