Meet the man who wrote the book on Cannabis cocktails

The age of cannabis cocktails has arrived—and if you ask writer and spirit brand ambassador Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, & Tonics, it’s been a long time coming. The “Cocktail Whisperer,” as he has come to be known, has been experimenting with cannabis tinctures and infusions for decades, and is one of the first to publish a book detailing his recipes. And while many still view marijuana as an incorrigible vice, Bobrow’s is a much more academic and, at times, spiritual fascination.warren-bobrow-crop-web-690x460

Who is the Cocktail Whisperer?

Like most people in the cocktail industry, Warren Bobrow’s story is a bit of a meandering one. Originally trained as a saucier, his career began with a dish washing job at a restaurant in the seaside town of York Harbor, Maine. He eventually worked his way up to an executive chef position before turning south, starting his own fresh pasta business in Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1980s.

“Then we had Hurricane Hugo, and I lost everything,” he explained, rather matter-of-factly. “I moved back to New Jersey, where I was born and raised, and got a job that paid the bills and allowed me to save and have all the nice perks that go with that.”

They told me that America wasn’t ready for it yet, and I think in many ways they still aren’t.

What followed was a 20-year stint as an executive assistant in the banking industry, a job he mostly couldn’t stand. “I didn’t belong in the corporate world—everyone told me so, but I wasn’t listening,” he said. “I made good money and it was tough to leave. But eventually, I lost my job, and I had to figure out what the heck I was going to do.”

Bobrow had always been interested in writing, but by his own admission he didn’t know the first thing about it. Thanks to a connection through his previous employer, though, he got his first chance to prove himself in 2009.

“So I started writing about food and wine, which were the things I was comfortable with. I came across a magazine out in San Francisco called Served Raw, and they gave me a chance to write for them—but they couldn’t afford to pay me anything. They were founders of Amazon or something and they still convinced me they couldn’t afford it,” he laughed. “But it didn’t matter because I started creating things, making drinks.”

He ingratiated himself with the magazine’s editors, and eventually earned himself the moniker of Cocktail Whisperer. “When the magazine went out of business—you know how publications come and go—they gifted me the domain cocktailwhisperer.com, and I still use it today. I think it’s a fitting name, because I try to speak to ingredients from a melodic and nostalgic point of view.”

A Modern Apothecary

The craft cocktail movement was well underway by the time the Cocktail Whisperer came to be, but Bobrow found himself drawn to a relatively unexplored corner of the industry’s history: the apothecary shop. Not always the most reputable businesspeople (hence the archetypal “snake oil salesman”), these early pharmacists nevertheless played an important role in the development of many ingredients and recipes we take for granted today.

The Mezzrole Cannabis Cocktail

The Mezzrole Cocktail, via Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics. Used with permission, c/o Fair Winds Press.

“My grandfather was in the patent pharmaceutical business. He made drugs that were sold in pharmacies all over the world. The colognes and aftershaves made him a wealthy man, but the over-the-counter pharmaceuticals made him a real fortune.”

Perhaps his most famous product was Geritol, an iron supplement that was cited for false advertising that “amounted to gross negligence and bordered on recklessness,” according to the FTC. “He always referred to it as selling ice to eskimos,” Bobrow recounted wryly.

It was, at least in part, this family connection that first piqued his curiosity about history of apothecaries. Rather than attempting to validate what was a pretty clearly unethical business, though, Bobrow has always viewed patent medicines as a manifestation of a much more ancient practice: traditional folk medicine.

His first book, Apothecary Cocktails, explores a number of turn-of-the-century recipes and ingredients that have left a mark on popular drinking culture, as well as the contemporary bars that have sought to revive them. But even back then, cannabis as a cocktail ingredient was squarely on Bobrow’s radar.

The Good Old Days of Cannabis Cocktails

“When I wrote my first book, Apothecary Cocktails, I wanted to include cannabis in it, because it has such a long and storied history as a pharmaceutical. But my publisher wouldn’t let me. They told me that America wasn’t ready for it yet, and I think in many ways they still aren’t.

These substances were used for years, and it was only because of the ‘drugs are bad’ movement that they’ve been erased from history.

As public opinion and the political landscape shifted over the last half-decade, though, he began to feel that the time was ripe for an in-depth exploration of the intersection between cannabis and alcohol—long-time bedfellows in the form of tinctures and infusions in the medicine cabinets of yesteryear.

“I was doing a book signing for my third book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails, at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum a while back. At the same time, they were doing a presentation on cannabis in the early pharmacy. I had my entire book written for me, right there!” he said, laughing. “The trick, though, was getting my publisher to even consider it.”

