Published: March 1st, 2018
Imagine your next party or gathering. The usual bottles of wine are being passed around, with a homemade punch or two featured on a nearby table. You might even have a budding bartender attempting to make cocktails in the kitchen. At this point, many would consider adding CBD to said cocktail to be an act of madness (or drunkenness depending on how far into the night it is), but the reality is that CBD could be the secret ingredient to your next show-stopping beverage.
With a windfall of positive accolades and a significant rise in popularity, CBD is recognised not only as a beneficial dietary and health supplement, but a fun ingredient to infuse into food and drink as well. With a myriad of recipes for CBD-infused treats, it has never been easier to discover the benefits of cannabidiol for yourself. With many of us using a cocktail to unwind, incorporating CBD could the ultimate way to de-stress after a long and arduous week.
So why is there so much hype around CBD? Is it really called for? Well, as more and more users continue to incorporate CBD into their daily lives, reviews of its benefits have skyrocketed. Many attribute CBD to a reduction in stress and anxiety, improved feelings of well being, anti-inflammatory properties, and mild pain relief. Not to mention, all of these positive benefits come without the feeling of being high, something that is often stigmatised.
CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. The icing on the cake? In many parts of the world, CBD is considered perfectly legal as it is often derived from hemp. Many health food enthusiasts now consider it to be a superfood of sorts, given that its extract can be seamlessly integrated into everyday meals and drinks.
Supporting this rise in use, a number of bars and restaurants now offer CBD cocktails. Bars in Los Angeles like Prank Bar and Hollywood’s Gracias Madre restaurant have all helped to create a positive image of CBD. Many craft beers now contain CBD as well.
So, if you really want to impress at your next cocktail party, how do you go about infusing CBD into your alcoholic delights? CBD is often incorporated in two different forms, tincture and oil. Oil-based CBD is often used as a topper for a cocktail. This is because the different densities of the liquids cause the oil to float. Intricate patterns and the strong aroma of CBD can be enjoyed whilst still receiving the benefits when consumed. Tinctures, on the other hand, are alcohol-based, meaning they blend very easily with other mixers. This makes the presence of CBD less obvious to the eye, and it’s consumed completely. Oil remnants can sometimes be found at the bottom of the glass when a cocktail is finished.
Think of terpenes as a component of cannabis that provides the flavour and aroma. They are not only found in cannabis, but many types of herbs, fruits, plants, and even animals. The key is using terpenes to complement the rest of the ingredients in the cocktail. We should not be fearful of the unique flavour and aroma of CBD; instead, embrace it when thinking up cocktail ideas.
As well as providing unique flavours, terpenes have their own health bolstering benefits. Limonene, for example, not only carries a pungent citrus flavour, but boasts anti-inflammatory effects. Understanding different terpenes with their relative aromas and properties can take mundane cocktails to the next level. Both for your senses and your health.
Easy enough to try at home, these cocktails all integrate CBD.
2 shots original Pimm’s
¾ shot lemon juice
½ shot simple syrup
3 cucumber slices
1 shot ginger beer
15mg CBD tincture
1. Add the cucumber and simple syrup, crushing them at the bottom of the cocktail shaker.
2. Add Pimms, CBD tincture, and shot of lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain into a tall chilled collins glass.
3. Top with a shot of ginger beer and a cucumber wheel for some theatre. Add ice as required.
1½ shots bourbon
½ shot simple syrup
8 mint leaves
15mg CBD tincture
1. Add 5 mint leaves and simple syrup, crushing them at the bottom of a chilled julep cup.
2. Add the 1½ shot of bourbon and CBD tincture, topping with pebble ice.
3. Stir well, adding more ice.
4. Garnish with the remaining mint leaves.
1½ shots gin
3½ shots tonic water
¼ shot lemon juice
15mg CBD oil
Selection of aromatics (lime wheel, grapefruit peel, or edible flowers)
1. Using a wine glass, combine gin, lemon juice, and the tonic water. Top with ice.
2. Arrange your aromatics in the drink; their primary purpose is to make the drink visually appealing.
3. Float CBD oil on the top.
All that remains now is to sit back and enjoy. Remember, experimentation is the key. Once you have perfected the cocktails listed above, try out different CBD oils and tinctures to see which ones complement different mixers.