Serious Eats: Drinks

We Try All the Juices from SōW Fresh Juice in San Francisco

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[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

In a city with some much remarkably flavorful produce, it's no surprise that San Francisco has its fair share of juice companies, and that some of them make really delicious stuff. Last week we sampled the juices from Thrive, and this week we turn our attention to SōW Fresh Juice, a juice delivery and popup located inside Pause Wine Bar on Market Street at Gough. We tried everything they're juicing up right now, from some basic veggie juices to a super-seasonal fuyu persimmon special.

The Orange starts with carrots, yes, but is rounded out with the rich, sweet flavor of red bell peppers. It's an oddly savory combination, punched up with spicy ginger and a little citrus—definitely more cold-veggie-soup-like than morning-thirst quencher. If you like bell peppers, though, you'll enjoy this.

The Red was much sweeter and more approachable; a fresh and fruity blend of beets, carrots, orange, apple, and just a touch of turmeric. Don't be afraid of the turmeric, it's barely detectable, since this juice is so full of fruity flavor. This is one beet juice that might be able to convert non-beet lovers; the apple side keeps the beet from going all the way to borscht. We'd seek out this juice again, for sure.

The Prescription is a vivid green juice made with celery, orange, apple, kale, parsley, and mint. As we've mentioned before, it's hard to find green juice that straddles the line of deliciously fruity and fresh-and-healthy tasting; and green juices often veer into scary-herbal-bitter territory. SōW's Prescription hits all the right notes: it's green without being murky-sludgy, it has a vegetal backbone from the celery and kale, but it's not at all bitter or aggressive, and the fruit keeps it bright and sweet. We drank the whole jar without even realizing it—so far, this is our favorite green juice in San Francisco.

Sōw also offers another green juice called The Ombudsman, made with White Satin carrots, celery, Fuji apples, fava bean leaves, orach spinach (also called mountain spinach), lemon, and lemon thyme. It's not a combination you see every day. The flavor is mellow and more earthy than The Prescription, with a little herbal bitterness. If you like your juices to really taste 'healthy', you prefer this over the sweeter Prescription, but some might find the celery flavor and leafiness overwhelming.

Our favorite of them all was The Monarch, a seasonally-appropriate blend of fuyu persimmon, pomegranate, orange, ginger, lemon, and Buddha's hand citron. Vividly fruity and spiked with a little ginger heat, this rich, sweet-tart blend will likely become our cold-season savior. If you've never tried juiced persimmons, we're recommending you look into this pronto.

You can order Sōw Fresh Juice for pickup or delivery on Good Eggs. Orange, Red, and The Prescription are available for one time orders, while you can also get the Ombudsman and The Monarch if you set up a standing weekly or monthly order. You can also score a jar at their Saturday and Monday weekly popup at Pause Wine Bar. Follow them on Twitter @sowsf for updates, or check them out on the web at sowsf.com.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

Samples provided for review consideration.

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