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The Key to Combining Cannabis and Mixology? Remove the Booze.

The worlds of THC and alcohol haven’t really crossed over, and to be honest, that’s probably for the best. Not all potentially buzzy experiences need to or should be intertwined.

But if you take away booze from that crossover while keeping the idea of mixology in place, suddenly the small but growing industry of bartender-friendly, cannabinoid-infused “spirits” and mixers makes more sense.

We’ve covered this meeting-of-minds before, although not specifically related to THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. First there’s Flyers, a line of alcohol-free sparkling cannabis cocktails with full-spectrum CBD distillates that are crafted, in part, by award-winning mixologist Ivy Mix. Then there’s The Pathfinder Hemp & Root, a non-alcoholic “spirit” fermented and distilled from hemp; two of the three founders have extensive liquor brand experience, and the mixer works nicely in both boozy and non-boozy drinks.

When I spoke with the founders of those drinks brands, they all suggested that THC-infused variations were on the way.

The first three bottles from MXXN, a THC-infused no-booze spirit
The first three bottles from MXXN.
MXXN

One that’s already here? MXXN (pronounced “moon”). The BIPOC-founded brand claims to be the spirit industry’s first 1:1 non-alcoholic and THC-infused replacement for gin, tequila and bourbon. The company is led by Darnell Smith, a booze industry vet with over 15 years of experience at Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi.

“I was working in the spirits industry in product innovation and found myself drinking more than I cared to due to the nature of the profession,” Smith tells InsideHook. “I was looking for a way to cut back on alcohol but still take part in the social aspects associated with drinking and cocktail culture. And I had been a consumer of cannabis for chronic pain after 15 years as a football player and would make my own tinctures at home, so I started bringing the tinctures out to social events, ordering a tonic and lime and putting a few drops in. My wife encouraged me to find a way to bring the tincture and tonic idea to the public in some capacity.”

MXXN’s website offers variations on well-known cocktails, although the proportions are interesting, given the idea that you’re getting about 6 mg of THC per 1.5 oz pour – an Old Fashioned riff, for example, suggests a very small .75 oz measurement of MXXN’s Kentucky Oak, as opposed to a standard 2 oz pour if you were using a regular bourbon.

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