Cannabis Cocktails 101 with Warren Bobrow
(Warren Bobrow, the Cocktail Whisperer, is the author of Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails & Elixirs, and most recently Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations.)
Let’s just do away with the pleasantries and get right to it. Cannabis is great and cocktails are great. When you put the two together, as Warren Bobrow has done in his new book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics, great things are bound to happen. And hot damn, do they ever.
In order to learn more about cannabis cocktails, we of course had to try them with the man himself. Before we begun, we chatted a little about his book and the purpose of it.
“It isn’t meant as a recreational book,” Bobrow said. “It’s meant specifically for healing.”
Read: Don’t be an idiot and make super strong weed cocktails just because you can and want to get super high. Not only is that not the intent of the book, Bobrow says, but it also ruins the entire experience. Do you want to be that guy? (No one wants to be that guy.)
Bobrow started by showing us how to infuse cannabis into alcohol. For the purposes of making Dank and Stormies, we used used a dark aged rum. After deciding on a spirit, the process itself is pretty simple. What it boils down to is this: cooking the weed in an oven-safe bag in the microwave to activate the THC (3 sets of 1.5 minutes each), then using a nitrous-oxide charged whipping siphon (think whipped cream or, you know, the other use) to infuse the now-active THC into the spirit using Dave Arnold’s rapid infusion technique.
When using this technique, Bobrow explained, “The nitrous oxide is microencapsulating the rum with the THC from the cannabis. Think of it as micro-infusing.”
Once the infusion is complete, you need to siphon off the built up gases inside. You do not want to inhale what comes out, Bobrow warned.
“Not a good idea. You want to be responsible,” he said.
When infusing cannabis into a spirit, he added while working, you wouldn’t want to do an entire bottle for a batch.
“If you were it would be exponentially weaker. It’s all in the ratios, this will be a lot more concentrated, then I’ll add in the fresh rum and it’ll be equally distributed throughout the entire bottle,” he said.
You don’t even need that much to begin with, just a few grams for a potent potable. “You can add a ton of it, but you don’t need to unless you’re really sick and that’s your medicine. Then you go ahead and add more,” Bobrow said.
Pretty soon, voila, the rum is done and ready for the Dank and Stormy.
With a beautiful nose and color, the now-infused rum blended perfectly with the rest of the ingredients to deliver a wonderfully-rounded, utterly drinkable beverage that started kicking in soon after ingestion. The tropical flavors of the rum blended well with the herbaceous addition, adding a new layer of depth to the cocktail.
Learn to make your own cannabis cocktails by picking up Cannabis Cocktails here.
(Cover image from Cannabis Cocktails, courtesy of Glenn Scott Photography / Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing.)