Bobrow got in touch with his editor, who informed him that the publishing house was actually considering a cannabis project for future release. He scrambled to put together a book proposal in three days, and to his delight, they accepted it.

The Culinary Side of Cannabis

One of the things Bobrow wanted to develop was a guide to the flavor profiles of different strains of cannabis—after all, the research that goes into drink development these days is far from trivial.

“I wanted to make drinks that were approachable from a flavor standpoint. You have things like Fernet-Brancawhich is so popular these days, you have all these amari and herbal digestifs on the market, and even vermouth is hot again. Those are all great for introducing people to cannabis as a cocktail ingredient, because they’ve paved the way for strong, herbal flavors in drinks.”

But unlike alcoholic ingredients, he also had to consider the different psychoactive properties of each. “For example, I tried infusing Absinthe Edouard with a high-quality indica strain. It created this wonderfully lucid, translucent feeling. It also makes a great Absinthe Frappé,” he said, chuckling.

“In the book, I describe a series of strains and give tasting notes, like someone would taste whiskey. The idea was to make a guide that would be useful for a cocktail bar, and talk about the interplay between different flavors and psychoactive effects.”

Not Just for the Stoners

One of the biggest challenges when it came to writing Cannabis Cocktails, though, was figuring out how to make it accessible to a wider audience than the typical stoner crowd. “What I wanted to present was a different take on healing, like the early apothecary,” he explained. “These substances were used for years and years, and it was only because of the ‘drugs are bad’ movement that they’ve been erased from history.”

Dramatis Personae Cannabis Cocktail

The Dramatis Personae Cocktail, via Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics. Used with permission, c/o Fair Winds Press.

While the book has faced some backlash from anti-drug activists (and even a few cannabis proponents), it seems that Bobrow is sincerely concerned with ensuring that people enjoy his recipes responsibly. It seems like every other page of his book includes a warning about not overdoing it, and it’s one of the first subjects he brought up in our interview.

“This book is not for beginners,” he stressed, “and I try to make that very clear throughout. They’re strong drinks, even though we did our best to minimize their strength. I don’t recommend them to people who are just looking to party—ideally, they’ll introduce medical and recreational users to the rich history of cannabis in the healing arts.

“What affects me might not affect you the same way, and it might just completely destroy that guy over there,” he continued, pointing to an oblivious patron in the corner. “That’s why I stress: never more than one drink per hour. I take the Thai food principle. You can always get Thai food mild, and add more spice later. Once the spice is there, it’s not coming out. Same thing with a cannabis cocktail.”

The Future of Cannabis Cocktails

Despite the fact that recreational marijuana remains illegal throughout most of the United States, Cannabis Cocktails has been a hit nationwide. And based on its reception at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, the bartending industry is itching for more opportunities to put his recipes to the test.

We don’t know what the future will hold, but if current trends continue, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a handful of other states joining Colorado and Washington in cannabis legalization this November. But it’s clear that no matter what, Warren Bobrow will be at the forefront, an apothecary for the modern day.

 

The Perfect Cannabis Cocktail & Mocktail Recipes for the End of Summer!!

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Images courtesy of Warren Bobrow: the Hoochie Coochie Man cocktail (left) and the non-alcoholic Rose, Saffron and Cardamom Lassi (right) from his latest book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations.

Earlier this year, Warren treated our readers to a sneak peek of the book before it was available for purchase! If you missed that post, click here to get his recipe for the Mezzrole Cocktail, with a little dose of history regarding cannabis beverages.

Now, Warren has generously shared a couple of his favorite drinks that are perfect for transitioning from Summer to Fall.

Labor Day may be considered the unofficial end of Summer, but temperatures are still high here in Los Angeles and probably will be for a few more weeks. These cooling concoctions will definitely help prepare for the cooler climate to come, and the cardamom in the second recipe welcomes in the warm spices associated with Fall.

Really though, there are no rules that say you can’t drink these beverages any time of year. Do you only eat ice cream when it’s hot outside? I’m guessing the answer is no.

So, give one of these drinks a try this weekend to cool off and, if you love it, enjoy it whenever you feel like it, regardless of the weather!

