TomMarch 23, 2019
Do you like cannabis? Cocktails too? Then you’re going to love this episode, with culinary cannabis expert Warren Bobrow, also known as The Cocktail Whisperer. Author of six books, including Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics, Warren is a trained chef who brings his considerable curiosity and professional palate to the question of how to make THC tasty and drinkable. Whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, you’ll find that sipping your cannabis might be a great option for you.
Hey it’s Tom bringing you another episode of the Kannaboomers podcast. Delighted this week to have Warren Bobrow on the show. Warren has written six books. The most recent one was “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics” all about how to infuse your cocktails with a little bit of THC and uh, we talk a lot about dosing flavor, all of the things that you have to know if you’re going to go this route. And Warren has an encyclopedic knowledge of this stuff. He was a trained chef and got into using THC in his cocktails as treatment for his own glaucoma. So he knows it as a medicine and he appreciates all the effects that cannabis brings and I’m happy to have them on the show. As always, thanks to Danny in Milwaukee for making us sound good. Enjoy the show
We’re here with Warren, Bobrow. That’s quite a niche you’ve carved for yourself. Do you have six books on cocktails?
I do have six books, and one of them is in French.
How did you get into this speciality?
I had a dream, uh, originally, initially, maybe not completely originally, initially, but my second career as opposed to my first career. I had it in my mind that I wanted to become a chef and I had a newly minted degree in film from Emerson, but I really didn’t do so well on the television or the film industry. So I became a dishwasher that I worked my way up the the ladder and became a certified chef. But, uh, it was my passion and that was what I wanted to be doing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big money maker because this was back in the 1980s and there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the culinary arts that it was just waking up at that time.
It’s almost the Anthony Bourdain route.
Uh, after, well, he’s a little older than I, but for very much the same route. Whereas he worked in New York City. I was doing my, my stint as a pot scrubber dishwasher up in Maine because I had fallen for a girl up there and I was living up there and I really liked it and it was nice place to live and there weren’t a whole lot of tourists like there are now. And it was just a good place to learn how to be a cook, but, uh, it wasn’t a good place to be poor. And as I, as I learned that if you wanted to go further and almost any career that you want to go into, you have to have the right education. And I did not. So I was struggling and I took a job down in Charleston, South Carolina, which was a certainly a nice warm environment down there. And uh, got into Johnson and Wales for culinary school and uh, and did that for a couple of years and I founded a fresh pasta business down there and lost it in Hurricane Hugo in September of 1989.
I borrowed money from my father and grandfather, uh, who were living at the time, and it took me 20 years to pay them off. I got a job working in a bank. Well, again, starting at the bottom, worked my way up, but I started as a teller and I ended as an executive assistant to C level and above in private banking.
You know the restaurant industry, the food service industry and you know, banking and you know,
I know film. My, you know, I worked in motion pictures and television.
You have a, a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Uh, I’m, I’m an excellent failure.
Well, fail forward, right? I mean, that’s the…
Yes that’s what I do and it’s, it hasn’t come without its struggles. I went bankrupt. There was a divorce. I lost my house, I lost my car. Um, I was disowned. What else is there in life?
So you found some passion and I dunno if solace, but some expertise in crafting cocktails.
Oh, absolutely. I’m a master mixologist in cocktails, but my true expertise is crafting THC infused cocktails.
Now that’s really interesting because, um, it’s just emerging now. I mean, and I imagine it takes a lot of experimentation to figure out what works.
Tom, what it takes is a lot of overdosing. That’s what it takes. And, and I figured it out through the overdosing in it and it’s not overdosing. Like, you know, taking uh, you know, a massive dose of LSD or mushrooms and, and being destroyed for, for the rest of your life. This isn’t like that this is your body reacts, your gut reacts differently to, to edibles then than other food stuffs, it passes through your liver differently, like some people get sick and I got sick probably more than others and I figured out that if you take a little bit of a fresh lemon juice and some, uh, peppercorns together, it eliminates that problem.
You know, I’ve had edibles and they, we all know they can sneak up on you. I mean the Marine Dowd story, when she was curled up in the closet and Colorado, you can easily take too much.
