Cocktails to Mocktails: How Cannabis Beverages Changed My Relationship with Alcohol

by Sophie Saint Thomas CULTURE 

While some people recovering from substance abuse do best with a zero-tolerance policy regarding any intoxicant, others are able to safely use cannabis. I’m one such person, and my life is all the better for it.

In Humboldt County, California, near some of the most beautiful outdoor cannabis farms in the world, I sat with friends in a loft in the town of Eureka and sipped a delicious drink. There was no alcohol in the grapefruit infusion. There was, however, cannabis in the mocktail; it was created by mixologist Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations.While he still enjoys wine with dinner, Bobrow says he’s just about quit hard liquor since diving into the world of cannabis cocktails, which he began exploring after getting arrested for smoking a joint in New York City during the Giuliani era.

“If you smoke a joint in public, everyone knows your business,” Bobrow says. “But not if you are sipping a gorgeous Vietnamese Iced Coffee with THC-infused condensed milk on a steaming hot day, watching your coconut water ice melt slowly into the unctuous concoction. Do I have you here?” While the world has become a friendlier place towards cannabis users since Giuliani was mayor, yes, he did have me there.

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Above, mixologist Warren Bobrow

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Terra Carver, the eloquent and peaceful Executive Director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance is waxing poetic about the fine wine-like Terroir of craft cannabis to a group of broadly smiling Canna-Tourists. They are smiling and utterly enraptured by the gleaming, sunlit day, the long-tables groaning with hand prepared, fanciful appetizers and locally crafted Humboldt artisan breads and oozing, succulent cheeses. They sit enveloped by the aromatics of some of the finest craft cannabis that is grown anywhere in the country. Truly the taste and the aromatics of the place surround and deepen each breath. An experience so overwhelming that most people have never seen anything like this before and they sit, awestruck in the face of such beauty. This is a Victory Garden of outdoor growing. An experience of the the ‘highest’ order, and it is what we have come to see at Dave and Lorelie Sandomeno’s Sunrise Mountain Farm. Row after row of this lusciously scented craft cannabis fills the eyes and the nasal passages with vast bursts of spicy profusion. Terra is explaining with a smile, how the craft cannabis business is certainly to overtake fine California wine in overall sales in just a few short years. But can they accomplish what wine has accomplished with Terroir? That is her goal, to create an overall quality level that demands the greatest price, just like wine demands. In fact in the couple of years that her organization has been guiding local cannabis farmers, they have attracted the attention of the statewide organization, The California Growers Association.

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