Disrupting the cannabis kitchen with infused cocktails

With regulations regarding edibles scheduled to be released Friday, this week’s hospitality session addressed a timely topic

By Anisha DhimanDecember 20, 2018 Comments

Lisa Campbell and Warren Bobrow share a fun moment. To help highlight cannabis’ place in the hospitality industry, Lifford in partnership with CAPS Ontario, has been hosting one such session monthly since legalization.  PHOTO CREDIT: Jessica Nudo, Lifford Cannabis Solutions
Lisa Campbell and Warren Bobrow share a fun moment. To help highlight cannabis’ place in the hospitality industry, Lifford in partnership with CAPS Ontario, has been hosting one such session monthly since legalization. PHOTO CREDIT: Jessica Nudo, Lifford Cannabis Solutions

NewJersey-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.

Event: Learn How to Create DIY Infused Holiday Cocktails & Mocktails

As we celebrate the coming of cannabis edible regulations, it isn’t difficult to get into the holiday spirit. The cannabis industry has entered the post-prohibition era where anything is possible, and we are ready to ring in a new year of endless possibilities (HIGHly optimistic, right?).

  Image supplied

Image supplied

That’s why we are rounding off a killer 2018 with our friends at Lifford Cannabis Solutions — and you should definitely join us. Tomorrow, Wednesday December 19th, we’ll be learning how to craft the perfectly infused cocktail and mocktail with The Cocktail Whisperer.

Organized by The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) Ontario in partnership with Lifford Cannabis Solutions, the hospitality community is in for a special treat, with learnings that they can bring to their home and holiday events to kick things up a notch. You’ll learn how to wow guests at ALL the holiday parties with some tasty takeaways that will dazzle taste buds and elevate spirits (literally).

Yes, even that hard-to-impress grinch in your crew who could use a little holiday cheer.

This month’s event will feature 6-time author Warren Bobrow The Cocktail Whisperer, as he educates guests on the fine art of cannabis beverages.  Warren is a cannabis writer for Forbes, and authored the very first book on cannabis cocktails. Guests will look forward to DIY cannabis cocktail demonstrations and learn about different types of infusions, dosing and flavour profiles.

If you’re in Toronto, we invite you to join us for the final Hospitality Sessions of 2018 at Lifford Wine & Spirits, and you can use HERBLIFE for 15% off at checkout.

Rosie Mattio: The Intersection of Luxury Cannabis and Intellectualism

Rosie Mattio PHOTO COURTESY: ROSIE MATTIO, PR

Author’s Note: I love working with talented intellects who enjoy the cannabis space for more than just a job, these “think on their feet” entrepreneurs genuinely want to make a difference and are leading the thrust towards doing better by others, one step at a time. I am fortunate to work with several industry leaders in the Public Relations world of cannabis and all are supportive of my desire to document the talented and the entrepreneurial. One such talented person is Rosie Mattio. Rosie has her own cannabis-centric agency that specializes in luxury cannabis products. Her list of clients reads like a “Who’s Who” of the New Cannabis Age, but Rosie is not about shouting their accolades to the world. Quite to the contrary, her strength is organic. She brings people together through synergy and her ease of communication. She makes you feel comfortable in your path, because in the case of this company, brains push forwards- rather than sheer brawn. It takes more than one key player, however to make a team work in the cannabis space. As cannabis is organic, the methods of promotion are also organic. Not forcing, but guiding the guest, through the life of a product or service. Helping, guiding, but not doing is another method of great cannabis PR. Part of the passion of cannabis is the methodology of our tribe. Cannabis is not for everyone, but with the non-conformist views of this talented firm, what Rosie does is allow the consumer to learn along with the teacher, instead of the teacher knowing everything. Knowing everything is impossible in life, and it takes humility to discover the secrets of great Cannabis-Centric PR. I’m honored to share with you, Rosie Mattio, PR., and her five (or so) questions.

Read More Here At Forbes!

Hospitality Sessions: The Cocktail Whisperer!!

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The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) – Ontario in partnership with Lifford Cannabis Solutions invites the hospitality community to join us for this monthly event series. Please join us at Lifford Wine & Spirits (471 Jarvis Street) on the third Wednesday of the month to learn more about how cannabis will impact the hospitality industry.

$20 for CAPS Members   $35 for non-members

HOSPITALITY SESSIONS: CANNABIS COCKTAILS 12/ 19/18

Warren Bobrow, the Cocktail Whisperer, is the 6x Author of Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails & Elixirs, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations and his celebrated, 2017 release, The Craft Cocktail Compendium. Bobrow presented at the 2018 SXSW on Disrupting the Cannabis Kitchen and Cannabis Cocktails. He was the Mercedes-Benz Me Conference Mystery Speaker on Wellness, also at SXSW 2018.

 

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: High-Tech Cannabis Gadgets

Cannabis Cocktails and the Da Vinci MIQROWARREN BOBROW: IPHONE X

Technology certainly has taken the lead in the cannabis world with faster, stronger and better moving forward and the ‘old fashioned’ methods (the ones that I’m more familiar with), of enjoying cannabis being left in the dustbin of history. The old days of struggling to roll a joint to take your expensive medicine are the vestiges of time gone past. The very thought of emitting a deep cough from the sometimes-harsh cannabis smoke is uncomfortable on your throat. “High” Technology in cannabis makes taking a hit less onerous and stressful on the lungs, all the while enjoying the flavors and the textures of the concentrated cannabis vapors. I’ve been playing around with expensive technology and these are some standouts in the world of wonderful, cannabis gifts for the person who, has it all, or just wants the very best. Money is no object in most cases! I have included in my list a couple of non-technology items, just because I thought they are worthwhile and well thought out.

Miss USA WARREN BOBROW: IPHONE X

Read More Here At Forbes!

