Since our national celebration of Guinness and stereotypical Irish culture falls in the early Spring, I’m forced by necessity to pay homage to the seasonal changes in my drinking and the ingredients therein. As a seasonal ingredient, maple syrup comes to mind, and the way to infuse it with THC is quite simple!
I love to infuse cannabis into ingredients that I’m going to use later in my mixed drinks, and maple syrup is one of those ingredients that takes to a long, slow infusion with alacrity. Perhaps the natural sugar is what brings maple syrup into a marriage of sorts with with decarbed cannabis? I’m pretty sure the unhurried infusion has a great deal to do with the cheer this syrup creates!
This drink blends infused maple syrup with absinthe, apple brandy, whisky and more to create a sophisticated taste sensation. Inspired by a Sazerac, this little mind eraser is perfect when the temperature starts to rise and you need a bit of cooling to go along with all that Guinness you’ll be sipping on St. Patrick’s Day.
I also make this drink with cannabis-infused absinthe, but the process of infusing alcohol can be somewhat dangerous, so I’ve omitted it here. If you’re interested in going further, check out my book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics for in-depth instructions on infusing various types of alcohol with weed.
- 6 grams Cannabis
- 16 oz Maple Syrup
(Chef’s Note: I use the really dark maple syrup, known as Grade B.)
First, decarboxylate your cannabis for 45 minutes at 240ºF in the oven. Grind up the herb and place it in a pie plate covered tightly in foil. Toasting the herb ensures that all of the THC is activated to the fullest!
Use a double boiler (a bowl over a pot, with a few inches of water in the pot to maintain a constant temperature) to heat your maple syrup to 160ºF, using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Add the cannabis to a cheesecloth pouch so it’s easier to remove later, and immerse it in the hot syrup.
Infuse for minimum of two hours, checking often to make sure the water in the double boiler hasn’t evaporated. After you remove the cannabis, squeeze it thoroughly to get every drop of syrup out. Let cool and use in your drinks, or over a stack of pancakes for a morning buzz!
608 Bush Street Cocktail
- ½ oz (15 ml) Absinthe
- ½ oz (15 ml) Infused Marijuana Maple Syrup
- ½ oz (15 ml) White Balsamic Vinegar (tangy and slightly sweet)
- ¼ oz Calvados (Apple Brandy from Normandy in France) or a domestic version of which there are many!
- ¼ oz Rye Whiskey of your choice (I used Barrell Whiskey)
- 3-5 shakes of a Creole Bitters of your choice (bright red in color, signifying great strength)
- Lemon Peel Twist
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail mixing glass filled ¾ with bar ice.
Stir 30 to 50 times to cool, but not dilute. Strain the liquid into a rocks glass.
Add the lemon or orange peel twist to the glass. Dot with a couple more drops of the Creole Bitters.
Serve to an appreciative friend! Never drink more than one or two at the very most in an hour. There is no rush to get where you are going. Always drink plenty of water to balance the effects of alcohol and never drink and drive!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick’s Day is coming, Klaus recommends you try a Green Dragon for the wearing of the green!
Mixologists Share Their Best Cannabis-Infused Cocktails
Without cannabis, drinks are basic.
Whether you’re hosting a soiree, brunching with friends, or planning a romantic dinner, these three alluring alcohol and cannabis-infused libations by guest contributors (and epicureans) Elise McRoberts, Rabib Rafiq, and Jason Eisner will set the tone for the occasion. Since mixing cannabis and alcohol can be synergistically intoxicating, it’s wise to consume responsibly and control your dose. Some recipes call for cannabis-infused liquors and tincture, which can be difficult to find yet simple to make at home. To help, reference this recipe for Green Dragon, break out your Magical Butter machine or pick up a copy of Warren Bobrow’s Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics where you can dive a little deeper into the sea of DIY cannabis tinctures. Now who’s ready for a drink?
What does it taste like? A 21st century take on the gin-based Bijou cocktail — herbaceous and full-flavored with a spicy and ever-so-slightly sweet layer.
