by Heather Hoch
I walked into Goodness Juice Bar near the UA campus with some preconceived notions. "Surely," I thought in a flurry of booze hauteur, "a juice bar can't possibly be making good cocktails." After all, half of their drinks are made with flavored vodkas. For someone who doesn't judge a dive bar by its slummy digs, I quickly began to eat (er, sip) my words at this juice bar.
Moving past the loud house/trance music pumping through the speakers, the bar itself was curiously well-stocked with en vogue liquors like Buffalo Trace as well as local spirits like Arizona Distilling Co.'s Copper City bourbon. Clean, bright and shiny, the bar is visually appealing. The bartender on duty was personable and accommodating. I felt bad for being judgmental almost immediately.
The Watership Down ($7) looked like the most health nutty of the just under ten drink menu, so that of course was the one to get with its beet juice, lemon juice, basil and pickled carrot garnish. It uses Pimm's, and like most of the drinks, Demerera simple as the cocktail base. The drink was tart and lightly sweet with a nice earthy quality from the beet juice. The best part is the carrot, which adds the perfect, albeit, spicy kick at the end of the drink.
While Goodness gets props for serving a tasty drink, I was curious to see if the drink itself was really that healthy since it is being served at a juice bar. Breaking down the drink's recipe, my nearest estimate puts the drink right around 130 calories, which, for the amount of flavor you get from the Watership Down is pretty impressive. (A normal margarita is over 150 calories.) Plus the health benefits of beet juice (potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A, B, and C, etc.) pretty much speak for themselves.
Overall, the drinks, which run at about $7 or $8 per, are reasonably priced and from what I tasted are actually worth the stop. Plus maybe you can trick yourself into thinking it was actually somewhat healthy. The bar, located at 1011 N. Tyndall Ave., is open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. until close and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until close.