Confident Cannabis: Excelsiors in Transparency

Confident Cannabis CEO & Co-Founder Steve Albarran speaking at craft cannabis competition Cultivation Classic in Portland, Oregon.PHOTO CREDIT: CONFIDENT CANNABIS

What attracted me to cannabis, initially, wasn’t the feeling of being stoned— far from. It was a curiosity about the plant because I’m attracted to cannabis for the effect it has on my brain. You see, it makes me smarter. After all, no dummy writes and publishes books or makes a living being a writer. It’s challenging enough to put pen to paper, and actually say something that resonates with the reader. Cannabis and the intellects that use this much maligned plant, sit in the catbird-seat of entrepreneurship. None are more intriguing than the individuals that can actually change the highly stigmatized world of canna-intellectualism. I find this part of life fascinating, and I want to share this very personal energy with my readers.

Read More Here At Forbes!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: The Best Cannabis Books For Jólabókaflóð On Christmas Eve

Cannabis and Related Books – Suggested Reading for Jólabókaflóð. ©SARA BRITTANY SOMERSET

Jólabókaflóð, or “Christmas/Yule Book Flood,” is an Icelandic holiday tradition comprising exchanging books with friends and loved ones on Christmas Eve, then spending the evening reading them aloud to one another, often while gathered in front of a cozy fireplace, or curled up in bed with a partner, and perhaps some chocolate. The Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve, and then spending the evening reading, is worth importing and incorporating into the holiday season. In the spirit of the Jólabókaflóð (phonetically pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot) tradition, the following are some selections for the cannabis curious on Christmas Eve.

Read More Here At Forbes!

November Round Up–Cooking with Cannabis

Nov_Roundup_Cannabis_Cooking_mgretailer

For foodies, there’s always a keen interest in the latest ingredient or flavor trend, and ways to bring fun, unique experiences to the table. More than ever, cannabis is an option for experimental chefs and gourmets–they don’t call it “herb” for nothing. While its dank flavor maybe an acquired taste, with growing global legalization, cannabis as an ingredient in food and beverage is bound to become more common, especially once innovations in recipes and techniques take hold.

Home cooks in legal states can experiment now with cannabis-infused ingredients, specialty kitchen equipment, and recipes developed by cannabis cooks in almost every cuisine–it’s not just about brownies anymore (though there are some awesome recipes for baked treats. #Yum.). DIY edibles also may be the only option for cannabis connoisseurs in some states (and Canada), as well as a more economical choice for edible lovers.

Here’s a short list of eight cannabis-related fun food options that would make great gifts for adventurous chefs and culinary explorers. Whether it’s a posh holiday potluck or a luxe party spread, a buzz-worthy Sunday brunch or intimate dinner-for-two, there have never been more options for cooking at home or dining out:

The_Cocktail_Whisperer_mgretailer“Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics” by Warren Bobrow–Available in hardcover or Kindle editions, this book of drink recipes is from acknowledged adult beverage writer Bobrow, also known by his blogger moniker The Cocktail Whisperer. Not just a roster of recipes; Bobrow, whose work has been published in high-end foodie magazines, is also an educator on the topic of tonics and libations. He gives readers historical background on cocktails and cannabis, as well as 75 recipes, ranging from infused coffee cream to pre-dinner aperitifs to warm remedies for winter colds. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “This is not a get high quick, stoner book. It is a thoughtfully-written, well-researched, creative read showcasing delicious healing cocktails that feature alcohol and cannabis.” At Amazon.com.

Read More Here At mgretailer.com!

Aster Farms’ Unique Terroir Emerges from the Ashes in Wine Country

Julia and Sam during harvest PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ASTER FARMS.

Aster Farms’ Unique Terroir Emerges from the Ashes in Wine Country

I’m fortunate to have real farming in my blood from growing up on my family’s Demeter / Bio-dynamic / Organic / Gentleman’s farm in Morris Township, New Jersey. The idea and concept of using soil as an extension of the interactive, living earth with the planets above, pulling the entire thing together in a cohesive and forthright manner, is very personal to me— even though my part in the whole thing was very limited. But the concept of farming cannabis attracts my attention because it’s real. Farming, whatever you are growing is massively hard work. There’s no sleeping-in “because I’m tired” days. No days off. While growing up, my responsibility was to care for a working stable with very demanding horses. Horses eat 24/7. Their stalls need to be cleaned constantly, it’s just what you do. That was my job. School was part of the story, too. It wasn’t easy for me, far from. There’s always a job to do on a farm.

Read More Here At Forbes!

Bayflower Cannabis Company: Be Free

In The Pines WARREN BOBROW: IPHONE X

Covering cannabis at the top of the line in quality, and all within the journalistic side of the cannabis business has certainly opened my taste-buds to a broad array of flavors and ‘terroir’ that I thought only existed in the wine world. It’s truly eye-opening to imagine all that time that I spent tasting fine wine growing up, only to discover in later years a much broader array of flavors like wine, inherent to cannabis. I discovered many similar attributes to fine wine, and vice-versa. Descriptors such as crushed minerals, fruit salad, pine forest, sap, salt-slicked could all mean different impressions of fine wine from around the globe. Now imagine taking those same and even more descriptive language when it comes to cannabis tasting notes. Such as the new catch phrase, terpenes. Imagine my delight to fall into a series of samples from Bayflower in San Francisco. Not that I was in San Francisco, (I wasn’t), but close enough in Eureka (a few hours up the coast), is where I experienced their own unique terroir; quite literally, the taste of the place. Here I had in at my disposal some of the most gorgeous locally grown, (legally, of course) cannabis. And suddenly as if by osmosis I had several lovely new samples from Bayflower!  Wonderful!  Thank you!