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Cannabis Cocktails — Why And How You Can Make Them

Added 12 August 2022

Cannabis — who doesn’t like it? And the same goes for cocktails. But what if you mixed the two to create something with the best of both worlds? 

Yes, you get cannabis cocktails!

Fortunately, you are not the only one to think that way.

Cannabis cocktails are in popular demand in various regions that have legalized cannabis, including many states of the US, Canada, and other European countries. 

But before you start adding flowers to your gin, you should know a few things. 

Mixing cannabis with cocktails is not as simple as adding spices to drinks — you’ll need a deeper understanding of alcohol and cannabis. 

And, of course, it goes saying that you have to be responsible since you’ll be handling both cannabis and alcohol. 

Many people cannot handle the combination, so the key is to not go overboard, and to moderate your intake.

After all, alcohol can get you drunk, and cannabis can get you high.

That said, assuming that you’re going to be safe and responsible, here’s a guide for you with everything you need to know about cannabis cocktails, including three cocktail recipes! 

Best Cannabis Strains for Cocktails

best strains for cannabis cocktails

There is no single answer for this — everything depends on your preference. However, the conversation narrows down to the cannabinoids: THC and CBD.

If you want to get high with a cocktail, you need to choose a strain with high levels of THC — a compound responsible for producing the psychoactive high. 

On the other hand, if you simply want a cannabis flavor with it or want to enjoy the medicinal benefits, you should choose a CBD-dominant strain. CBD does not produce any high and CBD-dominant strains offer the classic cannabis flavor without any intoxicating effects. 

What do Cannabis Cocktails Taste Like?

Taste of cannabis cocktails

Another way you can choose cannabis is based on what taste you want to add to your cocktail. If you already use cannabis, you already know that it has a unique flavor. So, when you mix it with drinks, it adds a slight herbal undertone to it. 

Do note that this taste varies significantly with strain — some strains are minty, others are fruity, and some are even spicy. Cannabis is versatile when it comes to taste, so again, this choice depends on you.

Figure out what kind of taste you want to add to your cocktail and choose a strain accordingly. You can look up the major strains online and you will find a ton of information about their flavor profile. 

If you want exotic strains, here's a list you can find. 

Best Cannabis Cocktails

best cannabis cocktails

Let’s be honest — there are hundreds of different cocktails that you can prepare at home, and cannabis goes well with most of them. So, the best cannabis cocktail does not exist, it’s what you think is best for yourself.

However, there are always a few classic cocktails that you can never go wrong with, but before we get into making cocktails, you need to decarb your cannabis.

Decarbing Cannabis

decarboxylating cannabis

Fresh cannabis buds contain raw derivatives of CBD and THC, known as CBDV and THCV, respectively. These cannabinoids are not yet activated, so they will not produce any effect on your body or brain

Therefore, you must activate them by applying heat, and the process is called decarboxylation.

Decarboxylation, or decarbing, sounds scary, but the process is quite easy. All you need to do is evenly heat the buds without burning them in an oven or microwave. THe process is the same even if you want to make edibles such as cannabis brownies

Here’s how to do that in an oven:

  1. Grind up the buds and spread them over a baking sheet
  2. Place the baking sheet on a pan and place it in the oven
  3. Set the oven to 220°F to 240°F (104°C to 115°C) and bake for half an hour

If you want to decarb the buds in a microwave, here's how you do it:

  1. Grind the buds and place them on a microwave-safe plate
  2. Place in the microwave 
  3. Cook on high for 90 seconds

Remember, decarbing is a pungent process and your kitchen will smell like cannabis. You may need to take some measures to ensure the smell does not reach your neighbors — some may not appreciate it.

Infusing Cannabis in Alcohol

The next step is to infuse your decarbed cannabis into your choice of alcoholic beverage. And here's how you do that:

Things You Need:

  1. 5 to 7 grams of decarbed cannabis
  2. Your choice of alcohol
  3. Double boiler
  4. Thermometer 
  5. Cheesecloth 

Follow These Steps:

  1. Grind your decarbed cannabis further and wrap it in a small cheesecloth. Avoid grinding it too fine or it may seep out of the cloth 
  2. Next, add water to the bottom half of the double boiler and boil it
  3. Once the water starts boiling, bring the heat to low
  4. Next, pour your alcoholic beverage into the top half of the boiler 
  5. Add the cheesecloth with cannabis to the boiler and stir for a couple of minutes and cover it
  6. Ensure the temperatures do not exceed 150°F or 65°C
  7. Let the mixture heat for a few hours before removing it from heat
  8. Then, pour alcohol through another cheesecloth into a container or a bottle 
  9. If you want to make your cannabis infusion better, leave the cheesecloth with cannabis in the alcohol for a few days

Note - Alcohol is highly flammable, so it's best to use an induction cooker that doesn't require a flame. If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one yourself by using a large pan filled with water and then placing another bowl on top of it. 