Hoochie Coochie Man

“In India, where temperatures regularly hit three figures, cooling beverages are a must. Enter the lassi, a yogurt-based drink that’s akin to a smoothie. My favorite version features mango puree—or, in a pinch, mango sorbet or sherbet—paired with thick Greek-style yogurt and a snow shower of crushed coconut water ice. If you’re making a Hoochie Coochie Man, you’ll want to correct it with a little cannabis-infused light rum. Try infusing your rum with Critical Kush, a mostly-Indica strain. It has deep aromatics of Asian spices, freshly turned soil, and a concentrated pungency that’s the right contrast for the sweetness of the mango and the yogurt. And there’s enlightenment in each sip. (This strain of Kush is a powerful full-body relaxant, though, so no driving or bicycle riding allowed!) Top off your Hoochie with a couple drops of Creole bitters, which were originally invented as a remedy for dysentery.” 

How to make the Hoochie Coochie Man cocktail:

Ingredients:

• 4 ounces (120 ml) mango puree

• 4 ounces (120 ml) Greek-style yogurt

• 1 ounce (30 ml) cannabis-infused light rum

• 1 cup crushed coconut water ice

• Creole-style bitters

Note: To infuse your rum, follow the same instructions given to infuse your vermouth that we shared in our previous post for the Mezzrole Cocktail recipe. This technique is straight Warren’s book and can be used to infuse any liquor of your choice.

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Divide between two Burgundy wine glasses with plenty of freshly crushed coconut water ice. Dot each with a couple drops of the Creole bitters.

Serves 2

Rose Saffron Cardamom Lassi

“I’m a bit of a lassi addict regardless of the weather, but in summertime, the cravings really kick in. That’s why I couldn’t resist including a second lassi recipe here—one that’s dripping with Asian perfumes of rose, bright-yellow saffron, and green-citrusy cardamom. Cardamom, by the way, is the flavor equivalent of a knife: it slices right through the rich milk fat in the yogurt and milk. This lassi is sweetened with a Medicated Rich Simple Syrup that’s been made with raw honey: make yours with Sativa strain Early Pearl. Its aromatics of chocolate, warm spices, and slow-cooked stone fruits add nuance to the lassi’s exotic floral flavors. This recipe makes two servings, and it contains plenty of medicated syrup, so don’t drink the whole batch yourself—at least not at one sitting.”

How to make a (non-alcoholic) Rose Saffron Cardamom Lassi:

Ingredients:

• 2 cups (460 g) Greek-style yogurt

• 3/4 cup (175 ml) whole milk

• 4-5 threads dried saffron, reconstituted in 2 tablespoons warmed milk, then cooled

• Scant pinch of turmeric

• Seeds from 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

• 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rosewater

• 1/4 cup (60 ml) Medicated Rich Simple Syrup (see page 43), made with raw honey

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the Medicated Rich Simple Syrup in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add the Medicated Rich Simple Syrup: taste, and add more sugar and rosewater, if required. Blend again. Divide between two Burgundy wine glasses, and top each with a pinch of saffron, if desired.

Serves 2

Bonus Recipe: Medicated Rich Simple Syrup

Warren was generous enough to also provide his special Medicated Simple Syrup recipe from page 43 of his latest book!

“Simple syrup is an essential weapon in any bartender’s arsenal, and if you’re making cannabis cocktails, you’ll want to have a batch of this at the ready. Feel free to make it with either Demerara sugar or raw honey—and you can also doctor it up with just about any kind of fresh herb or flavoring. (The glycerine helps speed up the absorption of THC into your digestive system.) Use it in just about any recipe that calls for simple syrup.”

Ingredients:

If using Demerara sugar:

• 1 cup filtered spring water

• 1 cup demerara sugar

• 4 grams finely ground decarbed cannabis

• 1 tablespoon vegetarian (non-GMO) liquid lecithin

If using raw honey:

• 2 cups filtered spring water

• 1 cup raw honey

• 4 grams finely ground decarbed cannabis

• 1 tablespoon vegetarian (non-GMO) liquid lecithin

Directions:

Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the temperature to about 190ºF. Add the sugar or raw honey and stir it until it is completely dissolved into the water. (If you’re using raw honey and you find that the syrup looks too clear, add a little more honey.) Add the cannabis, then cover the saucepan. Reduce the heat again to about 160ºF and simmer for at least 30 minutes to infuse the simple syrup with the cannabis.

Reduce the temperature a third time, to medium-low, and add the lecithin. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent cooking and burning. Remove from the heat, and strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a stainless steel bowl that’s resting in a larger, ice-filled container. This will help it cool quickly. Makes about 1 cup.

To make a Medicated Rich Ginger Simple Syrup, make the Medicated Rich Simple Syrup with raw honey instead of sugar, and add a 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and thickly sliced, along with the cannabis. Continue with the recipe as directed.

