With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the historically perpetual image of a sweet drink in every glass is as flawed as the original recipes that they emanate from. It’s not necessary to make every Valentine’s Day themed cocktail sweet! This should be a head’s up to the theory that Valentine’s Day always a day to overwhelm your sweet tooth!
There are several ways to entice the drinker into wanting to take their palate to a higher place with Valentine’s Day Cocktails. First of all, the glassware should be exciting. A new coupe’ glass, or an elegant Champagne flute, or if your drink centers around the masculine in image, perhaps an extra heavy Old-Fashioned glass to cradle some extra old rum in relaxation? And there is nothing wrong with upping the game with exotic bitters as a flourish, just before serving. I love the varieties of bitters on the market today. They make my job, very easy.
I love intriguing new products that are both crafty and also intellectually produced. Enter the “Poke A Bowl”, because the entire way that you’ve been cleaning the sticky resin and ash from your glass pipes is wrong. Wrong? Yes, that smelly brown stuff that clogs up the business part of your pipe or bong stem is just gross, especially when it gets on your fingers. You’ll know it all day! Creagen Dow has a solution. He knows intimately how to clean your gummed up cannabis pipe or glued up bong stem with simplicity and verve. It is a very sharp metallic non-stick post mounted to what appears to be an ashtray hailing from the 1940’s. You know the kind that has a gleaming metal, machine age formed and polished clam-shell lid, ostensibly to keep the smell in from all those nasty cigarettes. But this isn’t designed for cigarettes. It’s created to clean your ash spot. One of the other side-effects of smoking high end craft cannabis and accumulating this sticky resin, which is a byproduct of the natural plant oil, is the scent. It can be overpowering. So, if you could conceivably contain the odoriferous scent in a container that has not only an ingenious lid, but an interior made of high heat repelling silicone, then quite possibly you have a really great cannabis idea. That kind that comes to you when you’re stoned! That’s at least what I thought, and I enjoy these flashes of brilliance, it’s behind all my books. It’s simple and succinct, the Poke A Bowl system. I wanted Creagen to succeed immediately because of the simplicity of his invention, and because he tossed in a couple of really nicely made glass bowls in the package with the above mentioned clam shell, plus a very handy travel model also made of durable plastic. Hand held and unobtrusive, it eliminates the need to seek a small stick from a nearby tree, which always breaks off, rendering your pipe useless forever. This is a fine invention that should appeal to most cannabis friendly people. I’d love to see an adaptation on an elegant stand, like the early cigarette ashtray stands of the Jazz Era. That would be an intellectual re-use of a classic metaphor. Yes, a new product idea is born! Without further adieu, please eMeet, Creagen Dow.
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Don’t know what to give to your loved one this Valentines Day? Whether your loved one is a smoker or a CBD lover, we got you covered. All the CBD products featured are sourced from hemp farms in the US.
Keep the flames alive with these thoughtful presents!
This year surprise your loved one or your sweetheart with these unique products. Below are 12 one of a kind gift ideas for Valentines.
I’ve never actually met Steve Trenk in person, but our circles probably are much closer than we might think. I too grew up in New Jersey, in a small town named, Morris Township. Not too far, as the crow fly’s from where Steve spent his formative years. It’s ironic somehow that we both have endured the brunt of ‘jersey’ jokes. They are quite familiar to me, and it appears to Steve as well. Isn’t “Jersey in England”, is my usual reply to this crude, and closed-minded anachronism aimed at those who think they know New Jersey, but end up in their irrational description somewhere near the Meadowlands, or the vast salt flats leading nowhere, and piling up near a garbage dump. It’s probably from watching TV shows such as the Soprano’s or having their plane re-routed to Newark Airport, or maybe they got lost at rush hour by the Lincoln Tunnel. That’s too bad, because New Jersey is an incredibly diverse and in the context of beauty, an unusually unexploited place. Most Americans don’t know the real New Jersey, and that’s how I like it. At any rate, reading through Steve’s answers to my questions, brought me to a place of understanding of his own personal path to success. While mine took me to the culinary arts, a fresh pasta corporation, and the wine business. Steve used his brains to make something different. He took a path towards success and he made something really marvelous of himself. Steve Trenk, as you will discover works in the legal cannabis industry, which is exploding in popularity with this new found acceptance and de-stigmatization. The amount of brain power that powers its way through the intricacies of the legal cannabis industry is far, far removed the past, when we sold a few joints to our cannabis family at a Grateful Dead concert to stay, on the bus. Cannabis has evolved greatly and is pushing forwards into the Post-Modern Era. It’s “High” time to get on that bus again with these self-guiding, upper-intellectual industry leaders such as Steve Trenk. Located firmly at the helm in their own unique place in the cannabis universe. An experience of their own making, and therefore responsible for their own success, and the success of their investors. Thank you.
