A 'Daily Green Essentials' and a 'Beauty Shot' ©Rosie de Belgeonne

It’s the time of year when every close encounter on a crowded G train threatens to land you with a dose of someone else’s snotty cold. It’s therefore probably a pretty good time to start taking extra care of our immune systems, which is where Botica & Co., a new business at 607 Manhattan Avenue, might be able to help.

Newly opened next to Awakening wellness centre, Botica and Co. is a cold-press juice bar and apothecary run by herbalist Adriana Ayales. The bar offers an array of fresh juices and herbal elixirs guaranteed to help keep your body and soul in tip-top form all year long.

Adriana is from Costa Rica, and was born into a family of healers, learning the art of herbal distillation from her grandmother before going on to study at botanical school in California. She is co-owner of bottled juice company Pura Fruta and of apothecary Anima Mundi which are both run from her herbal laboratory in Long Island City, with products sold online and though specialist stores such as Wholefoods.

Adriana lives a few blocks from Awakening and, when she noticed that its cafe was going out of action, she realized it could be the perfect spot to bring her juices and elixirs together. She got in touch with owner Mariola Zaremba who loved the idea of rejuvenating the cafe, and within a mere two weeks Botica and Co. was born!

All the juices are cold pressed in Long Island City and are poured on tap at the juice bar. Adriana explains that cold pressing helps preserves maximum natural vitamins and enzymes. “The machine presses the fruit and veg without breaking their molecular structure, so the juice remains good for three days. A regular juicer with blades can heat up and destroy the original power of the plants after just seven minutes. Cold pressing is a micro filtration system and retains everything.”


The juice menu includes a Daily Green Essentials (cucumber, kale, parsley, pineapple, celery, spinach, and medicinal greens elixir), a Cold’s Cocktail (ginger garlic, turmeric, lemon, honey, coconut water and medicinal cold’s elixir), and 12 other dazzling combinations that make you feel healthier just reading their ingredients. You can also buy booster power shots, which are hardcore liquid concentrates. “Instead of a tequila shot you’re having a complete renewal shot,” laughs Adriana.

You’ll notice the presence of some of Adriana’a special Anima Mundi elixirs in the juices and these are also on sale separately on the shelves of the juice bar.  They target specific areas such as the Cerebrum Brain Tonic (brings circulation to brain tissue, enhances clarity), Lucid Dreaming (to encourage deep sleep and banish insomnia) and Corpus Lucem, (an aphrodisiac to awaken loving awareness within the body but also, in lesser doses, known simply as joy tonic). “You can take it as a shot or add it to a juice, its really up to you,” she tells me.

Adriana is a true believer in the medicinal nature of plants. “There’s so much healing power in the rainforest and that was the whole point of Botica: bringing the rainforest to life” she says. “We support the rainforest communities, practice true fair trade, and bring the goodness to places like New York that really need it. People don’t think the herbs will effect them, but then they start working and it’s unbelievable!”

Botica also offers simple, tasty foodstuffs such as avocado on spelt toast, an ayurvedic kitchari (lentils, rice and fresh herbs), and Nori rolls with kitchari, avocado and kale. Exactly the kind of thing you’ll want to help restore your energy after a yoga class in the studio next door.

The walls are lined with jars of herbs that can be bought in bulk and taken home for personal use. A one-day herbal juice cleanse is also about to be launched, where you can pick up a supply of juice to see you through a whole day’s detox. Something tells me this is going to be extremely popular after party blow-outs leading up to the new year.

The best advert for Botica & Co. is Adriana herself, who is glowing luminous with health despite the fact that she’s currently rushed off her feet running three businesses. If upping my juice intake will get me looking half as sparkly as she does at 8am on a wintery Friday then sign me up straight away!

Botica and Co. is at 607 Manhattan Avenue between Driggs and Nassau Aves.
Opening hours are 8am-8pm daily.

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