You can, and I see, see, I wrote my book, cannabis cocktails, not for recreational users who are looking to get high quick. I was looking for someone like myself who has some sort of affliction. I mean, I hate the word affliction. It sounds like there’s something wrong with me. But, uh, I, the one thing I did inherit from my late father was his, his eyes and he had glaucoma. And so do I. So I found that, uh, the cannabis through my ophthalmologists, cannabis works to reduce the intraocular pressure behind my eyes. And therefore, when you smoke cannabis or eat cannabis, as I’ve found out, uh, it reduces the pressure. And I wasn’t, I’m not gobbling down a bottle of Advil every month because I had headaches all the time. So what I found is that when you smoke a joint in public, everyone knows your business. And that’s not necessarily a good thing in a state like New Jersey where I live, where cannabis, although used widely, is still illegal. So you can get a the wrong idea, if you will, from members of the local constabulary. Even though I have a cannabis card and they’re supposed to leave me alone. Still it’s, it’s the dialogue that you would have through getting caught smoking weed in public that I just don’t want to go through again. So I, uh, I derived a way of inserting, if you will, THC into craft spirits and also in mocktails and a, the stuff hits in about five minutes or less. It’s And because I’ve using what’s called, um, doing a technique called “decarbing” and through decarboning you were releasing the THC-A from THC and THC is the stuff that gives us that euphoric feeling that we’re looking for. And so the, the, the idea of cocktails was something that came very easily to me. And I know that cocktails are a very social adventure. And when you sit down with someone, you, you often say, hey, let’s go out for a drink before you say, hey, let’s go out and smoke a joint. So I figured out a way of putting that THC into your craft drink that hits amazingly well. It’s a predictable high. It can be strong. It could have been medium, it could be weak. It’s kind of like a eating Thai food if you will. And when you go out for Thai food, you wouldn’t necessarily get it Thai spicy the first time around. I recommend a very small amount of THC in the drink. But if you’re doing it for medicinal purposes like I was, you might want something that’s a little bit stronger.
Right? Thai food, you tell him I want a three or a four or some people want an at 10.
Yeah. But I’m not one of them.
Me neither. I’m about a three usually. Do you talk to people about or do you instruct in your books? How did “de-carb” is that part of what you do?
Yes. I teach, I teach how to do it through, uh, the method of doing it in the oven in my book “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics” and that’s not necessarily the best way. In fact, it’s probably the worst way because most ovens are not calibrated as I found. Uh, the temperature that you’re looking for is about 240 degrees and it should be an even temperature, not 240 one minute and 290. The next you find that you burn off the cannabinoids that are the health giving items in the, uh, in the cannabis and also the stuff that gets you stoned. So a, you don’t want to heat it too high. So as I found that when you use an oven or, God forbid, use a microwave oven, which I explained how to do and you can do it with a microwave, but it’s problematic as I learned because not every microwave is again, calibrated. Sometimes some are 900 degrees, some are 700 degrees and you can fry it up. But, uh, I learned by doing and that’s, you know, part of the fun of being a trained chef is the fact that you don’t always do things right and when you do things the improper way, that’s how you learn. And I try to take away some of that mystery of learning in the book, cannabis cocktails, mocktails and tonics by making the mistakes for the reader. The reader doesn’t have to make those mistakes because I explained it all.
So it’s a, it’s a test and learn thing and you are passing on your learnings. When you de-carb, you’ve got some flower and it sounds like essentially you’re baking it?
Yeah. At a low temperature. It’s not, you know, it’s just over boiling, like, so it’s a boiling is what, 212, you know, 240 degrees is kind of like a low simmer. So it’s, it’s toasting it if you will. It’s not, it’s not like putting your cannabis in a toaster oven. I did that too. And, and that was especially problematic, these, that really cycles in temperature.
Hmm. So then are you straining the resins or how do you, do you put the flower right into the cocktail or what’s the last leg?
That’s a great question because what I teach you to do is to infuse it into the craft spirits or into a simple syrup or into raw honey or into a condensed milk or heavy cream or even a Belgian Creek Lembeck. You know, a Belgian cherry beer. So I utilize a piece of equipment, uh, and I talked about it in the book very, very briefly because I had just gotten one for the first time and it’s called the magical butter machine. And I really liked it at first and I still use it, but it doesn’t give me the results that are really looking for and that I’m getting from the Livo oil machine. So I’ve been experimenting with, with technology a little bit, but in the book I teach you how to do all the infusions with double boilers. And the reason why that’s important is because I teach you to, to extract the THC in a method which is very similar to becoming a saucier, which is my, my training in the culinary arts.
So I want to teach you how to take the flavors out of it, not necessarily the terpenes and not necessarily the flavors. But I guess when I’m trying to say is you want to take the flavors of the cannabis, the, the earthiness, the spiciness, the skunky-ness, the diesel fuel-ness, and you want to put those flavors into the craft spirits. But the craft spirits should, they should match those flavors. So you have to be very cultivar sensitive or strain sensitive because not every strain goes with every type of craft spirit as you will learn. So gin goes with certain types of strains and bourbon go with others and rye goes with others and mezcal with others and it takes, you know, a little bit of experimentation to find those things. But fortunately in my recipes, I make recommendations right there and they’re pretty much pretty easily found strains. I mean, I, I found what I could and here in New Jersey, but I imagine if you lived in Maine or Massachusetts or California or Rhode Island or any of the places where there’s legal cannabis, you’d probably do better.
