Cocktails for Athletes: 5 Drinks That Can Speed Recovery

Alcohol is no nutritionist’s ideal post-workout drink. But let’s be honest — if you’ve just battled through an after-work run or basketball game, it’s exactly what you want. And while drinking hard does not aid recovery, we know that one or two cocktails won’t prevent you from making gains. Better yet, if you use a few choice ingredients — like chrysanthemum tea or carrot juice, included in our cocktails below — your boozing can actually provide muscle-aiding benefits.

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Good news, whiskey drinkers. This classic should have a place in your post-run rotation, especially as fall race season blows in. “I think some cocktails can help with being sick or making you feel better after a hard workout,” says Kevin Diedrich, legendary San Francisco barman and cocktailier. “For instance, a Hot Toddy with brandy, lemon, honey, and bitters can ease some pain or soothe a sore throat.” And Diedrich’s Hot Toddy is good for your most important muscle, too — your heart. It has a spike of Chrysanthemum tea, which is known for helping with hypertension and high blood pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Yamazaki 12 Japanese Whisky
  • 1/2 oz Lemon
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
  • 3 oz Hot Chrysanthemum Tea
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish Lemon Peel studded with cloves

Americano
This isn’t your typical barista-made Americano. This is Diedrich’s own boozy recipe. “I love an Americano — which is sweet vermouth, Campari, and soda — for afternoons after a workout,” he says. “It’s low-proof, refreshing, and won’t make you tipsy.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 oz Campari
  • 1 1⁄2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Soda water to top
  • Orange for garnish

The Blue Mamontauk
If you’re vegan or have hopped on the coconut-water bandwagon to replace electrolytes lost during intense gym sessions and workouts, then this is the drink to order when you belly up to the bar. “Originating from The Surf Lodge in Montauk, this drink is vegan-friendly, fairly low in calories and carbs, and serves as the perfect recovery drink for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise,” author and Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award Nominee Warren Bobrow says. “They’re refreshing and are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 3 oz Thai Coconut Water
  • 1 oz Sweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 drops blue all-natural Butterfly Pea Extract
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Beet the Mammoth

Beet the Mammoth
Recent medical studies have shown beet juice to improve blood flow and increase muscle restoration. It’s a key ingredient to this drink, along with a protein-packed egg white — you’ve basically got yourself a post-gym shake. “Also, beets are one of the best foods to help with a natural ‘lift’ in sexual performance,” Bobrow says. “Packed with protein and a touch of citrus, the Beet the Mammoth is the perfect post-workout cocktail.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • Puff of Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tbsp Beet Juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • Sprig of dill

Prep:

  • Boil the beets, let cool and juice, set aside.
  • Chill a coupe glass with ice and water; pour out when glass is frosty.
  • Spray the inside of the coupe with the Dry Vermouth.
  • Into a Boston Shaker, add the egg white and the lemon juice. Dry shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Add ice to fill 3/4.
  • Add the Beet Juice and the Mamont Vodka to the Boston Shaker.
  • Re-cap and shake hard for at least 15 seconds.
  • Double strain into the pre-chilled, Dry Vermouth puffed coupe and garnish with the dill.

The Strong Siberian
This is the cooler older brother of the White Russian, and it could almost pass for inclusion in a juice cleanse. First off, it contains carrot juice, “a powerhouse for vitamin A and a crucial element for top performance,” Bobrow says. It also has ample amounts of vitamins C, D, E, and K, as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mamont Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Raki – Turkish Anise liqueur
  • 4 oz Carrot Juice
  • Large cube ice

Prep:

  • Fill a Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice, add vodka, Raki, and carrot juice.
  • Cap and shake hard for 15 seconds.
  • Strain over 1 large cube of ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with orange zest. Pro tip: “Hand cut always — never use a peeler!”

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MARIJUANA MIXOLOGY: CLASSY CANNABIS COCKTAILS

cannabis cocktails, marijuana mixology

Noted mixologist and marijuana enthusiast Warren Bobrow has combined his two passions into one fantastic book that’s sure to be a fixture on the shelves of hedonistic cannaphiles everywhere. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics contains 75 recipes for all types of fantastic drinks subtly infused with THC. Beyond his classy options for inebriation, Bobrow shares considerable knowledge on the origins of healing tonics and how alcohol-based cannabis tinctures were once a vital ingredient in the apothecarist’s pantry.

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Chapters include basic instruction on infusing alcohol, preparing tonics, shrubs and tinctures, and then using these base ingredients to infuse afternoon liveners, after dinner drinks, warming beverages to chase away the chill and cooling beverages to soothe the brow. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to infuse cannabis into absinthe, make marijuana simple syrup or add THC to a cocktail cherry, look no further than this indispensable volume.

