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.
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.
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.