Warren Bobrow is a brand ambassador, former bank executive and the author of four cocktail books. His latest is Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations.
And if there were any doubts as to the possible commercial success of a book on cannabis drinks—I’m in New Orleans this week—and it’s totally sold out.
One caveat Bobrow offers is that he cannot tell people the correct doses for the different strains or the risks inherent in using cannabis tinctures. He offers up the Thai food spice principal: Start low, as “you can always add more spice.” He suggests waiting an hour between drinks.
VUE spoke with the author about his training, his book, and reinventing himself at 50-years-old.
VUE WEEKLY: How did you get your start with cocktails?
WARREN BOBROW: I trained as a chef in the ’80s. I started in television, that didn’t work out so well. I always wanted to work in a kitchen so I got a job as a pot-scrubber. I worked my way up the line as an apprentice to become a saucier. Cocktails came easy to me after being trained in flavours.
VW: When did you know you wanted to write cocktail books?
WB: That came about after a Ministry of Rum event in 2010. The founder, Ed Hamilton, encouraged me into it. I left corporate banking in 2009, and there was a short window before I met Hamilton. I took classes with celebrated writers and instructors Andy Smith, at The New School, and with Alan Richman, at the International Culinary Center of New York. The writing came easy to me. There is good writing out there, but I truly felt I could do better. I was going to write about food and wine. I didn’t look at cocktails until I talked to Ed Hamilton.
The only ingredient missing from my last book Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today was cannabis. Cannabis is a very dicey subject. I didn’t want to make the book a ‘get-high quick guide’.
VW: What’s been the hardest part of this journey?
WB: I’m 55 now and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life until I was 50. I was 48 when I lost my banking job and I worked for two years without a pay cheque. When I left they gave me severance and I used that to reinvent myself. This has not been easy, financially.
VW: What’s your favourite cocktail to make from the Cannabis Cocktails book?
WB: It’s a well-made Absinthe Frappé. Good luck getting one in most places. The absinthe is usually terrible, the ice is even worse. I love to use Cuvée Edouard absinthe, and got permission to use it in the book. I infuse it with THC. I also love a Sazerac with the THC infused absinthe.