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Junzi Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Junzi Kitchen

Where to find boozy adult juice boxes in NYC

Restaurants and bars are serving cocktails in juice boxes to remind us of our own ennui

By Emma Orlow
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You've seen cocktails served in mason jars, carved out pineapples, honey pots, tiki heads, and, even, hackneyed inflatable flamingo cozies. Kitschy bar trends come and go, but this season, we can't get enough of drinks served in what can only be described as R-rated juice boxes. Think of boozy juice cartons as a more refined version of those nasty vodka gummy bears you tried to make that one night in your dorm room. Perhaps it's the impending doom of climate change, politics or just general existential sprinklings of *~*summertime sadness*~* but we love the nostalgic return of these drinks. The fun cocktails scream "I'm baby" for the 21+ set without having our parents still pack our lunch. Find us slurping up our feelings through the (hopefully not plastic) straws of our childhood all night long. They won't cure your ennui, but they'll certainly keep you cool.

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1. Thursday Kitchen (East Village)

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Despite its Instagrammable Capri Sun-style soju cocktails, Thursday Kitchen has largely remained a sleeper hit East Village restaurant. Seriously, we love this place so much we feel pangs of guilt just telling you about it. Many are featuring the pouch cocktail as part of their beverage programs, but Thursday takes it a step further with LED lit ice cubes, that give you a glow up. Drinks, such as a version made with lychee and mango, pair excellently with their innovative gnocchi with chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli and a seaweed crunch.

2. Kichin (Bushwick)

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We love the small, fun details at Kichin: a choking hazard sign (illustrated by Doris Liou), the perfect, pocket-sized perilla leaf jeon with wood ear and yuba and the brilliant shade of pink from the beet japchae dish. In addition to other drinks, conceptualized by Beverage Director Jason White (formerly of Mission Chinese and Per Se), the restaurant just added a juice box with cute graphic design and straight-up sake, catering to all our interests.

3. Claw Daddy's (multiple locations)

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The adult Capri Sun-style options at seafood shack Claw Daddy's are whopping. Take your pick of a version with rose petals, coconut and passion fruit, to pair with their crabcake fritters and fried green tomatoes. 

4. Junzi Kitchen (Morningside Heights)

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Lucas Sin is one-to-watch. He's already launched thoughtful Chinese-spins on fast casual, with locations in Morningside Heights, Greenwich Village and a flagship near Bryant Park. But more than that, Sin has a mission to bring a bit more soul to chains by keeping the feeling intimate. To do so, Sin puts on events and pop-ups in his first NYC location by Columbia University, which includes little-known after-hours offerings like Chinese beers and hard alchohol served in a crysanthemum tea juice boxes (which, if you aren't familiar, is 10000000x better than any Mott's apple juice version). Please note: Junzi's After Hours program is on summer break and will reopen on September 5th. 
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