Every time I told someone what I was doing last Sunday, I hated myself a little bit more.
"I'm going on a juice crawl," I'd mutter to my family and friends, explaining why I couldn't hang out. Going on a juice crawl seems to be "the next big thing." It's a three-hour marathon that starts with a "boot camp-style workout," then stops at three juice places in New York's Flatiron District to try about 30 types of juice.
There were eight people total at the event, including me. They had all come with a friend or two, so I feigned my best "I enjoy strangers" face and headed in with an open mind. We were all female, all seeming to be no older than 24, all in black spandex pants. It was immediately clear that this was not going to be a hotbed of diversity.
After the workout and a "pregame" bottled juice in the store, we headed out to Juice Press, our first of three juice houses. The staff had set aside about 10 different bottled juices for us to pour among us. Everything was palatable, even the one that tasted like tripping over first base in Little League with your mouth wide open.
Our second stop, The Juice Shop, gave us the most options. We sample-cupped our way through three kale bowls, four smoothies, and six or seven juices. This is where the "I'm soooo full" comments started (to which I restrained from eye-rolling and saying, "It's liquid"), but I had to admit that the sheer volume and amount of sugar was starting to add up. The shop smelled weird, but according to one of the girls, this was typical of the location. In an attempt to make small talk, I said, "Yeah, it totally smells like dead camel." It was right then that I decided to terminate the small talk.
The last stop was a vegetarian restaurant on 23rd Street called Terri. The staff had already pre-poured the five juices into mini cups for us, which helped speed things along. It didn't help, however, with the natural separation that occurs with some green juices—I wanted to stick my finger in the cup and give it a stir, but I was still holding back after the camel comment.
Overall, when it comes to the cost, you definitely get your money's worth. The exercise class would likely be no less than $20 alone. Add in the free bottle of juice to take home, and you're already at $30. Being able to taste dozens of options at high-profile juice stores for about $15 (the overall ticket was $49) is a steal, considering one bottle at The Juice Press can go for $12. Would I do it again? Probably not, but mainly because I now feel informed enough to walk into a Juice Press, boldly grab my OMG! green juice without idling in front of the refrigerator case and purchase it with a carefully timed hair flip.
It's nearly impossible to resist comparing the Juice Crawl to a Santa-filled booze cruise, but the vibe was way more relaxed. And I wasn't constantly thinking, Man, let's get some flip cup going here! Except once: when I tried the jalapeño-pineapple juice at Terri. That could have used a tequila shot in a big way.