Cannabis is working its way into so many facets of our lives that it should come as no surprise it’s entering the world of cocktails and “mocktails” (non-alcoholic beverages), too. The cannabis tinctures typically used in these drinks give a long-lasting and pleasurable sensation, but they typically take up to 60 minutes to take effect. That’s why we recommend you sip slowly and limit yourself to one cannabis-infused beverage per day at most, especially if you’re mixing cannabis with alcohol.
And if you’d prefer to have a completely non-psychoactive experience, ask your friendly budtender for a CBD-only tincture. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of this powerful cannabinoid without any psychoactivity whatsoever.
Cooking at Home vs. Store-Bought
How does the cannabis get into drinks? As we made reference to earlier, we prefer to use pre-made cannabis tinctures. They’re consistent, they’re potent, and they’re readily available.
That said, you can make your own cannabis-infused simple syrup, butter, or oil at home, but it can be an involved process. And exercise caution. If you’re decarboxylating cannabis into alcohol, be sure to use an electric burner and not an open flame.
Alcoholic Mocktails and Shrubs
A cannabis-infused mocktail can be as simple as a classic cocktail minus the alcohol—Virgin Marys and mojitos come to mind—or they can be as inventive or groundbreaking as you please. Try stirring cannabis-infused butter into hot mulled cider for a real Pot Toddy, or add a dose of tincture to sparkling water infused with cooling cucumber and lime.
Shrubs are an old-fashioned beverage that’s come back in a major way. Tart and vinegar-based, they’re cooling, refreshing and unusual all at the same time. They’re sometimes known as “drinking vinegars” and their vibrant acidity is a great foil for cannabis’ pungent and herby nature.
Alcoholic Cannabis Cocktails
It might seem strange to consider mixing cannabis and alcohol, but it shouldn’t. When consumed in moderation, both are safe and pleasurable routes to relaxation. What’s more, each is a nearly limitless source of variation, both in flavor and in effect on our bodies. When combined, the only limitation is your creativity.
Instead of using a dash of herbal bitters in an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, try a single drop of cannabis tincture. Because cannabis shares terpenes—or “essential oils”—with so many other ingredients in the spice rack and bar rack, it’s a natural flavor additive for many intriguing cocktails. Think of the bright hit of limonene in both lemons and Sour Diesel, or the earthy funk of caryophyllene in cloves and OG Kush, and you’ll get the idea.
Of course, if you’ve gone to the trouble of making a cannabis-infused simple syrup, you can use it to concoct any number of classic or whimsical cocktails. Blitz it into a frozen margarita, or stir it into a mint julep for a delicious play on mint’s bright herbal qualities.
Again, do exercise caution: Depending on how strong the infused syrup is, you may want to cut it with a non-infused syrup. And after trying a cocktail, wait at least an hour to assess what effect it’s had on your body. And just as with any other alcoholic or cannabis-infused beverage, don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel. It’s not safe, and it’s definitely not legal.
Interested in the beverages and tinctures we have on hand? Find your closest Have a Heart location below!