1 oz. cannabis-infused green Chartreuse
1 ½ oz. gran classico bitters (or 25 milliliters Campari)
1 oz. rhum agricole
Directions: “Fill a mixing glass ⅔ full with ice,” says Rafiq. “Pour liquid ingredients over ice and vigorously stir until very cold. Strain mixture into a champagne coupe or martini glass with no garnish.”
Pro Tip: “Mix the Chartreuse and bitters with Ron Zacapa 23 rum (but any high-quality aged rhum agricole, or rum made with sugar, will do). This can be served as a cocktail and it’s a great after-dinner drink; the herbal spirits help ease digestion.”
What can we look forward to? If you love how this beverage turned out and want to try others, this recipe appears in The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook which features more delicious cannabis infused cocktails like Buzzy Bee’s Knees, Dutch Pilot, Cannabis Coconut Mojito, Twentieth of April, Green Rush, and more.
Who created it? Jason Eisner, Beverage Director at Gracias Madre and Eater.com’s 2015 Bartender of the Year in Los Angeles.
What does it taste like? Balanced with hints of mint, citrus, brine, agave, and cannabis.
2 oz. tequila blanco
1 oz. organic fresh pressed lime juice
½ oz. organic agave nectar
Pinch of pink sea salt
3 organic mint leaves, no stems
5 drops organic cold pressed CBD oil, extracted from hemp
¾ oz. organic aquafaba
Ceremonial grade matcha, for garnish
Directions: “Place all ingredients (excluding CBD and aquafaba) in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a large vessel (64 oz. pitcher) and add CBD and aquafaba. Using a KitchenAid handheld emulsifier on turbo, emulsify liquid for five seconds. Transfer emulsified liquid back into an empty cocktail shaker and a Hawthorne strainer, then strain liquid into a coupe glass. To create pot leaf topping/garnish, use a stencil and ceremonial grade matcha.”
Pro Tip: Don’t feel like making it? Swing by Gracias Madre in West Hollywood and its OC branch Café Gratitude in Newport Beach and order a round or two for you and your crew.
What can we look forward to? “I have created a company called DOPE Cannabis Cocktails,” says Eisner. “These are 100 percent organic, vegan-friendly and gluten-free RTD canned cocktail mixers infused with a proprietary CBD blend. In 2018, we will also launch our THC line. These canned cocktail mixers do not include alcohol, so the customer can add two ounces of their favorite base spirit, or they can pop one open and enjoy it on its own. The reason we don’t call it a ‘mocktail’ is because a mocktail doesn’t provide an experience. These CBD-infused cocktails deliver an experience, an altered state of consciousness that is meant to completely redefine the way we celebrate. In fact, our tag lines are ‘experience the party, without the hangover’ and ‘Party Clean in 2017.'”
The Mescal Bloody Jane
Who created it? Elise McRoberts, Chief Marketing Officer and Edible Specialist at Kind Courier.
What does it taste like? Rich tomato, smoky mezcal, spice with hints of cumin and horseradish.
Smoked paprika, pepper, sugar, salt rim
8 oz. organic tomato juice or purée
1 ½ tbs. pickle juice
3-7 dashes of hot sauce, to taste
1 tbs. organic horseradish
1 tbs. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. cumin powder
1-2 oz. Treatwell Wellness Blend cannabis tincture (or similar cannabis tincture)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ oz. mezcal
Celery stalk, for garnish
Lemon or lime wedge, for garnish
Directions: “Add horseradish and other ingredients, excluding mezcal, to a cocktail mixer over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into rimmed glass over ice and mezcal. Garnish with celery stalk, lemon, or lime.”
To prepare smoked paprika and pepper rim: Mix equal parts paprika, pepper, sugar, and salt on a plate and spread evenly. Run a lemon wedge around the glass rim and swirl rim though spice mixture, coating evenly.
Pro Tip: “Bloody Mary’s are great for adding munchies like shrimp, bacon, olives and more for garnish. You can add whatever munchies your heart desires. If your mix is too spicy or salty, you can always tone it down with more tomato juice.”