I received the honor of writing a Cannabis-Centric Valentine’s Day gift guide from my kind editors at Forbes- after my pitch, of course! The overall topic was certainly not your usual fare. The best diamond, best bottle of Single Malt Scotch, best Swiss-chocolates, nor the best online rose retailer interested me. I wanted something that most people have never thought about. And even fewer have tried. The Cannagar!
HiFi Farms (Detail)WARREN BOBROW: IPHONE X
A Cannagar is much more granular that just another dozen roses. So in the room that I have to entice you to either get on a plane and fly to the places where these, ‘hand-held’ works of art can be acquired, you should then start dreaming of next year. Because a Luxury Cannagar is one of those things in life that a cannabis smoker lusts after. He/she may have tasted the finest herbs that money can buy and rightfully so. They are successful cannabis-heads and they take deep pride in their educated, good taste regarding their passion for rare cultivars. These, of course come at an extreme cost. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. In the case of a Cannagar, it is a combination of the finest flowers, grown with love on the top quality farms, woven into a tangle of concentrates, waxes, rosins, shatters, oils, kief, or a combination of all or none! There is extraordinary soul that goes into the manufacture of a Cannagar. It makes shelling out over a hundred dollars or much, much more, for one even more deeply enticing and just the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.
Covering the ultra-high end world of the cannabis biz is an exciting thing for a journalist. There are so many different facets of the business to focus on. The humble cannabis plant itself is so diverse, offering multiple uses from one seed. To be entrusted with the ability to taste and offer cohesive notes on the quality of the product is a great honor. Drilling down a bit deeper, and writing product notes, especially the ones on ultra-high-end cannabis inventions are a most subjective thing, especially to a taste maker. However, one of the downfalls of my craft as a taste maker, is that difficulty that I keep coming across in the broader marketplace. Many of the products that I’ve been given to sample are made with all great ingredients, they have to be tested multiple times for purity. I’ve found in the world of cannabis, pleasure in reviewing the 510 cart. These are pretty expensive products, and through my somewhat educated palate I aspire to give tasting notes that offer a deeper perception of their individual aromatics, effects and terroir. Recently, many of my samples have been skewed towards sweet, sweeter and sweetest, in the form of their aromatics and their overall flavor. The really sticky sweet ones do not appeal to me. It’s as if the entire cannabis community decided that all vape carts were to be sugary sweet. Pretty disappointing to someone who doesn’t make sweet drinks. That is until I tasted the oils produced by the vertically integrated company, located in San Jose California, named Caliva. “The Most Trusted Brand in Cannabis.” The two marvelously juicy cannabis oils that I was fortunate enough to taste from Caliva are the Cali OG, bursting with the earthy delights of the plant and the other beautifully designed 510 cartridge simply named Pillow Talk. Quite the provocative name for a simply designed, and marvelously topped with cool and sanitary stainless steel against my lips.