So you’ve got a great background for this, having a chef’s training and you have the palette. I mean, you know about sweet and sour and umami. I guess there’s a lot that goes into this when you are considering what the cannabis tastes like. And like you said, there’s different cultivars and not just the taste, but also the effect.
Yeah, it is the effect and the effect can be quite striking. As I learned, uh, two weeks ago I did a, uh, I was on the “‘Viceland” live television show and, they asked me to make CBD cocktails thinking that they were going to have a THC effect. And I, they asked me, they said, why don’t we, why don’t we feel anything? And I said, because there’s nothing in there for you to feel anything. And that’s the misconception when you have these bartenders all over the country and there were becoming superstars by using CBD and basically it’s snake oil because to have any sort of health giving properties and CBD, it’s negated by the alcohol. I mean that’s just, just basic science. And then the other thing that I think is so funny is they say, well, you know, you take a couple of drops and you’ll feel nice and relaxed. Well since there’s no THC, there’s no relaxation, there’s no euphoria. The the properties are strictly health giving. But in order to get those health giving properties, you have to put literally 20 drops in a cocktail. It would be a hundred dollar cocktail. That stuff’s expensive. Good, really good quality, full spectrum hemp derived CBD oil is 2 -300 dollars for a little tiny vial and it would be financially impractical to use it in craft cocktails the way it’s supposed to be used.
Well, and you’re, and you just said that the CBD effects are negated by the alcohol.
Of course they are.
What would the point be of CBD cocktails? Besides a marketing device.
But you know it’s the same thing because I come out of classical liquor and I would tell you I didn’t represent any mezcal companies. But if you see a worm and a bottle of mezcal pass, because that doesn’t exist. That’s something is created on Madison Avenue that doesn’t exist in Mexico. There’s no worms in the mezcal. It would be dirty. They’re incredibly clean people that you know, the, the processes is sparkling clean. Even though it’s ancient, it’s still, you don’t want to be adding worms to it. And this, same thing with, with CBD and in cocktails. I mean, why would you put CBD in a cocktail? I mean, I can’t, I just don’t get it. And other than the fact that it’s a massive moneymaker, if you have a cocktail that normally costs 7 and you’re charging 15 for two drops of CBD oil and it, you’re making money, I want to know how that’s done, but I’m here to call you out for doing it unless you’re using something which I have a, you know, a philosophical difficulty with, and that’s what they call, you know, hemp vodka, where they have, you know, pictures of cannabis leaves on the label.
And the anticipation is that through drinking this hemp infused vodka, you’re going to get stoned. You know, I was at the Vegas bars show last year and the representatives from that company were there and I looked to them and I said, what are you doing? You know, you’re sending a terrible example. People think that they’re going to drink this vodka and they’re going to get stoned on it. And nothing could be further from the truth, but it’s permitted and that’s allowed. So it’s a moneymaker. And the same thing. You know, I’m a rum judge and I judged these rum events all over the country and I get these rums in front of me that are, you know, they add a ton of extra sugar, like a, there’s big company called plantation. They, you know, not all their rums they add sugar to, but most of them they add sugar to. And I think it’s unfair to the consumer because there’s no rules in rum as there’s no rules in weed. You know, no one’s getting into trouble for putting a cannabis leaf on a, uh, on a bottle of hemp vodka, just like no one’s getting into trouble for saying that they’re, you know, cannabis has 29% THC when really it tests out to be 14. No one, there’s no rules.
Well yeah, I mean, but since there’s no, there’s no governing body to determine, to make any, any rules, as I said, no rules. So, uh, you know, I’m not surprised to hear that. I think a lot of the hemp CBD oil that comes from it comes from China contaminated with heavy metals, not tripled, tested or quadrupled tested as is the recommendation here in the United States. Not saying that everyone is a bad player. Um, I would absolutely not say that everyone is a bad player, but there are a lot of bad players out there. I know there are a lot of bad players out there. When I started getting the spam emails about CBD curing cancer on my, uh, you know, every morning I would get a hundred emails, CBD cures, cancer, CBD cures, cancer. It’s like, come on, you’re not going to sell it to me. I’m not going to open that, you know, attachment. I’m not going to click on anything. But you know when, when the spammers are sending that stuff out, it’s truly reached its snake oil capacity.