What can we look forward to? “I love this drink for Saturday and/or Sunday mornings if you need a miracle to get you going after a raging evening,” says McRoberts. “The addition of cannabis tincture is just enough to take the edge off and I believe the cannabinoids aid in restoring my body and mind balance. I used a non-psychoactive tincture in this, but also recommend a nice 1:1 CBD:THC blended tincture if you want to feel a little more of the THC.”
I’m a bit of an evangelist when it comes to homemade cocktail cherries. They’re far, far superior to those red things that come in jars.
|1 bottle (750 ml) of bourbon whiskey|
|8 grams of decarbed cannabis|
|2 pounds (910 g) pitted fresh cherries|
**Recipe credit to Warren Bobrow’s Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics
I’m a huge fan of gin. There are so many different styles. Take London Dry and imagine that bone dry whisper of juniper and a scraping of citrus oil, perhaps some tea leaf and some pine needles. There you have gin. Other varieties bend the realism of floral notes and some even combine the two with cucumbers and roses! I’m a fan of one that hails from Vermont made from raw honey and grain. It tastes just fine in a snifter or when treated to fresh lime juice and a touch of ice. It’s always up to the drinker how they want to enjoy their slurp.
Gin has had a tempestuous history. A thing of the underclass, a cheap drunk and sometimes even a curative. Every sailor knew that the gin he carried on the high seas was made to be enjoyed with a squeeze of lime- it probably wasn’t fresh lime like we have today, but that lime (hence the word limey’s) represented healing. And that healing is why we drink gin up to today.
Because gin represents more than just a mere foil for tonic water, it’s the stuff that keeps you from getting malaria when you’re in the rain forest. See that quinine water is the thing that you take when there are those pesky mosquitos around carrying malaria. And the gin? It keeps your mind numb to the fact that the mosquitos are looking to give you whatever they are carrying. And you don’t want that. Nope.
Gin is here for healing what ails ye. During the Middle Ages, it was said that gin was a powerful curative against the plague. I’d like to believe that gin was purified water with folk healing herbs added.
One very delicious way to enjoy gin is with citrus juices. But instead of just opening the refrigerator and taking out juices of an uncertain demeanor, why not raise the bar and use freshly squeezed juices that have been roasted prior? Roasted? What does that mean? Cooking the fruit juices in the oven with raw sugar or honey is one of life’s simple pleasures. Then as if by magic, the roasted juices are woven into punch with the above mentioned gin of your choosing. And since I’ve been charged with the responsibility for being slightly askew of the norm, I’m going to ask you to use a gin that has been infused with THC.
Since you’ve been following along, or not- let me explain. I wrote a little book, really the first one on the topic- named Cannabis Cocktails and this book teaches a different approach to the enjoyment of gin. Since I teach an alternative method to extracting THC and adding it to craft spirits, this new way is quite simple and therefore intriguing. I was given permission by the kind folks at the Magical Butter Machine company to use their namesake invention. This made my life extremely easy for the infusion part. The decarb part is cumbersome and stinky, but necessary to make your weed active. That means you feel the good stuff happen in your head and in your belly. A craft cocktail that has THC in it. Not CBD (well meaning) or hemp (a money grab), but the real thing. Yes Virginia, you get drunk and stoned and guess what? They are pretty tasty together!
Remember: please, never more than one drink per hour. They tend to cause negativity if you go over this little rule of thumb. If you take too much, suck a few lemons- that seems to work.
Three Planets Punch
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut about four grapefruits in half, with four oranges and four limes, two lemons as well. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar and Angostura Biters. Roast for ½ hour to an hour. Let cool and then juice.