Classic Cocktail Recipes

classic cocktails

Now that you have cannabis-infused alcohol, why not try your hand at some cocktails? So, here are a few cannabis cocktails that you can try if you're just getting started with cocktails.

1. Gin and Tonic

Gin and Tonic is a classic cocktail that’s also super easy to make. It is light and refreshing, but with cannabis-infused in it, it is going to be a blast to try out. 

Here’s the recipe:

Things You Need:

  1. 2 ounces of gin infused with cannabis
  2. 6 ounces of tonic water — high quality
  3. A lemon

Follow These Steps:

  1. Fill a glass with ice 
  2. Squeeze one lemon over the ice
  3. And pour in the gin and tonic water in a 1:3 ratio, respectively
  4. Use a spoon to gently stir the drink

The cocktail should have a slightly tart flavor, but you can use less lemon if you want to tone it down. 

2. Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour is one of the oldest types of cocktails with a history that goes more than 150 years in the past. It’s known for its silky flavor and strong punch. 

Here’s how you can make it.

Things You Need:

  1. 2 ounces of bourbon or whiskey, infused with cannabis
  2. ¾ ounce of simple syrup — nothing but sugar mixed in water
  3. 1 ounce of lemon juice
  4. Egg albumen (egg white) — optional

Follow These Steps:

  1. Pour bourbon or whiskey, syrup, albumen, and lime juice in a shaker and shake well 
  2. Add some ice and shake for half a minute 
  3. Strain the cocktail into a glass

Egg albumen is optional, but it adds a smooth texture to the drink that many cocktail lovers associate with Whiskey Sour. 

3. Moscow Mule

One of the most spectacular cocktails you can try is the Moscow Mule, and it is a terrific casual cocktail with a spicy flavor and easy-to-follow recipe. This drink dates back to World War II but has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years.

Things You Need:

  1. 2 ounces of vodka infused with cannabis
  2. 6 ounces of ginger beer
  3. ½ ounce lemon juice
  4. Copper mug — for an authentic experience, but optional

Follow These Steps:

  1. Fill the copper mug with ice and lemon juice
  2. Next, pour the vodka and top the mug with ginger beer
  3. And perhaps add a slide of lemon as garnish

Tips on Starting Your Cannabis Cocktail Journey

The common problem with drinking cannabis is that there are way too many variables including your body type, cannabis strain, dosage, and drink’s potency that affect your experience. Plus, you don't know how strong the drink is when you're just starting out. 

So, here are a few tips to ensure your cannabis cocktail journey kicks off smoothly:

  • Start with a smaller dose and take it slow. Cannabis cocktails take a while to kick in, just like cannabis edibles, so don’t overload your system with more cannabis than it can handle
  • You can even start with nonalcohol drinks, like Turkish Coffee or Vietnamese Coffee for the first time, just to see how it acts on your body
  • When you start experimenting with cocktails, follow recipes from reputable sources and do not overpour the liquor unless you know you can handle it
  • Drink in a safe environment 
  • Do not drink cannabis cocktails and drive
  • The cannabis cocktail will likely hit you hard — in a good way — but remember that the high can last for longer than usual
  • If you plan to sell your drinks, check your local laws — many regions do not allow the sale of alcohol infused with cannabis

Summary: Cannabis Cocktails — Why And How You Can Make Them

Cannabis cocktails are a fun indulgence and can help you experience alcohol and cannabis in a new way — as long as you're being safe with both. So, if you are thinking of getting into it, now is the time.

Follow the tips and advice of this article and impress your friends with cocktails that they have never tried before. 



Such a cool article thank you! Looking forward to trying my own, I'm just wondering how much % alcohol might be lost during this process, might need to experiment.