If the name Warren Bobrow rings a bell, we wouldn’t be surprised. Warren is a multi-published author of six books, Forbes contributor, chef, mixologist and cannabis professional. He basically does it all! We had to get the scoop on his life, work, and what he has coming up next! Hint: it involves a gnome named Klaus.
First off, how are you doing and how are you coping during this pandemic?
I had a mild form of the virus in Boston. I was there during the Biogen time, and I stayed at the Marriott. I had a 102 fever, and I lost my sense of taste and smell and slept for two days in a pool of sweat wearing a down jacket. It was like I was on acid—a bad trip, not a good one. I feel MUCH better now! I’m accustomed to working from home. I have for nearly five years. It’s cathartic, and I can smoke as much weed as I want.
Tell us about yourself! How did you get where you are today?
That’s a good question. I was originally in TV/film starting in my teens, and I had dreams of making movies. I got my degree in film and worked in TV for several years. I also worked at the famed NYC club, Danceteria, in their video booth. But nightlife and I aren’t perfect together. So I found myself with a substance abuse problem and no job.
I moved up to Maine, where I spent the next few years really poor, working as a dishwasher. I wanted to become a chef, but I didn’t know how until I moved to Portland—before it was chic. I worked my way up the culinary line, finally landing a job with the late Jim Ledue, who taught me the value of soups, stocks, and sauces.
My path took me to culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Charleston, South Carolina. While I was there, I founded a fresh pasta corporation, which should have been a dream but was a nightmare. My first failure of many to follow.
I bounced around for a while, working nights and weekends in wine stores and gourmet food shops. Finally, in 2009, I started writing, and the words just flowed from deep inside me. It became my therapy and passion. I was writing restaurant reviews for NJ Monthly, and I happened upon a brilliant, young, hot-headed chef named Anthony Bucco. He was the toughest boss I’d ever had, and his beverage guy, Chris James, taught me everything I know about the business. I had forty years of experience, but knew nothing! They’re so important because they gave me my first opportunity to really make something of myself. On my 50th birthday, I started working as a bar back at the Ryland Inn, in New Jersey. That was the hardest job of my life, and it defined my future.
If I was going to write about spirits, I needed authenticity. Very few spirits writers ever got behind the stick. I had the stick bashed (metaphorically) over my head. Now, I’m a master mixologist, who coincidentally has smoked weed since I was twelve!
My first book of six, Apothecary Cocktails, was nominated for a spirited award at Tales of the Cocktail. But I quit drinking in 2018, and started working in cannabis full time. Forbes followed, and I recreated myself, yet again. This time for real.
Opening up a bottle of wine, and that would be ______?
Biodynamic, organic, or, at least, sustainable from the Languedoc region.
Guests are arriving in 15 minutes, can you share an easy go-to cocktail recipe?
For an easy cocktail, I’d make a punch. You should always have fresh juices on hand and Rhum Agricole. I’d make a Martinique Fruit Punch for ten or more. You’ll need:
2 bottles (750 ml) of Rhum Agricole
2 quarts of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 pint of fresh lime
1 pint of fresh lemon
6 oz. of cane sugar simple syrup
1 750 ml bottle of Pickett’s Ginger Beer Syrup
2 bottles of club soda
pinch or two of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl. Garnish with fresh citrus fruit rounds. Easy to drink and to enjoy no matter the season—especially in the winter.
What’s everyone drinking when they hang with you?
People are drinking non-alcoholic beverages from my THC-infused drink company, Klaus Apothicaire. Most don’t drink alcohol that much, but they love my well-crafted mocktails.
Music you’re listening to when you’re imbibing?
Ry Cooder—Jazz with a twist. He’s an American legend!
We’re serving cocktails for dessert, what should we make?
For dessert, it’s Chartreuse, straight up. Like horseradish…enlightening to say the least.
Take a frozen glass, preferably a tequila glass, rub the inside with lemon zest, pour very cold Chartreuse into it, and garnish with lemon twist.
One person you’d love to share a cocktail with?
Legendary mixologist, Gaz Regan, because he’s gone. He taught me so much, and I want another finger-stirred Negroni with him.
On pairing cannabis and cocktails, share your secrets and tips
Less is more. Like Thai food, don’t get too spicy the first time out. Never more than one cannabis cocktail per hour, because it can hit hard. Take some CBD if you get overwhelmed—I wish I knew about that when I wrote the book in 2015.
Talk to us about future cocktail trends
Future cocktail trends include lighter drinking, vermouth, and amaro. Bourbon will always be popular, like Scotch. Gin will come and go. Vodka? What’s that? I prefer Mezcal to Tequila. For rum, an Agricole with an AOC.
We loved Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations—what are your plans for future books?
I want to write a book with Jamie Evans on THC/CBD cocktails and mocktails.
We also hear you’re coming out with a new THC-infused drink, share the details!
Yes, I’m coming out with a new libation, unlike anything on the market. There are some contenders out there, but this one isn’t an insipid seltzer or a fake beer. It’s unique because it’s what we call in beverages an RTD, or Ready to Drink.
It’s called Klaus, and it’s my recipe, not one developed by a Madison Avenue Ad Agency. (I know all about this, more than you’d ever imagine. That worm in the Mezcal? Toss it down the drain. It’s the creation of an ad agency. And good ice, no cheater ice please.) My drink is named in honor of my 1800’s German drinking gnome, Klaus. He’s come with me all over the world.
Klaus is powered by the early Apothecary—the full name is Klaus Apothicaire (the French way of spelling ‘apothecary’). Klaus is live THC resin. It hits fast, and it tastes as delicious as my cocktails and mocktails.
When can we try Klaus?
It’s safe to say that we will have the brand launched and available for purchase in 2020.
Fill in the blank—I’m supporting ________ because ______
I support animal rescue efforts in Morris County, NJ, because my now three-year-old kittens, Isabella and Amabella, came to me this way.