A Conversation with Author Warren Bobrow Plus Cannabis Cocktail Recipes!

We hear a lot about cannabis edibles, but what about pot potables? Warren Bobrow’s new book, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzzworthy Libations (2016, Fairwinds) is now the definitive work on the topic. Beautifully produced and filled with lots of gorgeous full color photography, the hard cover book would make an excellent gift for all your toking and imbibing friends.

The publishers knew what they were doing when choosing Bobrow, master mixologist and creator of the popular Cocktail Whisperer blog, to tackle this topic. What follows is a collection of elegant artisanal marijuana infused drinks.  Even better, Warren gives you the building blocks you will need to create your own liquid cannabis concoctions too. Not only will you learn to infuse all your favorite liquors, but also popular drink mixers like simple syrup, milk, cream, coconut cream, and maple syrup. He even teaches you how to make marijuana infused cocktail cherries!

“I tried so hard to make a difference by writing the first book on the topic,” says Bobrow. “I learned a lot while doing.  I experimented on myself.  It wasn’t always pretty.  But I learned.   I hope to change the way we do things.  My drinks are delicious.”

Bobrow is a stickler for details, which in turn makes his cannabis cocktails drinkable pieces of culinary art.  Quality ingredients and artisan techniques are emphasized throughout the book, right down to pairing the proper strain for each drink in order to maximize the cocktail’s full flavor potential.  Bobrow is not trying to disguise the flavor of marijuana in his drinks, rather he uses it to actually enhance the flavor of his cannabis cocktails.

I recently had the chance to ask Warren Bobrow some questions about his new book and the controversial topic of Cannabis Cocktails.  Here’s what he said.

Warren Bobrwo, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and TonicsInterview with Warren Bobrow, author ofCannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics

Cheri Sicard: What inspired you to combine cannabis and alcohol?
Warren Bobrow: I work in the liquor space, but I prefer cannabis for the feeling I get.  I’m not a fan of being drunk, so I hardly drink any longer. I’ve always been fascinated by healing, in its many forms.  I grew up on a biodynamic farm in NJ that belonged to my family, so folk healing was always nurtured.  I always enjoyed science and found the experimentation enlightening!

Cheri Sicard:. Why does alcohol make such a good carrier for marijuana?
Warren Bobrow: Alcohol works!  And it tastes good.  And my cocktails absolutely rock the house!! And you do get stoned!!  No bullshit cbd oil made from hemp in my drinks thank you!

Cannabis Cocktail: The Future is Uncertain and The End is Always Near

Cannabis Cocktail: The Future is Uncertain and The End is Always Near

Cheri Sicard: What advice do you have for people who are new to imbibing with the combination of both alcohol and cannabis?
Warren Bobrow: Don’t drive.  Go slow.

Cheri Sicard: Do you have any special insider tips for those infusing alcohol for the first time?
Warren Bobrow: No open flame!  Don’t be that person that blows up your home.   I’m serious!!!!!  Also, go low and slow.  My recipes are geared for holistic healing.  Not recreational.  I don’t want to send the wrong message, nor make a play for the stoner set. That’s not my game. So healing should be the mantra. Take the Thai food principal. Start with a little spice and add more as you need it. Same thing with cannabis and alcohol.

Cheri Sicard: Do you have any words for the critics who think one “intoxicant” is bad enough, now we are encouraging two”?
Warren Bobrow: Drugs are bad.  Alcohol is bad.  Breathing underwater is bad.  Eating fast food is bad.  Yelling fire in a crowded theater is bad.  My late father, when he learned I wrote a book about cannabis cocktails disowned me. That’s bad too. More?  I get angry about the liquor people vilifying cannabis and the cannabis people vilifying liquor.   I not so secretly think that they should be together.  And guess what? They are delicious together!

Cannabis Cocktail: Honey Duke Relaxer

Cannabis Cocktail: Honey Duke Relaxer

Cheri Sicard: What is your personal favorite marijuana cocktail and why?
Warren Bobrow: My favorite cocktail invokes New Orleans and it’s the Vieux Carre.  I take absinthe from Lucid and infuse it with about 1/2 oz of Tangerine (a sativa strain) and mix it with Barrell Bourbon whiskey and finish it with some Peychaud’s Bitters for good gastric health.  It’s served icy cold, always stirred, never shaken, with a nice slice of orange zest always cut with a paring knife, never a peeler.

