Jeez, we can’t even remember the last time we stepped into a bar. Definitely sometimes before the worldwide quarantine. But as countries begin to open their economies, we can once again begin to dream of hanging out with friends during happy hour with marijuana cocktails.
Ugh, I miss that lifestyle so much—but hey, who’s to say you can’t crack open a bottle of wine (or vodka) during lockdown! You can make your very own marijuana cocktails (or mocktails) from the comfort of your home. This way, you still reap the benefits of marijuana with the added bonus of delicious flavor in a glass.
Mixing Alcohol With Marijuana
First things first, this article focuses more so on “mocktails” than your traditional cocktail. Research shows that the combination of alcohol and marijuana can lead to undesirable effects. In fact, experts claim that alcohol can reverse the effects of THC to make you feel sick instead of soothed, panicked instead of peaceful, and anxious instead of easygoing.
Now, that’s not to say you can’t nurse a beer during your smoke, but we suggest that you stay away from hard alcohols such as vodka, gin, and tequila for these mocktails. Instead, we focus on alcohol-free cocktails that contain moderate levels of CBD and THC. Think of canna-mocktails as the new edibles.
The Birth Of Marijuana Cocktails
While we cannot pinpoint an exact birthplace, the rise of marijuana cocktails truly took off in 2018. According to Rolling Stone, Lyden Henderson was one of the first creators behind nonalcoholic, marijuana-infused beer. It started as all great inventions do: with trial and error. In 2018, Henderson took one sip of his first batch and immediately noticed something was missing. His beverage contained unappetizing chunks of marijuana.
“It tasted kind of like I was drinking milk that had been sitting in the refrigerator for two or three months,” he told the outlet. “It had the worst texture. It was one of the grossest things I had ever tried in my life.” This launched Henderson down a rabbit hole of research with his colleagues at Outbound Brewing. Little by little, Henderson perfected his craft into the canna-beer we see today. His particular brand contains 10 mg of THC or 20 mg of CBD.
Step One: Decarb Marijuana
You can be the fanciest mixologist on Earth but if you don’t decarb marijuana before you add it to a drink, you won’t feel any effects. Essentially, you must activate the THC chemical compound. This turns the non-intoxicating THCA into THC. There are three ways to do this from home.
- Using an oven
- Using a mason jar
- Using the sous vide method
Since we all have easy access to an oven, especially during quarantine, let’s focus primarily on that method. It’s also the easiest one. All you need is a baking tray, marijuana flower, and parchment paper.
- Set your oven to 225F and place the rack in the middle position
- Place an aluminum foil sheet across your baking sheet
- Break up your marijuana until it looks like rice
- Place another aluminum sheet on top
- Wait for about 45mins, check on it, and let it cool
Now you’re ready to add activated marijuana to any drink!
Adding Marijuana To Beverages
To all the marijuana bakers out there, you already know how science-heavy the process becomes. Cooking with marijuana is, unfortunately, not as simple as throwing flower into a mixing bowl with baking powder and eggs. The same goes for marijuana cocktails. Because tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are fat-soluble, they do not mix well with water. This explains why edibles took off so rapidly among home cooks. It’s far easier to add an element of fat (coconut oil, butter, avocado oil, etc.) into foods.
But alas, Henderson and countless other brewers felt up to the challenge! Thank goodness for technology advancements. Now, brewers have technology on their side to combat the issue of oil and water separation in their mocktails.
Make Your Own Marijuana Cocktails—With Alcohol!
Since we all have a lot of time on our hands these days, you might want to try to make your very own marijuana cocktail. Yes, a real cocktail with alcohol. It sure sounds pleasing but you pay the price of patience as it can take up to a month. Let’s say you want to make the classic margarita with a touch of weed. First, you need to make marijuana-infused tequila.
- Grind up marijuana flower into a powdery texture
- Pour 1/8oz weed in 750ml of tequila
- Shake well
- Store for two days to a month
- Shake every day
- Strain your liquid to remove marijuana chunks
From there, add 2oz of your marijuana tequila into a glass and add lime juice, simple syrup, Grand Marnier, and a pinch of salt to taste. This video shows you how it’s done. Once you have the basics down, you can apply this same method to make a “Buddy” Mary, a Mai “High,” and Weed Whiskey. Please, drink your cocktails at a slow and steady pace to avoid the potentially overwhelming effects of alcohol and THC in the same sip. With great cocktails, comes great responsibility.
Order Your First Marijuana Cocktail
As soon as bars and restaurants open back up, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be one of the first customers there. For your first-ever marijuana cocktail experience, we suggest that you leave it up to the expert bartenders and budtenders. They know exactly how to make the perfect marijuana cocktails.
Have you ever tried to drink your weed? Tell us about your experience! Did you like it? Do you prefer marijuana cocktails to edibles? If so, what’s your favorite cocktail to make? You can tell us in the comment section below or on social media! We’re very active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so give us a follow!
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how long before you start feeling the effect