This 4/20, Catch A Buzz With A Cannabis Cocktail

 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.

 Despite a dim view taken by the Trump Administration and mass-market beer and liquor industries, Kyle Swartz, managing editor of three alcohol-industry magazines and editor of Cannabis Regulator predicts, “We’re absolutely going to see more crossover between cannabis and craft beer and spirits. After all, it’s the same generation that’s pushing growth in all three of those categories: Millennials.”

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.

 Last year, a public relations team sent me a bottle of Humboldt Distillery’s Humboldt’s Finest vodka infused with hemp seed (yes, there is a pattern here – Humboldt County, California, can arguably be considered America’s ideological ground zero for pot growing and smoking). As in the hemp ale, the hemp seed produces no high, and distillery founder Abe Stevens tells me he had to send his vodka for tests to ensure it contained no measurable amounts of THC before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) would approve it.

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.

 “I wanted to make it into a wellness book with flavor,” says the 55-year-old conservative dresser. “I wanted to take away some of the stigmas. It’s not a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ book, it’s thoughtfully written and beautifully photographed to add possibilities to the regiment of taking cannabis for medicinal purposes. And it’s also tongue-in-cheek.”

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.

 But the jury is still very much out. Bart Watson of the Brewers Association craft beer lobbying group argues that he sees no causal effect on beer sales in the short term, and Jason Notte of Market Watch reminds readers that overall beer sales have been falling on their own, with no push from pot.

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.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taranurin/2017/04/19/this-420-catch-a-buzz-with-a-cannabis-cocktail/#35be3e4cd35e

2017 Spirited Awards!

OUT OF THIS WORLD: THE 11TH ANNUAL SPIRITED AWARDS

In 2017, we’re taking Tales of the Cocktail beyond the stratosphere at the 11th Annual Spirited Awards. The show might be here on Earth at the Sheraton New Orleans, but the celestial inspired cocktails served will be otherworldly as we hand out awards for the best bars, bartenders, distillers, ambassadors and writers from around the world (and beyond?)

The Spirited Awards Ceremony Saturday, April 22nd The Sheraton New Orleans

If you’re feeling especially festive come in your favorite outer space or futuristic-themed attire as we celebrate the out-of-this-world talent of our industry.


NOMINATE A SPIRITED AWARD WINNER


NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN APRIL 1-30, 2017

REVIEW THE SPIRITED AWARDS CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA

Tickets on Sale this Summer

Juice Nước

Vietnamese sugar-cane juice with cannabis-infused milk is the perfect elixir for a gloomy day.

Vietnamese sugar-cane juice with cannabis-infused milk is the perfect elixir for a gloomy day.

I’m a huge fan of hot-weather beverages. Right now, it’s anything but hot out, but this little mocktail will transport you.

This time of year can be warm and sunny, or it can be thanklessly cold and rainy. It may officially be spring, but we are experiencing the occasional icy wind that goes right through you.

That’s where Vietnamese-style, freshly crushed sugar-cane juice comes in. This scintillating liquid — extracted from the stalk using a machine that resembles a sausage grinder — is refreshing, and come summer, it’ll stave off the heat and humidity with alacrity.

 To take my iced sugar-cane juice to a higher level (so to speak), I use condensed milk for the infusion. The condensed milk takes to decarbed cannabis beautifully, and you can use it in a plethora of concoctions — from the obvious caramel, by cooking it very low and slow until it caramelizes, or as the aide-de-camp to a Vietnamese iced sugar-cane juice, which is the topic of this article.

Juice Nước

Infused with your desired amount of THC.

For an 8-ounce can of condensed milk, take 3-7g of decarbed cannabis and add it to a hemp teabag or a section of cheesecloth, tied well to prevent leakage.

 Add the condensed milk to a small sauce pan or Erlenmeyer flask.

Add the hemp tea bag or cheesecloth pouch to the condensed milk.

Prepare a double boiler.

Heat the bottom filled with water to 165-degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the Erlenmeyer flask into simmering water.

Allow to infuse for at least 2 hours but do not boil — or your condensed milk will become caramel.

Let cool and add 10-15 ml of the condensed milk at a time to your iced Vietnamese sugar cane juice.

http://www.seattletimes.com/life/take-this-tropical-sugar-cane-mocktail-to-a-higher-level-cannabis-recipe/

DRINK THIS CANNABIS COCKTAIL INSTEAD OF BEER ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY!


Photo courtesy of Fair Winds Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

St. Patrick’s Day has the unfortunate reputation for being a day that celebrates drinking and getting drunk, and that is too bad, but we can add a little weed to balance out that booze and get us to a nice high place.Enjoying alcohol in moderation along with cannabis allows us to feel high without the terrible consequences of a hangover the next day. Stick mostly to bud, not booze, on St. Patrick’s Day, save for just one or two of these amazing cocktails!

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.

Canna-Maple Infusion

Ingredients:

  • 6 grams Cannabis
  • 16 oz Maple Syrup

(Chef’s Note: I use the really dark maple syrup, known as Grade B.)

Prep:

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!

CANNABIS_COCKTAIL_608BushStreet

608 Bush Street Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • Ice

Prep:

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!

http://hightimes.com/edibles/drink-this-cannabis-cocktail-instead-of-beer-on-st-patricks-day/

Mixologists Share Their Best Cannabis-Infused Cocktails

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?

Melamine 

Who created it? Rabib Rafiq, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook recipe contributor and owner of Bistro 63 at the Monkey Bar, a restaurant and a cocktail bar in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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.

Ingredients:
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.

 Sour T-iesel

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.

Ingredients:
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.

Ingredients:
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.”

https://www.merryjane.com/culture/mixologists-share-their-best-cannabis-infused-cocktails

Greenish Cocktail Cherries Recipe

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.

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle (750 ml) of bourbon whiskey
8 grams of decarbed cannabis
2 pounds (910 g) pitted fresh cherries
HOW TO MAKE A GREENISH COCKTAIL CHERRIES
  1. Infuse the whiskey with the cannabis following the instructions on page 34**.
  2. Place the pitted cherries in a large mason jar, then cover with the infused whiskey.
  3. Store the jar in a cool, dark place, such as a cellar or refrigerator, for 1 month, shaking the jar daily.
  4. Don’t be afraid to store these outside the fridge at cellar temperature: nothing bad will happen if you do.
  5. Use as called for in cocktails and mocktails.

**Recipe credit to Warren Bobrow’s Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics

https://bevvy.co/cocktail/greenish-cocktail-cherries/nuhy

Three Planets Canna-Punch

Photo by Flickr user Dominic LockyerI’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
  • Ice

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.

http://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/gin-juice-canna-punch/