For two persons or more…
- 8 oz. Botanical Gin infused with the strain of your choice
- 4 oz. Dry Sherry
- 4 oz. Roasted Grapefruit
- 4 oz. Roasted Lime
- 4 oz. Roasted Orange
- 2 oz. Roasted Lemon juices
- 1 bottle Sparkling wine
- Angostura Bitters
Combine all the juices with the gin and about twenty shakes of Angostura Bitters, add the sherry and stir. Add the sparkling wine and stir again. Taste for bitterness. Adjust with Angostura and stir. Spoon into Victorian Tea Cups and serve.
Tweet Voters in nine states got to make their opinions known on marijuana last November, and they spoke loudly in favor of it. Eight of the nine ballot initiatives to legalize or deregulate pot passed, officially making cannabis legal for … Continue reading
By Warren Bobrow January 30, 2017
Cowen and Company’s recent 110-page report on the state of the cannabis industry further proves that cannabis sales do take a bite out of liquor sales, a fact that the powerful liquor industry cannot ignore.
Azer authored an article entitled “Legal Cannabis is Weighing Heavily on Beer’s Buzz,” stating “In our initiation on the U.S. Cannabis industry, we asserted that increased use of cannabis presents a risk to alcohol, in particular distilled spirits (that over-index to men) and mainstream/economy beer. Data for Colorado (Denver only), Washington and Oregon support this conclusion.”
The Nielsen (liquor industry) report shows definitively that beer volumes in Denver have fallen specifically because of legal cannabis sales at all levels of the industry, and Cowen and Company’s research further states: “To be sure, admitted annual adult cannabis use of 14% falls well below the 70% that drink alcohol, and the 25% that smoke cigarettes. However, with the category having added at least 10 million consumers over the last 12 years, and with momentum building in terms of popular support and legislation, the cannabis industry is poised to generate meaningful growth. Over the last decade we have seen incidence climb for both alcohol and tobacco, across the total population, though alcohol looks to be under pressure.”
Alan Brochstein, chartered financial analyst from the investment research firm New Cannabis Ventures said, “My own view is that the legalization of cannabis for adults is a long-term issue for the alcohol industry as consumers are allowed to substitute one intoxicant for another. The impact will be slowed to a great degree by the lack of legal social use. This is why I am watching the developments in Denver so closely, as three years after legalization, one still can’t go to a restaurant or bar and enjoy cannabis publicly.”
It would appear that the liquor industry will be paying close attention to cannabis as an unwelcome competitor going forward.
While society should be celebrating the reduction in drunks on the street, fewer car accidents caused by intoxicated drivers, falling rates of domestic abuse and increased productivity due to fewer hung-over workers, it seems that those negative consequences of alcohol abuse must be tolerated as long as the investor class continues to line their pockets with liquor profits—unless, of course, they can co-opt the cannabis market and cash in on that as well.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
Warren is a formidable force in the food and cocktail industry. Aside from being a master mixologist and chef, he is also an accomplished writer for various publications, as well as an author of four acclaimed books, the latest of which is Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Warren and learning more about creative and entrepreneurial journey:
Can you tell us about your background?
I graduated from college with a degree in film from Emerson University in Boston. The industry didn’t smile upon me, probably because I had family in the biz and there were strict nepotism rules in the 70’s and 80’s. So I had to find something to do that wasn’t television and motion pictures. Fortunately, my parents took me to Europe with them (my late father did international law) over the years and our extensive travel and love of culture rubbed off on me. We were not hotel room diners, we ate in local places, local food/drink was the basis of my upbringing. So this influence had a major hold upon my dreams and ambitions. And growing up on a farm in Morristown, NJ that was my family’s gentleman’s farm- with horses and crops sharing the fields- certainly influenced my future endeavors. I was encouraged strongly to learn about farming, especially organic and Biodynamic techniques.
I learned to cook at the knee of Estelle Ellis, who was our family cook when I was a boy. I’ve also taken ACF and Sommelier’s classes and attended Johnson/Wales when it was located in Charleston, SC. I’ve spent time in kitchens all over starting as a pot scrubber then graduating to a dishwasher. I’m trained professionally as a saucier, soups- stocks- sauces.
How did you get into mixology?