Yeah. I mean the pendulum has swung for 70-100 years. There was the, the propaganda that this is a bad plant and now we know there’s science that says this is a medicinal plant with many amazing properties. Right. But yeah, it’s swung so far in the other direction that now it’s a miracle panacea. You know, we have to kind of police ourselves that, you know, I noticed too last week the US hemp authority has a certification program. So the industry has to police itself.
Of course it does. But yeah, you have to want to police themselves because there’s no, no governmental oversight in this. It’s not like the FTC and I have a very personal experience in this and I want to share that with you and share it with the reader, with their listeners as well. Um, my grandfather was in the patent pharmaceutical business and he manufactured over the counter pharmaceuticals that were sold all over the world and it made him a very wealthy man. And through his, one of his products, he gathered the attention of the federal trade commission as well as the FDA, which was a flexing their, uh, their newly found power. And his product was a product that was a vitamin tonic that, that people took twice, maybe three times a day, because they felt that they had something called iron poor anemia, where iron, you know, poor iron in their blood and it’s something that no one has, but you know, but the American consumer is essentially stupid, so you could tell them anything.
And my grandfather developed a product, he didn’t develop it, but he sold a product, manufactured a product named Geritol.
Geritol, yeah everybody…
Geritol did absolutely nothing and it, and I’m the eldest grandson of him, so none, none of my illustrious family members that never succeed at anything, you know, really. So I look at that with a lot of disdain because I say, although it, uh, it, it afforded me a wonderful upbringing. It is based on a lie because Geritol did everything but cure the disease that they said people had because really the essential ingredients in the product, were three ingredients, which said to me, whiskey and not even good whiskey. Uh, it was ethyl alcohol, caramel coloring, sugar and flavors. So four ingredients and that’s, that’s all it had. I mean, it didn’t really have any anything else. It was only until after the FTC fined, uh, my grandfather’s company, some obscene amount of money.
I mean the largest, uh, it was the largest case of false advertising in the United States history. And it was my grandfather. It totally changed the, the family diametric I’m sure it killed my grandmother. It was just all sorts of of badness. And, uh, so I, I look at snake oil and I look at CBD in the same light. Why would I, who writes for Forbes, who writes about THC? We’d go out on a limb and say that any CBD does anything. How could I possibly do that? Have I not learned anything from my own family experience?
Are you saying, you said the alcohol negates, the effects of it. And you know, CBD, as far as I know, is it’s anti inflammatory, antispasmodic antioxidant. There’s, there’s all these properties that are supposed to be medicinal. The alcohol chemically change that the way that the cannabidiol, hooks up with the CBB receptors?
No, you know what, I’m not, I’m not a scientist. I know what? Cannabis, what THC does when it hits alcohol it goes into a beautiful suspension. And it’s the way we used to preserve things in the days before, uh, before refrigeration took over. But, uh, with CBD it does the absolute opposite and I, I can’t explain it but I, I will tell you that I did a, an event out in California in Humboldt County and they asked me to make CBD cocktails. And you could not tell the difference in flavor between the CBD ones and the ones that were virgin with nothing. You know, no CBD, no THC, no nothing. And the, and I just knew at that moment through my, you know, building that drink that the alcohol in the drink negated the CBD. There was no, I didn’t even have any feeling of relaxation. Like people say, oh, it relaxes you.
You feel peaceful and calm. I was like, you know, B.S. nothing, no feeling at all. Just a panacea. It was true. It was truly like, you know, when you do a drug for a drug trial, there are certain, certain drugs that don’t have anything in them it doesn’t have the drug in them. And that’s basically what it was. The the ones, the drinks that I put CBD in as opposed to the ones that I didn’t, you couldn’t tell the difference. It was not like bitters, it was not like adding THC where you can really taste the terpenes where you can really taste the spiciness, the earthiness of the strains. And so I have a, an intro difficulty working with CBD because I feel like I’m lying to people and I don’t want to.
Well, and just to be clear, that’s within the context of mixing it with alcohol. You’re not saying it’s going to be the alone is useless.
No, no, no. I’m not saying CBD alone is useless. I would because I, I’ll tell you, I working as a bartender, I severed the meniscus in my right knee and the only thing that gives me relief as CBD cream, but I will tell you that, that it’s like putting salonpas times 10 into my knee and I’m able to move and walk and, and not limp.
I’ve got similar experience myself. The balms are amazing.
They’re amazing. And the best ones are the ones that are derived from THC, the, this, the lows, the high CBD strains that are derived from, from, you know, from, from the cannabis plant, not from the hemp plant, both marijuana, both, you know, both whatever, but there, but one has no THC. One has, uh, a little bit of THC. I find the ones that have THC in the work better.
