Some things scream summer: sand-dusted flip flops, watermelon, the sizzle of a barbecue and ice cold cocktails. Whether you prefer a slushy margarita or bubbly spritz, there is no denying that summer is the perfect time to pull out the mixing glass and quench your thirst. But if you really want to take your barbecue to the next level, it’s time to add an additional ingredient to your cocktail: cannabis.
Mix It Up
Whether you prefer to make a simple gin and tonic or consider yourself a master mixologist, crafting a cannabis cocktail takes just a few extra steps to really enhance your drinking experience. First, you need to decide if you want to craft a THC-heavy drink or a more mellow CBD-only one. Just remember, that while the alcohol will hit you fast, the cannabis will act more like an edible and take some time to enter your system – a sip and savor affair.
Next, you need to choose how you want to add the cannabis to your cocktail. You can infuse the alcohol directly (very carefully, of course), you can make a tincture or you can make a cannabis simple syrup. Either way, you’ll need to decarboxylate your cannabis first.
Feel the Flame
Decarboxylate? It sounds complicated, but it’s actually a pretty simple process that activates the cannabinoids in your flower. You want to get the most high? You need to activate the THC in your cannabis before consuming it. Usually you do this by just lighting up – the intense heat of the flame transforms THCA into THC. But when cooking or cocktailing with cannabis, the process is slightly longer. There are different methods to decarboxylate but the most common is in the oven. Grind your flower, spread it out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and stick it in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. The oven should be between 220 to 245 degrees but keep an eye on your flower, oven temps can vary and you don’t want your flower to brown. Let it cool and voila! It’s ready to shake up your cocktail game.
Gin and Chronic Time
You’re almost ready to get to sipping. Just one last consideration. Just like you would match food and wine to pair together, you can pair your cannabis with the flavors of your cocktail. Making a gin and tonic? Consider a strain high in alpha-pinene, like Jack Herer or Trainwreck. This terpene is high in pine and herbal aromas, just like gin. Craving a margarita? Make it a margaweeda with strains high in the more citrusy limonene. Feel like flying high with an Aviation cocktail? The crème de violette will pair perfectly with linalool and its aromas of violets and lavender.
Now get to crafting. Cin cin!
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