Cannabis Tinctures, the Latest Craze in Craft Cocktails!!

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https://bevvy.co/articles/cannabis-tinctures-the-latest-craze-in-craft-cocktails/2605

We’ve come a long way since the days of Reefer Madness. With the gradual easing of marijuana prohibition laws throughout the United States over the last decade or two, we’ve witnessed a steadily-increasing (albeit divisive) acceptance of the world’s second-favorite recreational drug in mainstream culture. Though we’re probably still another several years away from full legalization, that hasn’t stopped enterprising bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from beginning to experiment with cannabis tinctures in their artisanal drinks.

Cannabis Tinctures Have a History

Strange as that may seem, it’s actually a pretty natural step in the evolution of craft booze—or, perhaps more accurately, a step back into the old days when bitters, shrubs, and aromatic spirits took up a good chunk of the local apothecary shop.

Long before the drug was first outlawed in the US, cannabis tinctures were relatively common treatments for a whole host of ailments, from nausea to muscle spasms and chronic pain. Much like aromatic bitters, which started their lives as health tonics, it was probably only a matter of time before cannabis-infused ingredients made their way into the cocktail world as well.

Of course, no conversation about cannabis cocktails can begin without a requisite nod to the elephant in the room: in most parts of the country, consuming these drinks recreationally is still illegal. Outside of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, the prospect of ordering a cocktail infused with cannabis bitters at your local bar is still a distant one (and even in states with full legalization, there are generally still laws prohibiting public consumption of the stuff).

That said, if the pendulum continues its current swing away from prohibition—all those new tax dollars do have a certain appeal—it’s likely that this conversation will only become more relevant in the coming years.

How Do Cannabis Cocktails Work?

Legal issues aside, cannabis tinctures are actually pretty interesting from a scientific perspective. While there are numerous compounds in cannabis that have therapeutic properties, the most widely-known and famously psychoactive ones are the cannabinoids, chief among them being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Most of the THC in cannabis, though, spends its time tied up as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA. When the plant is heated (commonly by smoking), THCA undergoes a reaction known as decarboxylation, in which it ditches its carboxyl group—the part of its structure that makes it an acid—in the form of carbon dioxide. After heating, you’re left with regular ol’ THC.

When making a cannabis tincture or infusion, though, there’s no innate heating process to cause that decarboxylation (or “decarbing,” as it’s known in some circles), so it needs to be introduced beforehand. Generally, this is done by baking the cannabis in a low-temperature oven. Warren “Cocktail Whisperer” Bobrow suggests giving it a few quick runs through the microwave in a turkey bag instead, as it doesn’t stink up your kitchen quite so powerfully.

After that, the cannabis is macerated in a high-proof spirit, much like the first step in making homemade bitters. From there, it can either be used as a straightforward, infused base spirit, turned into bitters, added to syrups, or used to make any number of other ingredients.

Cannabis Cocktail Recipes

If you’re looking for some recipes to try out yourself (which, once again, we can only recommend to people who are of age and live in states where it’s legal), keep an eye out for Warren Bobrow’s new book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics, which comes out on June 1st.

In general, though, aficionados tend to recommend staying away from spirit-forward drinks, like a cannabis-infused Old-Fashioned or Martini—the flavor of these infused spirits is fairly pungent, and it will easily overpower the other ingredients in your cocktail.

Highballs work well, like a Moscow Mule (Bobrow makes a Kentucky Mule with cannabis-infused bourbon), as do vegetal or citrusy recipes of any kind (the Pimm’s Cup and Ramos Gin Fizz have both received high marks). They dilute the infusion a bit and bind the flavors together better than subtler cocktails.

But what makes this such an interesting subject is the fact that there are so few documented recipes out there at the moment. It’s an entirely new area of experimentation, and there isn’t yet much of an accepted canon—mixologists have only recently started to entertain the idea of cannabis as an ingredient.

