6 bartender bibles for cannabis drink and mocktail enthusiasts
The cannabis drinks market is ever-growing. New infused beverages hit the market each quarter, and a weed drinks dispensary just opened in Massachusetts. It’s true that the products take up only one percent of the current market. However, as more canna-curious consumers enter the scene, they are bound to gravitate towards where they’re comfortable: drinks.
Making a weed drink is as complicated as crafting a mocktail. It takes an understanding of ingredients to balance a drink without the often harsh flavor of alcohol. These master mixologists and cannabis educators are a valuable resource for anyone venturing into the infused cocktail world.
Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics by Warren Bobrow
Before the “Green Rush” and the rise in weed drinks, master mixologist Warren Bobrow released Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations. The cannabis cookbook was the first barkeepers’ bible on the art of mixing cannabis concoctions.
Those in California can skip the work and grab a can or six of Bobrow’s infused beverage line: Klaus. The Mezzrole is one of three elixirs available from the brand, and it provides a good look at what Bobrow cooks up in the book. A Punch, or Ponch, enjoyed by the author in St. Barts in the mid-1980s inspired the Mezz.
“This specific one that I crafted would have freshly grated ginger and freshly squeezed Caribbean limes- more pungent and tangier than little Florida or Arizona ones, cane sugar syrup (not much, my drinks aren’t sweet) … and a touch of whimsy, light balsamic vinegar- which acts like a Shrub- not a shrubbery,” Bobrow shared with GreenState.
Weed drinks, classic alcohol-free mocktails, and tonics for a well-rounded look at balancing flavors, infusing liquid, and using the correct glassware are covered in the three-part manual. This is an apt place to start for those getting into weed cocktails and a must-have for those adept with elixirs.
Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages At Home by Jamie Evans
Another notable figure in cannabis beverages is Jamie Evans, author and creator of The Herb Somm, a figure focused on the world of potable pot. Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages At Home, by Jamie Evans.
“Coming from the wine and spirits world, cannabis drinks have always captured my imagination. We can now enjoy our favorite beverages on an elevated level with so many fun and flavorful ways to combine cannabis into a cocktail or mocktail,” Evans shared in an email to GreenState.
Learn about infused mixology and venture into the caffeinated world with coffee and tea drinks, smoothies, and green juices. Of course, there’s also mocktail and cocktail recipes. Evans dives into the fragrant world of terpenes and flavor pairings along the way in this quintessential cannabis drinks reference.
The Mocktail Club: Classic Recipes (and New Favorites) Without the Booze by Derick Santiago
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The Mocktail Club is the first mocktail cookbook from Southern California mixologist Derick Santiago, who hopes to showcase how mocktails can be complex, delicious, and enjoyable. The book provides some make-ahead recipes for things like simple syrups before diving into sections split up by the inspiration. First comes gin-inspired cocktails, followed by tequila, whiskey, and wine.
“All of us deserve a good beverage, whether we’re drinking alcohol or not,” Santiago told GreenState. “Also, mocktails helped me during the early days of sobriety. I had a shift in my mindset, and I knew I didn’t want to consume alcohol anymore, but I still wanted something nice to drink. While not for everyone, mocktails helped me stay sober and can perhaps help others too.”
Recipes for icons like a French 75, Bee’s Knees, and Old Fashioned are coupled with innovative libations like the Unholy or Coconut Margarita. Want to include cannabinoids? Add them using these expert tips for serving cannabis mocktails.
The extensive recipes are often accompanied by photography to make The Mocktail Club worth a spot on the bar.
Cannabis Drinks Made Simple: 50 THC and CBD Cocktails, Mocktails, Shakes, Teas, and More by Emily Kyle
This book is more medical cannabis-focused than the others. Information on the many ways people use cannabis for health and wellness is presented alongside 50 drink recipes. Mocktails are on the menu with shakes, teas, and slushies.
Author and cannabis educator Emily Kyle covers infusion methods, decarboxylating, choosing strains, and flavor suggestions. Cannabis Drinks Made Simple seems set out to share how cannabis can lead to nourishment—a lovely option for mindful consumers.
High Times: Cannabis Cocktails by Jamie Evans
The cannabis sommelier makes another appearance on the list with a High Times collaboration now available for pre-order. The book features photography from Eva Kolenko, who also worked with the author on the recent High Times cookbook Let’s Get Baked.
High Times: Cannabis Cocktails includes over 60 recipes for both infused and non-infused drinks. Read it cover to cover for insider advice for at-home bartending, replacements for dietary restrictions, delightful garnish ideas, and serving tips.
“When preparing infused drinks at home, I am often inspired by the aromas and flavors that are naturally found in cannabis (i.e., citrus fruits like lemon and tangerine, tropical notes like mango, floral notes, etc). By using these ingredients, you will complement the flavors of cannabis rather than masking it,” Evans shared.
Evans suggests getting into the infusion process and crafting the bar pantry at home. With a few new skills, a home cook can infuse almost any drink.
Celebrate high tea or kick back with a marijuana mixed drink using recipes from this cannabis drinks recipe guide.
ZERO: A New Approach To Non-Alcoholic Drinks by Grant Achatz
This extensive mocktail cookbook comes in a tactile hardback that could be styled into even the most elevated bar cart–plus, it has over 100 spirit-free cocktail recipes. Chef Grant Achatz and his team at Alinea, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Chicago, Ill., contribute their expertise to this culinary approach to beverages.
ZERO: A New Approach To Non-Alcoholic Drinks features large format pictures and illustrations paired with unique recipes. Keep in mind that these elixirs most likely require some extra trips to the grocery store. Anyone serious about craft mocktails or crafting inventive cannabis drinks must read this book.
Cookbooks for cannabis drinks, mocktails, and spirits
Those interested in cannabis drinks should invest in at least one of these helpful texts that dive right in. As the drinks market grows interest, weed drinks will only continue to snowball, and being an at-home 420 mixologist will have its benefits.
“Plus, cannabis drinks make a fantastic alternative to alcohol. Cheers to that,” Jamie Evans concluded.