Cheri Sicard:. Who is the target audience for you new book?
Warren Bobrow: People who are interested in craft cocktails and alternative ingredients like bitters and shrubs. THose who appreciate craft cocktail ingredients and handmade, delicious concoctions that offer a high level of flavor in each sip.  Ages 21 and up, endgame.

Sample Cannabis Cocktail Recipes from Warren Bobrow’s New Book Cannabis Cocktails

 

Did Somebody Say Cannabis Cocktails? (See You At The Bar)

http://herb.co/2016/08/19/warren-bobrow/

A century ago, there were more than just drinks to get you drunk. Drink concoctions to revitalize the body and mind were all the rage. From digestives for the stomach to restoratives for vitality, there was a drink for every occasion. Another hark back to days of yore comes in the form of cannabis tinctures, tonics, and apothecary mixtures. Warren Bobrow, known the world over as The Cocktail Whisperer, has taken his long-held love of both drinks and cannabis and combined them into a book for the ages.

Warren Bobrow

1 warren bobrow interview shaking Did Somebody Say Cannabis Cocktails? (See You At The Bar)
Photo credit

HERB:

You’ve plotted an interesting course in your career to make it to where you are today. What sparked your interest in cocktails and cannabis.

Warren:

I’ve enjoyed cannabis for a long time, though that does tend to age me a bit. As a teen, I grew up with an uncle with hair down to his waist, lived at times on a farm, and went to my first Grateful Dead show in 1971. As for cocktails, I always loved the look of the complicated drinks my family had at dinner or I saw in the movies. James Bond was the posterchild for the martini, and they were just a part of the lifestyle. I was always around it. Cocktails were always a passion, but it wasn’t until I tried several other careers that I came back to them as a full time occupation.

HERB:

What was your first experience like? We have a lot of new cannabis lovers out there, and everyone has their own story. What about your first time with an infused cannabis treat?

Warren:

I don’t recall the first time smoking cannabis, it has been so long, but my first brownie I will never forget. My jaw went numb. I washed it down with a beer, and it turned into a bad experience. But it wasn’t a complete wash. Fast forward May of 2 years ago, I dreamed of that brownie, that beer and that flavor profile: chocolate, dark rum and cannabis. Most of my ideas come to me like that. In a vivid dream in the middle of the night, usually in vivid color. Not many people dream in color, so I have read. I looked into it and didn’t see anyone working in the field of canna-cocktails. I realized that my brownie experience could have been so much better as a drink, something I am far more familiar with, as are most people.

Apothecaries of old and cannabis

2 warren bobrow interview illustration Did Somebody Say Cannabis Cocktails? (See You At The Bar)
Photo credit

HERB:

Tell us about your take on traditional apothecaries and where cannabis fits in.

Warren:

My book actually does a take on the original apothecary. They were who the common folk would have gone to for healing. Apothecaries were old country healers, and much closer than doctors. They used what they had on hand: herbs, salves, and other homemade remedies right up until the Pure Food and Drug Act. That put most of them underground, but they are still out there.

HERB:

Why were so many old remedies in the form of alcohol?

Warren:

Before electricity and refrigeration, there was no other way to keep things fresh. You would use salt, drying, smoke curing, and liquor. Water back then was hardly sanitary, unless it came directly from a well or spring. Old time garden punches were made to purify water, as well as give infusions of healthy herbs and spices. Restorative drinks were how many people took in vitamins if wholesome food weren’t around, and a lot of the time it wasn’t.

Cannabis Cocktails

HERB:

Tell us about your new book, and how it differs from your previous work? We know it deals with cannabis, but how was the process for researching and writing different?

Warren:

I had to do a lot of research. But in the end, I took the spirit of what I learned about old cannabis drinks and put a modern bartender’s twist on them. All the drinks in my book are original creations. Many cannabis tinctures back in the day also had things like opium, ladinum, and ether in them. That wouldn’t work today.

HERB:

So this book has really put you out on a limb, professionally?

Warren:

Quite. I am the unofficial spokesman for a prominent alcohol label, but dealing with cannabis has put a strain on a lot of those relationships. They don’t want to touch it. So I have really staked my reputation and career on publishing this book. It took a toll on my personal relationships with my family as well. But it has helped me to strike out on my own, truly my own man, for what seems like the first time.