Session Goods seeks to expand your intellect, one gentle pull off their elegant glass bong at a time. But what does this mean to the consumer? Not since college, back in the early 1980’s, have I even thought about owning a bong, with most of them just too fragile and complicated for my tastes. In recent years I’ve really have shied away from this oft powerful method of imbibing cannabis. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the way they look, but more as a metaphor for their craft, instead of just getting buzzed. I just haven’t enjoyed the experience that they offer from all those twists and turns of the expensive, hand-blown glass. Every time I walk into a high-end “Head Shop” I’m always intrigued by the multitudes of intricate glass bongs, but I really have no use for one. Why? They all seem so cumbersome to use, and most are quite difficult to keep clean. I had a bong in prep school as I remember, and I think I even had a couple of them in college in the 80’s. They were nothing more than straight tube bongs, made of plastic (as I remember), with metal down pipes and harsh metal bowls. They were not well made, nor nice to look at. They leaked and made a mess in my Jeep. They would get incredibly hot, and even dirtier than the worst childhood dream realized of drinking the (unsavory) bong-water by mistake. Let’s just say that they were not the most elegant things, not something that I’m proud of in my fading memories of those years. Then, this Xmas season, I was suddenly overwhelmed by all sorts of electronic implements to smoke cannabis from. Most of these really expensive devices took concentrates, product that I cannot find in my state. They were wildly powerful, and one or two made me feel really physically ill afterwards. Not a good start when someone is supposed to review a machine that costs several hundreds of dollars, and that’s before the raw ingredients are added to the bill. So I’m careful about what hardware I agree to review, and even more careful when it comes to complex glass that requires intricate cleaning. Some glass bongs are just meant to be cleaned by professionals. I don’t have time to over intellectualize the process of cleaning my cannabis glassware, and you shouldn’t either!
There’s no surer way to make the holidays more festive than with a little cannabis, and now that it’s legal in states throughout the country, there’s no better time than now to gift the ultimate cannabis swag. From vaporizers and vitamins to pipes and soaks, this past year saw a ton of terrific creation and innovation in the world of cannabis, so we highlighted some of our favorites below to help you turn your holidays into a holidaze and give everyone in the family a little something extra to smile about.
New–Jersey-based Warren Bobrow, known as the Cocktail Whisperer in the hospitality industry, is a mixologist, bartender, contributing writer for Forbes and author of, among other books, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations. On Dec. 19, Bobrow was on his first visit to Toronto to talk about what he’s most passionate about: infused cocktails and mocktails.
“Drinking is part of our culture. What I have chosen to do with my book, Cannabis Cocktails… is make infused drinks approachable—by mixing together ingredients in a way that’s cohesive and not overwhelming,” says the 57-year-old author of six books.
The book, launched in 2015, drew scathing criticism. “It was termed bad and dangerous, but things have changed now. As per my knowledge, this is the first book and the only book on the topic—on THC-infused cocktails,” Bobrow says. “I wrote this book so that people could enjoy infused cocktails without stigma. When you smoke a joint on the streets, everybody knows your business and has a preconceived notion, right or wrong, on what it is that you are doing.”
The hospitality session, organized by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) Ontario and Lifford Cannabis Solutions, tastefully coincided with the holiday season and the regulations on cannabis edibles and concentrates to be announced by Health Canada.
To help highlight cannabis’ place in the hospitality industry, Lifford in partnership with CAPS Ontario, has been hosting one such session monthly since legalization. “Whether it’s restaurants or infused beverages, we are interested to see how the edibles regulations will change with the regulations set to be announced. At Lifford, we are a wine and spirits company, we are interested in the potential of creating infused beverages,” says Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions.
Apart from a talk by Bobrow, the session also had a cocktail and mocktail station. “Mocktails are the biggest trend of 2018. A lot of consumers are moving away from alcohol, and this session fits right into that dialogue,” says Campbell, explaining the demand for such a session.
Guests, on the other hand, ranged from people who had never tried infused cocktails to others who couldn’t wait to give them a shot. “In the past, I haven’t been interested in infused anything, but listening to him and how he’s been retaining terpene interaction… because in infusion, you often lose the aroma, with the decarb product, I surely want to try it, now,” says Chris Klugman, CEO and president of Paint Box Catering. “There’s has been a huge interest in the overall wine and cannabis combination,” Klugman reports.
Apart from reading some of the recipes from the book, his professional history and his family story, Bobrow also shared some tips to making good cocktails. “There are a ton of things people don’t know about cannabis and cocktails, but predominantly, that they should be decarbing their cannabis—they need to activate the THC. If you take raw cannabis and stick it inside a bottle of liquor… all you will get is a mouldy mass of gunk.”
More than fanning the interest and sharing trade secrets, the session also focused on education. “Love it or hate it, cannabis is part of our reality now,” says Kim Gertler, media and communications representative for CAPS Ontario. “That means, it’s part of the duty of care of every sommelier to look after their customer, and monitor their levels of intoxication and inebriation—whether it’s through alcohol or cannabis. It’s important for people to inform themselves. Education, knowing what works and not, is key,” Gertler adds.