We’ll refrain from suggesting that you run out there and start experimenting yourself, as it’s a pretty limited number of our readers who can actually do that, but we definitely think you’ll want to keep an eye on this trend. Even if you don’t partake, it’s not often that we get to witness a brand-new category of craft cocktail being developed.

The Squire’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Shrub

It’s true, the Squire’s Shrub does require a couple of extra steps, but I promise it’s worth your while: Your patience will be rewarded with a lush, crimson colored syrup that’s straight out of the eighteenth century, when America was in its infancy and early pharmacists would have relied on their gardens to supply the basis for their healing tonics. (Rhubarb has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years.) There’s nothing difficult to it, though, beyond a little extra mixing, and roasting your fruit before making the shrub. The vinegar’s high acidity cuts through the sumptuous, charred, caramelized flavor of the roasted strawberries and rhubarb, making it a seductive addition to gin, vodka, and rum-based libations.

2 cups (340 g)
Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb
1 cup (200 g) Demerara sugar
1 cup (235 ml) light balsamic vinegar

Time: 3–4 weeks. Add the roasted strawberries and rhubarb to a nonreactive bowl. Cover with the sugar, stir to combine, and cover it with plastic wrap. Leave at cool room temperature for 24 hours. Stir frequently during this time to combine as the berries and rhubarb give off their liquid. Place a nonreactive strainer above a second nonreactive bowl, pour the fruit-sugar mixture into the strainer, and use a wooden spoon to mash the mixture in order to release as much liquid as possible.

(Reserve the mashed fruit to use in cooking or baking, if you like.) Add the balsamic vinegar to the liquid, stir, and let the mixture sit for a few hours. Funnel into sterilized bottles or jars, and age for 3–4 weeks in the refrigerator. This shrub will last nearly indefinitely, but if it begins to quiver, dance, or speak in foreign languages, throw it out.

Excerpted from Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails, and Elixirs by Warren Bobrow (Fair Winds Press, 2015).

Burke’s Liquor in Sparta!

Please join me for a tasting today, Wednesday December 23, 2015 at Burke’s Wine & Liquor in Sparta [6 Sparta Avenue, Sparta Township, NJ 07871]

I will be there from 4:007:00 PM – but even better, I will have Possmann Pure Cider and Possmann Pure Cider Rose for your tasting pleasure! Start the Season right, I’ll see you at Burke’s tonight!possman rose

Cannabis Cocktails!

I just got permission from my publisher to announce the pre-sell of my 4th book, Cannabis Cocktails. It will certainly be a grand adventure from this point forward. Mine is the first book of this type, and I am excited about the future!  I dedicated this book to my late father who taught me (reluctantly) to stand on my own two feet. I think this book will help get me to that place.9781592337347

Create your own cannabis infused cocktails!

Combining cannabis and cocktails is a hot new trend, and Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics shows you how. Featuring a collection of 75 recipes of cannabis influenced cocktails and drinks; The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow will show you the essential instructions for de-carbing cannabis to release its full psychoactive effect. Learn the history of cannabis as a social drug and its growing acceptance to becoming a medicinal. Look beyond cocktails and create successful tonics, syrups, shrubs, bitters, compound butter and exotic infused oil to use in any drink. Start your day with coffee, tea, and milk-based cannabis beverages for healing and relaxation. Get your afternoon pick-me-up with gut healing shrubs and mood enhancing syrups. Make cooling lemonades and sparking herbal infusions to soothe the fevered brow. Then, have an after dinner herbal-based cannabis drink for relaxation at the end of a good meal. The options are endless with Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics!

– See more at: http://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781592337347/Cannabis-Cocktails-Mocktails-and-Tonics.html#sthash.CWFPbjKi.dpuf

California Rum Festival!

Klaus and I will be at the California Rum Festival, showcasing Mezan and Stroh Rums. Join us and other trade and run aficionados for an amazing time!

511 Harrison Street. San Francisco CA  Saturday, September 12, 2015  2:30 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)

http://www.stroh.at/

http://www.mezanrum.com/verification.php

http://www.californiarumfest.com/

Warren Bobrow mezan-rum sq st