The amazing compendium

Warren’s new book is Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations. Some of his personal credentials include:

  • Author/Cook/Barman/Spirits Consultant
  • Moscow Bar Show- Master Class
  • Ministry of Rum Judge
  • Tales of the Cocktail- Spirited Award Nominee

 With 75 original creations from one of the world’s premier judges of fine liquors, this goes so much further than a simple recipe book. It takes the reader on a journey through history and cultures. Delves into traditions and puts new twists on old favorites. You can find his book here, and follow Warren Bobrow on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The Cocktail Whisperer has even agreed to share a few of his favorite cannabis drink concoctions with us here at HERB, so stay tuned for a companion article with some amazing recipes you will fall head over heels for!

Total Food Service Interview; I’m honored!

Warren Bobrow, better known as The Cocktail Whisperer, is the published author of four books in addition to his contributions as a writer to liquor.com, our own totalfood.com and countless others. He has also taught at the New School in New York City and at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine. His latest book is Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics that was released this past June through Fair Winds Press. Much more than just a collection of cocktail recipes, Warren’s new book explores the history of cannabis use in drinks, the over-politicized arguments over its legality and other pertinent topics.

Could you expand on your background and how you got to this point?

I am mostly a self-trained chef, I went to Johnson and Wales for a short time as well as the ACF apprenticeship program. I was working in the television business but that was not working. I went to work as a pot scrubber in restaurant and that set me on the path to become a chef. I am now an ACF-certified Chef and I love to cook. It is catharsis for me.

What were you doing before the Cocktail Whisperer blog and brand took off?

I was working as a chef in Charleston when I lost my business to Hurricane Hugo. Then I moved back to my home state in New Jersey and worked as a bank teller and in private bank for a long time. Then I started Cocktail Whisperer.

What inspired you to write this book?

Ever since I was a young man I have enjoyed the use of cannabis. I have seen cannabis cookbooks released and I wanted to raise the bar by taking cannabis and infusing it with the cocktail business that I am in. I love cocktails and I love cannabis. They are two things that I think “play well together in the sandbox”.

Is it difficult to get people past the stigma that cannabis is bad for you  or somehow wrong?

It is really tough, especially where I am. I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey which is a very conservative place. The mindset is not pro-cannabis. It is arrest, incarcerate and throw away the key. And it is unfortunate because there are valid health benefits to this much maligned plant. Drugs are not bad and people should keep an open mind. Especially those who drink or smoke cigarettes.

What was the process of researching for this book?

The research was done outside of the state of New Jersey, where cannabis is still illegal. I am used to experimenting with culinary ingredients and different flavors so I applied that same mentality to the book. Nothing had ever really been written about it before. I was in new territory. I was careful, my advice to anyone would be to experiment in a place where it is legal and just be careful and responsible.

Could you talk about the other elements of the book other than recipes?

I am constantly trying to destigmatize the use of cannabis. I give a robust history in the beginning with science and humor. This book is for anyone interested in cannabis or anyone who is unsure of how to use it. The introduction was written by Jerry Whiting. Him and I found each other quite organically. He is well extremely well-respected in the healing field which gives the text a lot of credibility from that end.

What advice would you offer people buying the book who will be making these cocktails?

Put it in the hands of your “budtender” to give you knowledge and fill your individual need. Remember that making cannabis cocktails is completely different from smoking cannabis. I give the cure to drinking a bit too much of a cannabis cocktail in the book.

Cannabis_Cocktails_Mezzrole
One of Warren’s creations. c/o Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts are follow the Thai food principle. You can always make something more spicy but you cannot make it less spicy. Start small and build up from there. Remember also that no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose but too much will make you feel awful.

How do you respond to critics who say you’re messing around and that this is your opinion, not fact?

It is fact. I researched this and studied the health and holistic healing benefits, both of which are immense. This book is not a recreational book and was not written as one. It is a way for people to discover new ways to enjoy themselves and to discover some new methods for holistic healing.

Was this an easy book to pitch to your publisher?

Of all the books I have pitched this was the easiest sell. I came up with the idea to write the book at a food show in New York City and when I told my publisher I wanted to write it they asked for a proposal to put in front of the board. The rest is history, they loved the idea since its was going to be the first book of its kind.

How has the response been to the book so far?

Writing this was not an easy thing to do. Many people have purchased the book and love it, however it has brought a certain amount of controversy into my life and anxiety that I did not necessarily want or need. But there is nothing I can do about it, I am just moving forward and surrounding myself with positive people who understand what I am trying to do. Most people love the book and the response has been terrific.

Did you consider that controversy when you were writing the text and did it give you any pause?

I didn’t have any other ideas! It was all I could think of so no, it never crossed my mind. I just saw it as an opportunity to do something unique and interesting.