Creating a diverse supply of cannabis-infused milks, tinctures, oils, syrups and shrubs allows a mixologist to add a new dimension to craft cocktails, which Bobrow describes as “an alternative means for dispensing the medicine that’s incredibly intriguing.” In-depth instructions on infusing cannabis into various types of liquors emphasize safety in preparation and while imbibing. Plenty of mocktail recipes for different types of THC-infused drinks offer opportunities for those seeking an alternative method of inebriation to completely substitute cannabis for alcohol.

“Less is more,” Bobrow cautions, relating tales of his own overwhelming experiences that led him to cut back the levels of alcohol in this collection of drink recipes, aimed at finding a harmonious balance between bud and booze. Bobrow’s foolproof tip for a come-down cocktail involves a “glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chewing three peppercorns,” which helped him feel much better after an enhanced evening at Disneyland went way too far up “Space Mountain.”

Some cannabis cocktails use a tincture to deliver the right THC dose.An authority on cocktail history, legend and lore, Bobrow explained, “as I started experimenting with bitters, I realized you can add balance and depth to a craft cocktail and have it be healing at the same time.” Aromatic bitters were traditionally used to treat an upset stomach, and their curative qualities pair well with cannabis.

A “shrub” is a fruit-infused syrup made by combining fresh berries or preserves with some type of vinegar and sugar to preserve seasonal flavors and incorporate them into cocktails. Bobrow’s Quick Strawberry-Balsamic Cannabis Shrub steeps ground, activated cannabis with strawberry preserves and white balsamic vinegar to create a sweet sensi syrup for use in drinks like Dr. Bamford’s Mystery Mocktail, a concoction of shrub, seltzer, bitters and mint described as a “sophisticated and refreshing warm weather apertif.”

Cannabis-infused milks find their way into a variety of coffee drinks, while a THC-infused maple syrup adds psychedelic sweetness to a Maple Syrup Sazerac, and cannacoconut oil adds a sweet sensi note to Bobrow’s version of a mimosa, dubbed “If It Keeps on Rainin’, Levee’s Goin’ To Break.”

Each drink is elegant, idiosyncratic and full of subtle nuances, with every consideration taken into account, such as the size, shape and flavor of the ice cubes, as well as the shape of the glass holding your tasty beverage. Marijuana mixology is indeed an elevated art form, one that comes with ice made of coconut water, smoked ice cubes, spritzes of THC-infused absinthe and cannabis-infused cask-aged blended Scotch whiskey topped with a greenish cocktail cherry, garnished with a pot leaf.

Welcome to connoisseurship on a whole new level.

The marijuana mixologist favors not only handmade craft liquors from small producers using organic ingredients, but also the finest cannabis flowers.

“You don’t want to use schwag weed to make your infusions,” Bobrow explained. “You want to use the very best things you have at your disposal.”

Preferring skunky, citrusy OG Kush, Blue Dream and Pineapple Kush, Bobrow says that beer hops and cannabis are so closely related that “there’s no reason why you can’t use them interchangeably.”

A dedicated cannabis enthusiast and hardcore Deadhead, Bobrow isn’t worried about damaging his reputation in the mainstream mixology world. To the contrary, he’s excited to be able to embrace his passion and finally do what he truly loves.

“I’d much rather sit and smoke a little grass than drink any day,” Bobrow said. “When you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life.”

When you get home from a day of hard work (or not), reward yourself with the exquisite experience of a perfectly crafted cocktail enhanced with just the right amount of cannabis. Bobrow recommends pacing yourself and drinking no more than one cocktail per hour, since the point is to balance the cannabis and alcohol, not to go overboard.

Dramatis Personae

The Dramatis Personae is my cocktail whisperer’s riff on the Vieux Carré, the classic New Orleans cocktail. My version calls for belly-friendly Creole bitters and uses calvados, or apple brandy, in place of cognac. Sound like an unusual cast of characters? It gets better. Enter a spritz of infused absinthe, stage right. Finish the Dramatis Personae by pouring a little infused absinthe into an atomizer or spray bottle and topping the drink with just a whiff of the medicated spirit. When you’re infusing your absinthe, try an Indica strain like Mr. Nice. It’s earthy and sweet, with pungent aromatics that enhance the aniseed and herbal notes in the absinthe.—Warren Bobrow

Ingredients:
Marijuana smoke, to flavor the mixing glass
1/2 ounce (15 ml) rye whiskey
1/2 ounce (15 ml) sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce calvados
3-4 shakes Creole-style bitters
2-3 shakes aromatic bitters
Spritz of infused absinthe
Ice

Before you fill your mixing glass with ice, turn it upside down