Fast Five Q&A: Warren Bobrow, Co-Founder of Klaus the Gnome, Inc.

fast five q&a warren bobrow

Cannabis beverages are having a serious moment. As people gravitate away from alcohol and curiosity around cannabis piques, it’s only natural that demand for infused drinks has trended upward. However, many of the cannabis drinks on the market today are laden with sugars, creating a real need for high-quality craft options with premium ingredients.

Warren Bobrow has made filling this void his mission in life. An award-winning master mixologist with several years of experience in the alcohol space, Bobrow decided to make the switch from spirits to cannabis with the launch of his infused drink line, Klaus. Inspired by his globe-trotting past, Bobrow’s Klaus brand is a fresh and unique spin on the zero-proof movement.

Bobrow answered GreenState’s Fast Five questions, relaying his cannabis journey that took him around the world and back again—with a special pal by his side.

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GreenState: When did your journey with cannabis start?

Warren Bobrow: My journey began at the impressionable age of twelve. I was riding the school bus to the Gill School, and some of the older kids in the back of the bus were listening to the Grateful Dead on an audio tape player and smoking these funny-looking cigarettes. I remember taking a few puffs without much success at getting high.  

A couple years later (1975), my family and I traveled to the Ivory Coast in Africa, where I first smoked some real Middle Eastern hash mixed with Turkish tobacco. I coughed my young brains out, and after some fitful hours wandering around the city, I found myself in a record shop in Abidjan listening to Wish You Here over and over again. I got so very stoned, and I remember the entire experience to this day.

My parents were really unhappy with me. They knew at that very moment in time that I was going to be the problem child. The black sheep. Doomed to being a failure in their eyes. 

GS: What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?

WB: My favorite way is in my handmade Stonedware “purse” pipe. I am really terrible at rolling joints, you would think after using cannabis for almost fifty years, I’d be better at this task. I’ve discovered a most elegant solution to craft perfect little joints—from a crafty company in New Mexico named Veosa. Their Luddite solution to hand stuff the most perfectly hewn joints is magical indeed! 

The end result is perfect for the exquisite flowers I’ve been savoring from another New Mexico-based craft dispensary named Verdes, which grows some really righteous flowers. 

I’m clearly extremely fond of cannabis beverages because when you drink one, no one knows your business. A well-crafted cannabis beverage doesn’t give off smoke, so the stigma of cannabis is nowhere to be found! Win-win! 

GS: You have extensive experience as a mixologist. How did that inspire your brand, Klaus?

WB: I’m not only experienced as a mixologist but I’ve been awarded the honor of Master Mixologist from working for years as a national brand ambassador in the off and on-premise liquor business. Creating bar lists for restaurants, writing six cocktail books of my own recipes, and working in food and beverage as a chef for decades made me who I am today. My recipe for Klaus is loosely influenced by the time I’ve spent as a young man on sailboats. Seeking potent Rhum Agricole cocktails in the French Caribbean Islands.

Klaus Mezzrole is a handcrafted, live resin craft libation woven with terpene forward, Hippie Crasher strain. THC/Cannabis, with no alcohol at all. Nor is the Mezzrole just another candy-flavored quaff made with industrialized ingredients. Most are without provenance or terroir. 

Klaus is made with the finest ingredients available! 

Fast forward to current day, I’m dry—I don’t drink cocktails any longer and haven’t since 2018 during my last Tales of the Cocktail, held yearly in New Orleans. However, the influence for the Mezzrole was a visit to St. Barth’s in the French West Indies. Klaus’ Mezzrole is a take-off on their classic “Ti ponch,” which is quite simply a daiquiri made without ice. 

Klaus Mezzrole takes this drink deeper by adding a very special ginger syrup from Pickett’s that is both extra hot and spicy. I add this to the mix of French lime puree’ and dry Mirin, which is a type of rice vinegar. It might not take a mixologist to figure this drink out, but it wouldn’t hurt to drink a Mezzrole if you have a queasy stomach from being out yachting in heavy oceanic seas. 

GS: How do you choose your flavor profiles?

WB: I think as a saucier and draw from my experience working in restaurants; in fact, I’m a trained cook from the dish sink up. I’m also a classically trained bartender from bar back to creating the drinks that have made me famous. I’ve traveled the world for my former life in the rum industry and prior to that, extensive European, Brazilian, and African travel. 

I grew up on my family’s biodynamic farm in New Jersey, hardly ever ate fast food, and I believe in a “Slow Food” approach to the culinary arts. My mantra for life really is “good ingredients, simply prepared with love.” I also look to local cuisine of a region when I build a drink. 

The Klaus Mezzrole is a very Pacific Rim-styled product geared to my clientele, which is Californian. It’s excellent with piquant, lime, and spice-driven, pan-Asian, Mexican cuisine, or served alone, ice cold, in a tall Collins glass with a spike of hand-cut ice and a couple splashes of Angostura Bitters over the top for balance and depth. 

GS: Your brand is named after your partner in crime, a gnome called Klaus. Tell us about him.

WB: Klaus is my circa mid-19th century German drinking gnome. He’s been with me since the early 1990s when he came into my life. A close friend offered him to me. She said that he sat with his brother gnomes on the mantle in their family for decades. 

And when he came to me, he communicated that he wanted to travel all over the world with me. I mean, what gnome wants to stay at home? He’s a good little guy, liked by most. I’m fortunate to have him, a marvelous wingman for me if you will.  He always has a wry smile. 

A wonderful influence for a life well-lived by Klaus…And influenced by my dear friends at Harmony Craft Beverages, who have embraced Klaus (my gnome) and the Mezzrole beverage as part of a greater world where gnomes (and myself…) are accepted as part of the family of the plant. 

Warren Bobrow has been a dishwasher, the owner of the first company to make fresh pasta in South Carolina, a television engineer, and he even worked at Danceteria in NYC, then a trained chef, which led to a twenty-year career in private banking. A cannabis, wine, and travel aficionado, Warren is a former rum judge and craft spirits national brand ambassador. He works full-time in the cannabis business as an alchemist and journalist. Follow on Instagram: @warrenbobrow 

The answers given by Q&A subjects do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GreenState. The subject is solely responsible for the views stated in this piece.

Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter