Articles Interviews

One for the Road: Talking Cannabis in Bars & Restaurants

Bar & Restaurant News is introducing a number of new content pieces in 2024, including Polls, From the Editor, and this column, One for the Road.

In this monthly column, we ask a question about a theme or topic covered during the month, and industry experts weigh in with opinions, advice, and real-life experiences.

For January, we’re revisiting cannabis in the on-premise industry. If you missed our deep dive into the topic, check out “Welcoming Cannabis into the Bar & Restaurant Industry.” We asked some industry experts: 

Do you think cannabis consumption and/or cannabis-infused food & drink will find its way into more bars and restaurants in the future?

Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow, CEO & Co/Founder of RTD THC-infused cocktails Klaus the Gnome, Inc.

I wrote the first book in the world on infusing cannabis (THC, not CBD or hemp) into craft cocktails of my own invention. As a master mixologist, former rum judge/ former day drinker, and now the creator of Klaus in California, I have some very defined thoughts on the addition of THC to food/drink. 

I believe that you will start seeing those ubiquitous hemp-infused seltzers around in places where it is permitted by law. They are pretty uncomplicated and very low dose, more akin to a light cocktail or a mocktail in strength, which means you probably won’t feel very much of anything. [It will be] similar to the addition of the CBD craze in craft cocktails a few years back. You can’t feel anything with CBD, there is no buzz whatsoever, but I digress.

If you are looking for a THC edible or a cocktail with THC in it, I’m hoping these will make their appearance sooner rather than later. But everyone has different metabolisms, and eating cannabis can be problematic for some people. Care needs to take place, especially when mixing alcohol and THC. I should know a bit about this topic!

I’d love to see the combination of food and cannabis-infused craft libations like my own alongside a carefully prepared meal, or even tacos!

Read more here at Bar and Restaurant!


Merry Christmas

To those who celebrate!


The BEST Delicious Whiskey Cocktails You Can Make

Whiskey Cocktails
Late Summer Fizz/Photo by Glenn Scott Photography

Whiskey is one of my favorite things. I’ll go to lengths to describe the way it makes me feel and especially the way it performs in craft cocktails. What? Whiskey cocktails? Don’t look away; it’s perfectly acceptable to mix cocktails with whiskey. By the way, if you’ve enjoyed a whiskey smash or a mint julep, you’ve had a whiskey cocktail. And if you’ve treated your glass of whiskey to a splash of soda or a muddle of fruit, that is a cocktail too.

Yup, your world just got a bit bigger and you haven’t event gotten to the Manhattan’s or the Rob Roy Cocktails yet!

One such creative cocktail from my recently published book, The Craft Cocktail Compendium is named “A Pleasant Little Gentleman.” It takes a bit of rye whiskey, raw honey simple syrup and whiskey barrel aged bitters and twists them up a bit.

A Pleasant Little Gentleman

  • 2 oz. Fernet Branca
  • 1 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. raw honey simple syrup (1 cup raw honey to 1 cup hot, but not boiling, water)
  • 2-4 shakes Barrel Aged Bitters
  • Boiling water for hot tea (Lapsang Souchong)

Boil tea. Add the liquors. Sweeten with raw honey to taste. Add the bitters. Serve.

Another little taste of deliciousness is the “Late Summer Fizz.” It includes Pimm’s Cup. Now you know what to do with this cucumber-scented slice of heaven.

Late Summer Fizz

(Pg. 110 of The Craft Cocktail Compendium)

  • 2 oz. rye
  • ½ oz. Pimm’s No.1. Cup
  • ½ oz. apple cider
  • ½ oz. sweet white vermouth (I used Carpano Antica Formula)
  • ¼ oz. allspice dram
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • Lemon bitters
  • Splash of club soda

To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice: Add the liquors and the apple cider. Add the dram. Cap and shake hard for 15 seconds. Pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Splash club soda. Dot with lemon bitters. Sprinkle sea salt over the top. Serve.

The next one is my take on the classic Old Fashioned. It involves roasted fruit that you split, add light balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar and Demerara sugar, roasted, cooled and muddled. Pretty spectacular.

Grilled Peach and Thai Basil Roast

  • 1 oz. roasted peaches (split, sprinkled with sugar and 1 tsp balsamic and roasted for 1 hour at 350 degrees until soft and charred)
  • 1 oz. roasted oranges (split, sprinkled with sugar and 1 tsp balsamic and roasted for 1 hour at 350 degrees until soft and charred
  • 4 oz. bourbon whiskey
  • 1-2 sprigs Thai basil

Muddle the roasted peaches and oranges with Thai basil very lightly, just to release the aromatics adding a bit of bourbon along the way, muddle some more and add more bourbon (I used Barrell Bourbon Batch 11). Strain the mixture into a rocks glass without ice or if you want, with one large cube of ice and a bit of the muddling mixture. Garnish with a sprig of Thai basil.

How can you go through summer without a take on the Moscow Mule, but with whiskey instead of vodka? This one takes a bit of a different tack. It involves making a very quick Shrub — no, not a shrubbery, but a little concoction that adds a bit of apple cider vinegar to the usual ginger beer. Kind of a ginger snap in your mouth!

Son In The Foreign Legion

  • ¼ oz. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 oz. ginger beer (cane sugar-based)
  • 2 oz. blended Scotch whiskey (Like Johnny Walker Red)
  • 4-6 drops Angostura bitters (or like)

To a cocktail mixing glass: Fill ¾ with ice. Add the whiskey. Add the ginger beer. Add the apple cider vinegar. Stir well to chill but not dilute. Pour into 2 coupe glasses. Dot with bitters and serve.

The last cocktail is also from my book The Craft Cocktail Compendium. It is simply named “Bill Monroe’s Country Cooler,” paying homage to the master mandolin player himself.

Bill Monroe’s Country Cooler

  • 1 oz. peach nectar
  • 1 oz. apricot nectar
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz. sweet iced tea (sugar to your own taste of course!)
  • 2-4 oz. white (un-aged) whiskey
  • 2-5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Fresh mint (picked in the shadow of the roots of an ancient oak tree, where sweet branch water bubbles forth in a belly laugh)

Add all the liquid ingredients to a cocktail mixing vessel filled ¾ with ice. Stir well to chill. Strain into ball jars. Dot with bitters. Slap the mint against your palm and garnish. Serve and quickly prepare more! They go down quick!

Read More here, at the Fresh Toast!

Events Klaus

L.A. Spirits Awards

Klaus was awarded a Gold Medal in the first ever High Spirits Awards competition.

High Spirits Awards is a new beverage competition by L.A. Spirits Awards, launched in 2023 and open to all cannabis-derived beverage products legally sold in California and all hemp-derived (CBD/alternative cannabinoid) beverages from anywhere in the U.S.


Who? Me?


420 Roundup!

Klaus Mezzrole
Many cannabis-infused beverages taste like they were concocted by someone who has never tasted a proper cocktail in their life. Thankfully Klaus tapped the skills of acclaimed mixologist Warren Bobrow, aka the Cocktail Whisperer, to infuse a piquant punch of ginger with zesty lime with rice vinegar, resulting in an adult-quality drink with 10mg THC and < 1mg CBD THC per can.


Bon Appetit, Klaus!

Pickett’s Ginger Beer is Flying High. Excited to share that cannabis cocktail expert Warren Bobrow’s Klaus brand THC canned cocktails were featured in Bon Appetit’s February issue. His Mezzrole features 10mg THC for “mind-opening euphoria” and is made with Pickett’s Hot & Spicy Ginger Beer.  If you’re in California, check out Klaus at your favorite dispensary. We hope that other states soon follow suit because Warren has created a truly elegant and delicious cocktail and we’re so grateful for his partnership. 
Pickett’s has officially joined the 30,000 feet club with a really nice showing in United Airline’s Hemisphere magazine. Hoping you high-fliers take a peek and use the code to refresh your inventory with Medium Spicy and Hot & Spicy, in cans or bottled syrup.
Please visit Hemispheres Magazine pg 99 to view the feature.
Klaus Reviews

23 Valentine Gift Ideas for Him or Her

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics Recipe Book by Warren Bobrow,

Cannabis Cocktails Mocktails & Tonics Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow is a chef, mixologist, and a 6-time published author. He came up with a recipe book called Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics – The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-worthy libations. This book is amazing and has a collection of 75 unique drink recipes including coffee, tea, lemonade, and milk-based beverages. In this book, Warren will also teach you how to de-carb cannabis in the correct way to release its full psychoactive effects. Get it for your loved one for $15.

Articles Klaus Klaus Apothicaire Reviews

The Key to Combining Cannabis and Mixology? Remove the Booze.

Led by longtime drinks professionals, brands like MXXN and Klaus think THC can thrive in cocktail culture, sans the alcohol

BY KIRK MILLER / APRIL 20, 2022 6:25 AM

The worlds of THC and alcohol haven’t really crossed over, and to be honest, that’s probably for the best. Not all potentially buzzy experiences need to or should be intertwined.

But if you take away booze from that crossover while keeping the idea of mixology in place, suddenly the small but growing industry of bartender-friendly, cannabinoid-infused “spirits” and mixers makes more sense.

We’ve covered this meeting-of-minds before, although not specifically related to THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. First there’s Flyers, a line of alcohol-free sparkling cannabis cocktails with full-spectrum CBD distillates that are crafted, in part, by award-winning mixologist Ivy Mix. Then there’s The Pathfinder Hemp & Root, a non-alcoholic “spirit” fermented and distilled from hemp; two of the three founders have extensive liquor brand experience, and the mixer works nicely in both boozy and non-boozy drinks. 

When I spoke with the founders of those drinks brands, they all suggested that THC-infused variations were on the way.

One that’s already here? MXXN (pronounced “moon”). The BIPOC-founded brand claims to be the spirit industry’s first 1:1 non-alcoholic and THC-infused replacement for gin, tequila and bourbon. The company is led by Darnell Smith, a booze industry vet with over 15 years of experience at Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi. 

“I was working in the spirits industry in product innovation and found myself drinking more than I cared to due to the nature of the profession,” Smith tells InsideHook. “I was looking for a way to cut back on alcohol but still take part in the social aspects associated with drinking and cocktail culture. And I had been a consumer of cannabis for chronic pain after 15 years as a football player and would make my own tinctures at home, so I started bringing the tinctures out to social events, ordering a tonic and lime and putting a few drops in. My wife encouraged me to find a way to bring the tincture and tonic idea to the public in some capacity.”

MXXN’s website offers variations on well-known cocktails, although the proportions are interesting, given the idea that you’re getting about 6 mg of THC per 1.5 oz pour — an Old Fashioned riff, for example, suggests a very small .75 oz measurement of MXXN’s Kentucky Oak, as opposed to a standard 2 oz pour if you were using a regular bourbon.

An Old Fashioned made from The Pathfinder, a n/a hemp spirit that actually works well in boozy cocktails

Review: The Pathfinder Is a Non-Alcoholic Spirit That Shines in Boozy Drinks

We were recently able to try MXXN Jalisco Agave (the drink is available in California and direct-to-consumer in a few markets). It’s a cloudy, straw-colored liquid with grassy and floral notes. On the palate, it’s soft but also spicy and with a pronounced salinity — it’s not offensive on its own, but it feels much better suited for a cocktail. I turned my initial small pour into a very nice Paloma alternative, which lacked the usual alcohol “kick” but maintained the essence of agave and heightened the grapefruit notes (while also a touch of spice). 

I’m not alone in my thoughts on how the product mixes. “When we started MXXN, we were trying to emulate the tastes of spirits in standalone form,” explains Smith, who also notes that bartenders were consistently giving feedback during the product’s formulation. “But we found it to be extremely difficult to find a substitute for the specific flavor and profile ethanol provides in that form, so we pivoted a bit to create a product that emulates the base flavor profiles of these spirits when mixed in a cocktail with other ingredients.”

The recipe wasn’t an easy process. In the brand’s early stages, the technology wasn’t there to get the THC evenly distributed throughout the base formula (“Which for dosing reasons was an obvious problem,” Smith notes). They eventually utilized nanoemulsion technology from Vertosa to solve that problem, but the company also had to finalize the flavor profile and make the product shelf-stable, which proved more difficult to do without alcohol while still utilizing natural ingredients. 

In the end, Smith thinks products like MXXN will appeal to the health-conscious (and non-boozy drinkers), but also believes they offer real potential to unite the worlds of drinks and cannabis.

“We’re not here to completely replace your booze or how you consume it,” he says. “We’re here to provide a new experience and evolve cocktail culture.”

Klaus takes a different approach. And that involves a gnome.

Just launched, Klaus is a ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail in a can, albeit with a “10 mg terpene-forward cannabis emulsion per drink” as opposed to a boozy ABV. These were crafted by popular mixologist Warren Bobrow, who credits…well, I’ll have him explain.

“The inspiration for my product, funnily enough, was my drinking gnome named Klaus,” says Bobrow. “Klaus traveled the world with me in my prior career in liquor sales. He also came with me to competitions where I served as a rum judge for both the Ministry of Rum and the Florida-based Rum XP.” (That association explains the launch of Klaus with Mezzrole, a take on the classic Ti’ Punch.)

As Bobrow remembers, he was signing copies of his drinks guide Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails at the Pharmacy Museum when noticed an exhibit named “Cannabis in the Early Apothecary,” which led to an idea for his next book, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics. And the success of that book led to the idea of creating a canned, THC-infused cocktail. 

(Yes, but the actual gnome influence? “To me, Klaus is much more than just a German drinking gnome. He represents goodness, kindness and the amalgamation of my life experiences. Sure, he loves to drink, but he’s recently switched over to my refreshing infused mocktails.”)

For Bobrow, it was not an issue emphasizing the cannabis aspects of his drink. “The ‘craft’ in craft cocktails isn’t always about the liquor. It’s the balance of the ingredients,” he says. “My Mezzrole cocktail — named for Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet’s friend and cannabis dealer, Mezz Mezzrow — has no alcohol, but it’s terpene-forward. It smells like a perfectly cured cannabis bud and provides consumers with a lovely, relaxing, talkative yet grounded feeling.” (It’s apparently also great for sleep. We’ll have samples soon to review.)

Unlike some of his peers, Bobrow feels THC is a versatile and somewhat enviable ingredient to work into mixed drinks.

“It can be flavored with terpenes as an adjunct to the other fine ingredients in a craft cocktail, or it can be flavorless and woven into a seltzer,” he says. “To me, the process is not challenging because cannabis possesses terroir. The plant embodies the taste of the place it was grown, like wine, except there are perhaps even more terpenes in cannabis than wine.”

As for serving suggestions, Klaus’s drinks — which will soon include a riff on the Tiki classic Zombie — only have 16 calories and 0.6 grams of sugar per can; each of those 8 oz cans features 10 mg THC, which Bobrow estimates is perfect for two drinks and a nice mental middle ground. “We’re somewhere between a microdose and the opposite end where the effects are a little too strong.”

Even if their approaches (and taste profiles) differ, Bobrow and Smith share a similar audience expectation: health-conscious, social, open to a “buzz” but wanting to feel better in the next morning.

“Many folks in my former world of liquor struggle with alcohol, and several have already reached out to tell me how much this beverage means to them,” says Bobrow. “Alcohol and cannabis provide different experiences. I feel out of control when drinking liquor, and I think a lot of people can relate. But I’m not here to preach. I’m here to make the world’s best craft cannabis libations and raise the bar.”