Blending marijuana and alcohol can make for a sloppy combination. In fact, combining the two can make even the wildest of partiers spend an evening hugging the toilet. But Jason Eisner, the beverage director at Gratitude in Newport Beach, wants to change that by infusing cocktails with cannabidiol, or CBD—the non-psychoactive component of marijuana.
Although marijuana is federally illegal, CBD is actually legal in all 50 states because it doesn't require the flower, or the buds that get you high, in order to extract the non-psychoactive compound from the plant. And rather than mere gimmick, Gratitude's incorporation of lab-tested CBD is in line with their organic and plant-based ethos—and elevates their drink game good.
The first cannabis cocktail I tasted was the Stoney Negroni— a 420 version of the traditional gin drink garnished with an orange peel with the words "puff, puff, pass" stamped on the inside of the rhine. The type of CBD used in the concoction was an ACDC tincture, a strain widely known for being almost 100 percent CBD. "You can either get an alcohol or oil-based CBD tincture," Eisner said. "For the purpose of mixology, I chose to go with the oil based option so people can see the separation and know that there's definitely something in their drink."
You can see the oil gliding atop the Stoney Negroni's surface. But the earthy taste of CBD added depth to the bitter and floral flavors of the cocktail, giving it a well balanced complexity. And although gin isn't my liquor of choice, it's possible I've never had a gin drink so good.
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The next cannabis cocktail tasted was the Sour T-iesel, a tequila-based drink garnished with a Machta tea powder outline of a fan leaf. It was a little harder to see the CBD floating around in this drink, as the cocktail was a fizz. But the fresh, crisp flavors of agave, lime juice and mint make Sour T-iesel a worthy beverage for hot summer days.
Although mixing CBD in cocktails is edgy and pretty damn cool, it's more substantial than it seems. CBD is one of the most effective pain relievers on the planet, and it's one of the most underrated hangover remedies around. In fact, after a long night of drinking, CBD is my go-to. So incorporating CBD into cocktails is actually like drinking the poison and the antidote at the same time—COOL...
The Stoney Negroni and the Sour T-iesel will be on the menu at Gratitude starting this Tuesday—see you there!
Gratitude, 1617 Westcliff Dr. #112, Newport Beach, (949) 386-8100.