I’ve been mixing only since 2011 or so. Mixology is new to me. I started as a bar back at 50 years old! No jobs for bartenders without experience, so again I started at the bottom and worked my way upwards.
How did you transition into making cannabis infused cocktails?
I’ve always enjoyed weed, since 14 or so when I smoked it at a concert at Madison Square Garden. I’ve also cooked with it. Made brownies. Got really stoned. I transferred my interest and passion for ingredients to Cannabis and my talent in the cocktail arena. The Cocktail Whisperer is my moniker.
How have your family and friends reacted to your involvement in the cannabis field?
My father was so disturbed when he learned of my 4th book that he disowned me. I have friends who appreciate what I’ve accomplished but in the broader reach the liquor people are concerned about weed and the weed people are concerned about liquor.
What challenges have you encountered starting out? And what challenges do you still encounter now?
Being poor. Unable to make a living. Going into bankruptcy…that sort of thing. But finding my way and hopefully making myself a success on my own and with my own talent. Challenges? Drugs are BAD!
“It would be nice to see the day when I don’t have to worry about getting arrested for my craft.”
Who are your favorite chefs?
Martha Lou of Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston, SC and Marco Pierre White– the youngest three Michelin star chef in the world. Such passion! Bar influencers, I’d say, Jerry Thomas, Chris James, Gaz Regan, Francis Schott, and Dale DeGroff.
How do you make a great cocktail?
[Use] the best craft spirits money can buy… spirits not tainted by caramel coloring, added sugar, glycol, you know- garbage spirits- I don’t use them. I suggest you don’t either. It makes sense to use craft spirits, because what I do is the highest form of craft.
What is your signature drink?
They are seasonal of course, but for the winter- I love a Bourbon Milk Punch made with Barrell Bourbon that has been infused with Cherry Pie ( a strain of Cannabis) with vanilla, heavy cream, Demerara syrup and milk with ice and Angostura Bitters. I’m also thrilled by the Mezan Guyana Rum with Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup finished with bitters infused with THC.
“The weed world is an intellectual one.”
What advice can you give to chefs/mixologists who want to get into this industry?
Be prepared to be under the influence of Cannabis and have to explain things. What kind of things? Hmmmm. just let your creativity show. And don’t cut off your fingertips while talking. Knife skills are so very important.
Remember, in most places in the country, cannabis is illegal. You must NEVER bring cannabis infused liquors into establishments with liquor licenses. Why? That should be pretty clear. Follow my instructions, experiment and by all means test the results on yourself- not on your friends!
And because I was able to convince my publisher that drinking Cannabis is far preferable to smoking or eating it, we went ahead and published this brand new book.
My first book, Apothecary Cocktails offered my view of the type of ‘cocktails’ that may have been enjoyed in the early apothecary.
And in full disclosure, no!!! I’m not a doctor. Nope. But what I am is a celebrated mixologist and former trained chef who is fascinated by flavor.
So indulge me for a moment while I let you know that Cannabis appeared in the early pharmacy, not as the much vilified Snake Oil- but- quite possibly the only ingredient that actually cured anything? I’m not sure- because again, I’m not a doctor- I don’t even play one on television. But I do know that Cannabis has been used in the healing arts for many thousands of years. Way before this is your brain on drugs. (I saw this commercial again the other night.. funny!)
I wrote Cannabis Cocktails to play with flavor. It gives the whole bagel recipe. You shall have the ability to decarb, to infuse and to create some pretty fun drinks. Or if you don’t want to use alcohol with your Cannabis, there are some Mock-Tails, like my Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Cannabis Infused Condensed Milk… (the perfect medium is high fat condensed milk… try it!)
There are no edibles in the book. And I will say this and say it again. Know your raw ingredients. Use tested Cannabis… Remember what you learned about eating spicy Thai food. Start slow. Don’t have more than one cocktail per hour or more!
I’ll be sharing with you some of my creations and hope you enjoy trying them. Meanwhile, this is how you can order my book(s).
I can be reached on Twitter: @warrenbobrow1