We were careful to select only 100% pomegranate juices for this study. Many so-called pomegranate juices are actually just cheaper juices like apple and grape, mixed with a hint of pomegranate. So it’s important to read the labels. (Don’t confuse this with pomegranate juice blends, e.g. pomegranate blueberry or pomegranate cranberry.)
Some of the juices we tried had been fresh-pressed, most came from concentrate (one is actually sold as a concentrate),* and many contained unspecified natural flavors. None contained added sugar. Concentrate is neither better nor worse than fresh-pressed; we had favorites in both categories. We also tasted some organic juices.
We found shelf-stable as well as refrigerated juices and hope someday to come across a frozen pomegranate juice to add to this review.
Be sure you’re buying 100% pomegranate juice,
not a blend of apple or grape juices with a small percentage of the more expensive pomegranate
juice. Photo by Igor Smichkov | IST.
*The Lakewood and Elite Naturel juices were the only ones containing fresh-pressed juice; the rest were made from concentrates. With the exception of the Lakewood, Elite Naturel and R.W. Knudsen juices, all the others contained added natural flavors.
The juices were all so different from each other that any one might suit a particular taste or purpose. For clarity, we organized the 100% pomegranate juices into five categories according to the products’ most dominant traits: full-bodied, sweet, tart and tangy, juicy and earthy. Our notes follow.
Note that while many juices taste extremely bitter initially, after they have a chance to breathe, they evolve and the bitterness dissipates—similar to the harshness in some wines.