I believe it. There’s a medicinal effect and there’s also a recreational effect. Well, I love the recreational effects. I love, and I’ll, and I’ll tell you why I love it because as I said, I used to work in the liquor industry. Our country was built on intoxication. There’s nothing wrong with intoxication. Um, I do believe in something that we, because I have a servsafe license, so would always say responsible drinking. I believe it applies to cannabis use, responsible cannabis use. You know, I think I bought my first, I got my first bong probably like four months ago or three months ago ever. I never owned one before. Someone sent me a one for, for review. I’ve used it like three times. So I’m, I’m very much old school. I like smoking a joint and I like smoking, you know, cannabis out of a pipe. Um, but as far as sitting down and, and dabbing or any of that stuff, it’s just way beyond me.
But I, I think it’s, it’s really important to have that technique, the ability of not antagonizing people. And that’s a very important thing to know about me as a man as opposed to me as an author. Um, first wife and I are having dinner in New York City. I went outside as well as my practice to maybe smoke a little weed before dinner. Instead of having a cocktail. I went outside, lit up and was promptly arrested and thrown into jail for 48 hours. They sent me, they took me on the tour of New York City jails from the tombs all the way out to Rikers Island for less pot than, uh, than would fit on my pinky. And I have tiny hands. And it’s really, really, it was so disappointing. I, I was entered into the system for something which should not be a crime. And although I was never charged with a crime and now I don’t have a record, still the experience of being in handcuffs for 10 hours, it was not something that I, that I relish. And you know, rich kids shouldn’t get arrested for weed, but they do. So, uh, that’s something that happened. And so that’s why I wrote cannabis cocktails. I didn’t write it to give someone a brand new way of, of imbibing, you know, THC, what I did is created a brand new way of imbibing THC that won’t get you arrested.
You can be undercover and subtle and the undetectable.
Undetectable, uh, and social cause you determine how much, you know, Yahya is in there. You determined that, you know, you may not go out and put an ounce of a, you know, 28 grams of, of a, of 30% THC. Uh, you know, cannabis into a bottle of liquor. You’d be totally destroyed, but you might want to put three and a half grams in and you know, and microdose yourself and make it something that’s pleasurable and something that’s, that’s medicinal. And you know, and if you were take cannabis for medicinal purposes as I do, it’s nice to be able to mix it in, you know, put a little dollop of canna-butter on your espresso in the morning and make it bulletproof for a or midday. If you’re making a milk punch with a little bit of Bourbon, you know, if you live in New Orleans and you want to make it, you know, something a little more exciting. So you’d have a little bit of THC in that condensed milk or in the heavy cream or, or whatever you’re doing.
You mentioned butter, but we were also talking about a tincture. I mean, are you de-carbing it down into a butter or…
I have, but I, but I don’t use tinctures tinctures would throw a, uh, a craft cocktail out of balance. You would never use a tincture. It’d be too bitter because the basis of tinctures that are like 190 proof everclear. I would never use that in a cocktail. It would make it just undrinkable. So I, so again, we’re, we’re going back to the infusion technique. You take the whole flowers and you put them in a mason jar that’s open, you don’t seal mason jars that are filled with alcohol and you would put that into a double boiler and simmer it at 200 and not even 200 degrees, 160 degrees for about two hours. And then let it cool. And then and top off with fresh alcohol. So it puts it into suspension, drain it out through a, uh, through like a, a bubble bag or, or a cheesecloth. So it’s strained out. The cannabis is fully activated into the craft spirit and build your craft cocktails as normal. I just gave you the keys to the kingdom.
So, and then again, it’s going to be a period of trial and error. You’re going to titrate this to the dose you want. Yes, very carefully, right?
I mean carefully and build a delicious craft cocktail. So what I did on Viceland the other night as they wanted to feel something, so I let them feel something.
Where you’re at. You’ve been doing this for awhile. So I imagine you have the capability to dial it up and down.
I can do. And I met I so microdosed stem, they had abso- they had like less than five milligrams of THC. But what happened with what I learned from that experience, which is something that I didn’t know before, is when you put equal amounts of THC with CBD, it supercharges the THC and I destroyed them.
Hmm. So that’s a, that’s a learning right there.
You bet. You bet. And they were not happy. And I learned my lesson and that’s the second time this has happened. So I better get it together quick. But it wasn’t like I overdosed some, I underdosed them. But the addition of CBD with THC, it just gives the THC a boost and it’s something that I knew about, but I hadn’t conceptualized how that would happen until I did it. And, uh, and of course I, I took the cocktail myself. I, I drank two of them and it had no effect on me. But I use cannabis in a different level than, than the people who don’t drink and don’t smoke.
