Warren “The Cocktail Whisperer” Bobrow has lived many lives. After graduating from Emerson College in ‘85, he worked in television as an editor at PBS in New York City. That position led him to TV and radio engineering in Maine at WNET-TV, but his heart just wasn’t in it. Unemployed and poor in Portland, before it was chic to live there, Bobrow took a job as a dishwasher and salad prep cook in a local restaurant, which ignited a passion for the culinary arts.
This week’s episode dives into everything from smoking to infusing and creating, discussing the politics behind the movement, and how it’s now being incorporated into mainstream society.
Warren, also known as “the Cocktail Whisperer,” is a fascinating guy who started in the finance and banking industry, is a trained Chef, and now his main focus is the creation of classic and creative cocktails all over the world.
Just the very mention of the word “repeal” suggests setting something behind, to leave it in the past, and what better day to leave something in the past than December 5, or Repeal Day, which celebrates the day Prohibition ended and the modern age of drinking really began.
Have you been assailed by emails of an uncertain provenance, promising you the world, yet delivering nothing? This is true to a fault, as consumers we are price conscious and it gets us into trouble, again and again. Perhaps the difficulty stems from wanting something right now- and not being willing to wait. So patience is truly a virtue in the consumer driven world. So fair readers, relax and breath for a few minutes, just the time necessary to scan over this list of the goods that come to the table in the act we call, giving. Here is a list of vetted, quality products that should bring pleasure throughout the year ahead and forward from there.
Before you mix up a cannabis-infused cocktail, there are a few things you should know. This is not a matter that should be taken as casually as the average cocktailor smoking a joint.
I’m so very honored!
Edibles are a fun, convenient and covert way to consume cannabis, whether for recreation or medical purposes. Edibles are yummy treats infused with marijuana, that deliver the medicinal and psychoactive ingredients to your system without having to smoke anything. They can take the form of anything from brownies to borscht, with the help of infused oils like cannabutter. You can make savory cannabis foods like spaghetti, sweet treats like cookies and candies, or even drinks like cocktails and marijuana tea. If you want to get started making your own edibles at home but do not know how, don’t worry – there is a cannabis cookbook out there for you! In this list we will go over our top 10 favorite edibles cookbooks, featuring recipes for all tastes, budgets, and skill levels. You will find omnivorous and vegan treats, sweet and savory, complex recipes and some that take as little as five minutes to prepare.
If you want a more in-depth look on how to make cannabutter and other cannabis oils, check out our How To Make Pot Brownies post where we cover all of the steps. Make sure to follow all local laws when growing, processing, or eating your cannabis!
1. ‘Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations’ by Warren Bobrow
One of the newest ways people are enjoying cannabis is by combining it with cocktails and mocktails. This is especially popular at dinner parties in the any states where cannabis has recently become legal for recreation. But, with a strong taste and a particular method of infusion necessary, beginners may not know how best to make cannabis cocktails. This book has a collection of 75 cannabis drink recipes by “The Cocktail Whisperer” Warren Bobrow. It also includes a full history of cannabis as a social and medicinal drug. You will find recipes not only for cocktails but for shrubs, bitters, butters, oils and even coffee, tea and milk-based drinks for the morning hours. This is a really fun book for anyone who loves drinks and cannabis.
Price: Kindle $2.99 Hardcover $17.57
Like the word “gay,” the term “edible” has adopted a radically different accepted use than was originally intended. Thanks to mainstream media coverage of medicinal marijuana and the drug’s recreational legalization in seven states, plus Washington, D.C., “edibles” now generally refer to the psychoactive chemical compounds in marijuana … ingestible in the form of food as simple as a jelly bean or as gourmet as fois gras.
While basement chemists and chefs continue to elaborate on edibles, the market is looking toward “drinkables” as the next frontier in catching a high. Some weed-legal states like Washington are already licensing the sale of non-alcoholic beverages that contain THC, the chemical in cannabis that produces the buzz, and DIY mixologists are putting out cannabis cocktail recipes as fast as their minds can fire them up.