Well, and this is a surprising finding because we just talked about the fact that if you put CBD in there alone, the alcohol negates it, but if you put it in with THC, then you have a turbocharged THC cocktail.
Turbocharged effect. Yeah. It’s a, I can’t explain it again. No science here. I’m a doctor, uh, don’t even play one on television, but I will tell you that, uh, that it’s the dynamic duo together definitely the dynamic duo. And, and for someone like myself who has, you know, a documented need to use medical cannabis, it’s a gift. It’s an absolute gift.
So let’s talk about the flavor. I mean, cocktails are some people like sweet ones, some like, um, you know, there’s, there’s a whole range of things that people look for. When you add THC, are you getting sort of a grassy, dank flavor or…
Well, that’s, that’s a great question. Uh, you don’t get a grassy flavor, but you get kind of the flavor of the smell of the cannabis that really does shine through. And so this terpenes, those essential oils that give us the smells that we seek in cannabis, those diesel fuel, male cat urine, soil, uh crushed pine needles, wet stones, all the things, you know, all of those descriptors that we know from the wine business exists also in the cannabis business. And, and why that works so beautifully is that it allows you to think like a culinarian and you start thinking about the drinks going along with different types of food and then different strains of the flowers and it becomes part of your culinary training. Even if you’re not a chef, it’d be, it helps you think in flavor. And that’s, that’s my gift. And that’s what I teach you how to do in the book, thinking, thinking, flavor and act in flavor.
But, uh, again, I, I don’t make sweet drinks. So there are a couple of drinks that could be, can conceived as sweeter in the book, but I don’t use a whole lot of, uh, extra sugar. In fact, I don’t use any extra sugar. Um, I have one cocktail here, it’s a breakfast cocktail. And I always say everything tastes better when your palate is open before you’ve covered it up with lunch. Um, it has cannabis infused heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, which is the really heavy stuff. Uh, coffee, ice cream just a scoop. Irish whiskey, brandy, Vanilla extract and a brew to espresso coffee. But you’re getting the THC through an infusion of the cannabis flower into heavy whipping cream. It works like a pro. It is the easiest thing that you can do. You take the flower that’s been decarbed, you drop it into a two cups of, uh, of heavy whipping cream. You heat it to 160 degrees for two hours and then strain it out and it’s perfectly infused and it’ll last for a week.
Hmm. It sounds wonderful.
The idea is to make you hungry and thirsty. Well, I do a New Orleans style milk punch that we were talking about. Uh, I was fortunate to work with a company named Barrel Bourbon and they just, they gave me free hand with, with their spirits. So I use an ounce of barrel bourbon, two ounces of cannabis cream made with heavy cream, whole milk non-medicated, simple syrup, little bit of Vanilla extract, some nutmeg, crushed ice, and then a cannabis infused cocktail bitters, which is so much easier than it sounds, but literally, uh, it’s just bitters and a and THC and it takes three drops over the top and it’s done. But, uh, the, the cocktail is built like a classic New Orleans style milk punch, except for only, you know, that there’s enough cannabis, uh, you know, THC in there to drop down a family of rhinoceros charging the right to sleep. Um, you know, I also, I love drinks that are the classics like Manhattans. And I built one called the Mezzrow cocktail and has a wonderful backstory that I really like to share with you because Mezz Mezzrow, he was a jazz musician who lived in Harlem in the twenties and thirties. And as it turns out, Louis Armstrong, who was the, you know, the, uh, cornet player was living in Queens where he lived most of his life. And, uh, in fact, I visited as his grave recently and it was pretty interesting. But the, uh, the Mezzerow cocktail was named after Milton Mez, Mez Rowe, who was Louis Armstrong’s weed dealer. So he, um, he sold Louie all this great, you know, at that time it was all Mexican weed, but he brought two or four or 6,000 pounds of Mexican cannabis up from Mexico and sold it in Harlem in the twenties and thirties. Not Illegal at the time, but if you ask for a joint or a refer, you probably would get the attention of the police and you didn’t want that.
So a well rolled cannabis cigarette during the twenties and thirties was called a mezzrow named for Mezz Mezzrow who was Louis’ weed dealer. And this one is a, uh, this was the Manhattan. It’s a, it has some cannabis infused for mood. It has crushed ice, it has bourbon whiskey and it has bitters. And it’s simple, simple, simple. But we really want you to use a sativa indica hybrid strain called Cherry Pie. It’s redolent of sweet and Sour Cherries and it compliments the toasty oaky flavors inherent in the liquors as far as making the crushed ice. It’s best to place the ice in something we call a Louis bag, which is a heavy canvas bag that’s made for the job. What we’re whacking it with a wooden mallet or a rolling pin, so it’s crushed ice.
Wow. Again, we’re, we’re at the intersection of a multisensory, um, recipe where, you know, you’re, you’re bringing the terpenes and the flavor. There’s an aroma therapy, sort of a function where all these things can affect your, your mood, they can relieve your pain. There’s a lot going on when you put all those ingredients together.
Yeah. I, I, you know, I’m especially fond a drink called the, uh, the absinthe frappe because absinthe, as you know, is the bad boy of, uh, of, of liquor. People drink it and they think they’re going to hallucinate and they say, oh, what the U.S. absinthe doesn’t have wormwood in it. That’s absolutely a lie. Uh, anything that’s written about absinthe in the negative light was created by the French government because absinthe sales, were cutting into red wine sales and the farmers were, were upset. So the absinthe was vilified. Uh, the absent that we have today in the United States is the same, if not better than the absent that they had and the Fem Dsec, uh, because it’s clean, it’s pure, it’s not going to get you sick. You’re not going to go blind. Um, most of the absent that was drunk during the 1800’s was very unclean alcohol. So I could see that there would have been problems with it. But I love the absinthe frappe because I Medicaid, uh, a absent from jade liqueurs called the [inaudible] adword absent, and it’s a recreation with modern technology and modern recipe of the traditional recipe from the 1800’s. So drinks completely differently than other absinthe. And I build it into the absinthe frappe, which is, you know, fresh mint leaves the absinthe a little bit of rich, simple syrup and Seltzer water, simple drink classic. And it gets, you buzzed. In two ways. You won’t hallucinate
So our audience is baby boomers, people my age. And uh, we’ve got the normal things going on. We’ve got insomnia, we’ve got, some of us are getting arthritis and you know, in this world today you have anxiety. That’s why a lot of us are gravitating back towards cannabis. And this is another way to have fun with it.
Well, I mean at the, at the end of the night there’s always a digest tea for you want something that helps you sleep. And I have the perfect drink to help you sleep. It’s a, uh, it’s a drink that I called the Arden dreamer and it’s built with Orange Cognac, liqueur kind of like Grand Marnier. Um, and then I use a, a cannabis infused extra anejo tequila. So an extra anejo is one that’s a age extra long in Oak. So it has a very rich, earthy flavor to it. And I find when you add a little bit of pink grapefruit juice to it with the orange liqueur, you have a beautiful drink to put you right to sleep depending on the, uh, you know, the, the end end game, whatever strain that you used. I use actually liked using a, a a a hybrid called Gatekeeper OG and it’s, they say it’s sativa dominant, but I really believe it’s indica dominant because it just puts me to sleep whenever I drink it.
Just give me an idea of what your kitchen looks like. How many infusions do you have on the shelf at any given time?
Absolutely none. My wife is completely against cannabis. She’s worried that she’s going to grab something and it’s going to get her stoned. So I have one bottle of olive oil and every night she says, did you use that olive oil in cooking? I said, no, I didn’t no if I, and if I did, I would use, do it on a separate dish on a separate plate, the separate cooking. I just won’t do it. Um, I don’t have anything really going on here. You know, that’s, that’s on in the kitchen. If I’m doing experimentation, it’s with stuff that I’m doing in my office room, which is in the house. But uh, it’s a way from, from curious eyes and hands. Okay.
For our listeners, if you make a couple of infusions then you’ve got your, your Cherry Hill, your Cherry Pie one, you’ve got a Sour OG or something. You’ve got different infusions for different purposes, right?
Of course. Yes. And when I, when I did the book, I created 75 so that was, that was pretty important. It gives us, first off, it’s the first book on the topic. So no one has done this before. And creating 75 drinks for cannabis is a challenge for anyone’s book. But then adding the liquor and then the, of course I did a bunch of mocktails as well. So you have to assume that there’s a lot of experimentation involved. And I tried to make it easy for the reader and if, and, and fortunately if they were to buy my book, cannabis cocktails, mocktails and tonics, they get me. So if they have problems with it, they should reach out to me and I will walk them through it because I want to make sure that you’re satisfied with the experience, that it’s not overwhelming, that it feels good, that it does no harm.
That’s the idea. I’m not looking to get people into trouble. I want to help them do better. That’s what I’m looking for. And I know when you’re, you know, a millennial, it’s different than being a baby boomer. It’s just different. You’re more responsible, you’ve grown up a bit. You don’t have time to, uh, to go to, you know, a weekend of rock and roll shows anymore as much as you want to. But you’ve got other stuff going on. And this, my recipes make it easy to have other stuff go on.