Still, the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, prohibits the addition of THC to commercial alcohol products. However, analysts expect the category to eventually ignite, and producers are positioning themselves for an inevitable rule reversal by seeking and receiving permission to infuse their products with non-psychoactive marijuana compounds like hemp and a type of cannabinoid called CBD. Some medical professionals believe CBD can actually help counter the adverse effects of THC like anxiety and has its own therapeutic properties, though controversy exists at the highest levels over whether CBD is technically legal or not.
Not much product has hit the scene yet but it is slowly becoming, as they say, “a thing.” The category first came to my attention a few years ago with the release of Humboldt Brewing’s Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale. I don’t remember much about it other than it was pretty forgettable.
He also tells me he knows of just two North American distilleries – one in British Columbia and another in Alaska — that started selling hemp vodka before he launched his last spring but since then he’s received numerous phone calls from entrepreneurs looking for advice. In October, the TTB approved a Colorado beer brewed with CBD, which also doesn’t spark a buzz, for national sale.
“It has a relationship to the growing interest in cannabis. That’s our sales angle, as it certainly helps the story,” he says of his own spirit, which retails for $29.99 MSRP. “But the market needs this product because it’s something new and the herbal quality makes nice cocktails.”
The hemp primarily comes through in the vodka’s aroma though it can be hard to discern among the other botanicals. Plus, the smell of the hemp oils can dissipate quickly.
So if it doesn’t get you high, doesn’t taste like dank herb and doesn’t even smell like a freshly lit Rastafarian, is there really a point? Stevens, who sells Humboldt’s Finest in about a dozen states patchworked across the U.S., says he gets that question all the time, especially from the west coast.
“Sometimes with people who’re really into the cannabis culture … we specifically try and even avoid that aspect and focus on the craft cocktail aspect. In Mississippi and Georgia they don’t have a legal marijuana outlet so to them there’s possibly a lot more novelty,” he says.
Until such a time when the feds do license THC-infused spirits, Humboldt’s Finest and its competitors can find sanctuary behind the bar next to an endless range of DIY possibilities that are building the backbone of today’s craft cannabis cocktail scene. Since around 2014, magazines and websites have been teaching readers how to make (mostly illegal) THC infusions of spirits, syrups, bitters, and the like. Last year, renowned cocktail author Warren Bobrow published the first book on marijuana cocktails, called Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics – The Art of Spirits Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations and containing 75 self-tested recipes.
But its publication hasn’t brought the New Jersey-based writer much wellness himself. He’s lost consulting clients on the east coast and his father literally disowned him before he died. While his dad had his own reasons for shunning his son, Bobrow’s big-liquor friends presumably stopped associating with him because conventional wisdom says that pot cuts into sales of beer and spirits. Bobrow’s actually made this argument himself, as has Cowan and Company, which made news by entering the marijuana investment space and analyzing a Nielsen report that showed beer sales dropping in three states where the drug has become legal.
Regardless of whether legal consumption will harm or help alcoholic beverages in the long term, one aspect does need to be addressed: the effects of mixing alcohol and pot.
“This is a legitimate concern,” says Swartz. “People must be careful to pace themselves when consuming alcohol and cannabis simultaneously. But after more people learn how, I believe mixing cannabis and alcohol will become even more socially acceptable.”
Right now, it’s not necessarily publicly acceptable, even in states where it’s legal. Californians need a card to purchase weed, and a sales guy at an extraordinarily professional dispensary in Bend, Oregon, told me to furtively smoke my legally purchased $9 joint on a dark residential sidewalk instead of lighting up at the bar where my friends were enjoying craft beers, cocktails and cigars. Did I order any fewer drinks than I might have? Yes. But not because I was stoned. Rather, it’s because I had to leave the bar for 20 minutes at a time to light up in secret. Had I been able to ingest my intoxicant as an alcoholic digestible I could have sat there far longer … and I probably would have ordered even more.