So you’ve got six books out, including “Cannabis, Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics” Do you have any new projects on the horizon? Uh, I’m, I’m, as I said, I’m writing for Forbes in the online space and the vices section. I really, really love what I do there because I pick and choose my own stories. Um, you know, I, I’m not planning on writing another book right now because I just don’t have the time for it. I’m just trying to be good to myself. You know, I, I have a pretty big birthday coming up 58 in May, so a, I have a lot of travel planned. You know, I, I’m on a nonstop quest for information. That’s what’s going on.
Do you do private events or you know, like the thing you did for viceland, do you show up and treat people to cannabis cocktails?
Yes, I do. Uh, but I want to make sure they vet their guests lists really well because I really don’t want to get arrested. Right. I think that’s probably accurate.
Yeah. So you’re in New Jersey, we’re seeing prohibition being rolled back state by state. What excites you about that? Where do you think we’re going? Um, do you think we’ll see a federal, a Federal Movement to legalize?
Uh, I don’t think under the current administration we’re going to see anything towards legalization unless it’s linked to something that’s politically unsavory. Um, that’s not what this conversation is about. A New Jersey is unfortunately the people who are in power. I voted for, I’m wondering why I voted for them because they’re still on the first step of, of legalization in New Jersey. So that one is fully aside. I don’t think New Jersey is going to go recreational anytime soon. I think Pennsylvania has problems with that as well. They just recently introduced medical cannabis. I, I’ve been to a couple, the of the, I went to one of the dispensaries in Philadelphia and they have a long way to go. Uh, New York state does not allow flower. They only allow oil. It seems like everyone in the world’s smokes cannabis to the street in New York City. I don’t know why they do. Police still arrest people for it. They obviously haven’t gone through what I went through. So they don’t care. Um, Nevada, Oregon, California, Washington state, there’s no stigma. It’s so laid back. You know, you may not be legally allowed to smoke in the street, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t, and they very rarely get arrested for that. So there, there are worse things that go on in life than that. Um, you know, I’m disappointed in New Jersey. I’m truly disappointed in New Jersey and I vote in every single election since I got my, uh, my voting rights at 18. And I think New Jersey’s taking the wrong path, but, uh, you know, I can’t discuss the, you know, I’m not going to go into the politics of it because it seems like the, uh, the individuals who are most against cannabis are the ones who are the most democratic.
So I, you know, what can I say? I don’t want to piss anyone off and I just want to, uh, I, I vote for my heart and I hope that, uh, that, that others at least vote and they should, you know, the, the, the powers that be should put the, uh, the legalization effort into the open, you know, and, and to open vote rather than leaving it up to a, to politicians to vote, because they’re just looking at money, making opportunities. They don’t even smoke cannabis. Right. I mean, I look at the picture, I just got an email, the American cannabis summit countdown to legalization featuring former speaker of the house, John Boehner. No one ruined people’s lives more than this guy. I would never invest in his company. I cannot imagine after the, the things that they, that went on during the Bush administration. But as far as cannabis, my father, my late father was friends with uh, with the, with the Bush people and you know, they had a house up in Maine next door to my fathers and they, they always said about me that I didn’t pass the sniff test and now they want me to invest with them. I don’t think so.
Well there’s a lot happening. I mean we had a last week we had Amanda Siebert from Vancouver and she talked about the whole Canadian experiment and you know, I’m I’m in California and it’s, um one step forward two steps back. Sometimes you want to make it friendly for small businesses and it’s not quite as friendly as it is for the big businesses. And, but we’ve come a long way in a short time. I mean, it’s astounding that the progress in the last five to 10 years, books like yours and what you’re doing, uh, being, being on TV, on viceland and spreading the message that this is a legitimate medicine that can help you live a better life is, um, thank you for doing that. And thank you for coming on the show and sharing your expertise with our guests as well.
Tom Is my pleasure and if I could do anything in life, I wanted at least do what my passion is. And when you share your passion with others, it becomes irresistible. So I hope that anyone purchases this. My book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores and if they run into problems, they should contact me and I, and I promised that if I, if I don’t have the time, I’ll let you know. And if I do, we’ll, we’ll walk through it and we’ll make it something that works
And I see you on Twitter. And where else can we find you online?
Instagram, Facebook, linkedin. I occasionally use Pinterest, although not really. Um, I have a website. It’s cocktailwhisper.com so cocktail and then whisper.com
Perfect. We will look you up. Thanks so much. Warren
Fantastic being here. I appreciate your time.
You’ve been listening to, “Let’s Talk About Weed” the Kannaboomers podcast with Thomas J for more in medicinal cannabis for baby boomers. Visit us at kannaboomerscom.