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The Elizabeth Dawn and CBD Mocktails Rising 

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The evolution of a concept can yield such an interesting timeline. Cannabis starts to become legalized in many states and suddenly we have a new beverage option hitting the shelves. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the 60 active compounds found in cannabis, is non-psychoactive. The cultivation and sale of industrial hemp-derived products, including CBD, were legalized at the federal level with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Practically overnight, CBD products popped up all over the place. From spas to grocery stores, gas stations to wellness shops, one can now grab a CBD "mocktail," an alcohol-free, refreshing beverage, in most zip codes. What a gift in terms of options for the sober, sober-curious or "California Sober" crowd.

Cannabis consumption lounges are a great way to dive into the world of cannabis mocktails. Humboldt has a few, with Crisp Lounge on Broadway being the newest. As a restaurant industry lifer, I follow food and beverage trends closely. And in Humboldt County, we live where some of the most epic cannabis trends are created. CBD is a trend that I can fully get behind. For businesses that hold a liquor license, carrying CBD products is still a grey area. As heavily regulated as both marijuana and alcohol are, bringing them together under one roof is a little complicated. There isn't yet enough research to determine long term effects of mixing CBD products with alcohol, so let us skip that potential trend for now, and focus on CBD as a standalone chill device.

Skilled bartenders can craft elixirs beyond your wildest dreams, and those dreams don't have to include alcohol spirits. A bartender myself, I love the challenge of creating a drink for someone currently on the wagon. Having CBD as an option to help soothe one's nervous system instead of alcohol seems like a win-win. The flavor of CBD tinctures varies greatly, but the baseline is an earthy, subtle, almost vegetal flavor — easy to mix or mask. It's great with muddled fruit, herbs and spices, juice, soda water or all of the above combined.

While you may not see a CBD cocktail menu at your favorite local spot just yet, that doesn't mean that you can't go ahead and enjoy one from the comfort of your own couch. That's where I come in.

First, let's talk dosage. There is no universal dosage and many factors come in to play with dosing cannabis. Please do start with small doses, listen to your body and work your way up if necessary. Or maybe a tiny bit is all you need. Buy CBD tinctures from your favorite local dispensary and talk to your budtender about what works best for you. Options are endless but I do encourage you to choose local. Woman-owned for bonus points.

Second, figure out what kind of cocktail you enjoy. Sweet or savory? Bubbly or flat? If you're not so sure yet, the best place to start is at your local supermarket. I like to grab what's in season and works well together, and find creative ways to incorporate them into each other. In the winter, I like varieties of citrus and mint. In the summer, lavender and strawberries. You can make syrups, shrubs or tinctures of your own to mix in.

This week, I would like to walk you through my go-to winter CBD mocktail. Here in Shelter Cove, we call this the Elizabeth Dawn. This drink combines ingredients from two of my favorite local ladies' preferred beverages and makes them one very special, highly drinkable concoction.

Elizabeth Dawn CBD Mocktail

For this drink, you'll need some basic bartending equipment: a mixing glass, shaker, muddler, strainer, serving glass and a straw or stirrer. The 6-ounce batch of rich honey syrup leaves you with leftovers for future cocktails. You're going to need it.

For the honey syrup:

4 ounces honey

2 ounces hot water

For the mocktail:

Two kumquats, cut in half lengthwise

1 ounce honey syrup

1 ounce grapefruit juice

Preferred mg CBD tincture

4 ounces soda water

Mint or edible flowers for garish

First, make a honey syrup. Dissolve 4 ounces of honey with two ounces of hot water. Let cool.

In a mixing glass, muddle the kumquats with the honey syrup. Muddle well to release oil from the peel. Add grapefruit juice and ice. Using a shaker, shake vigorously. Pour the 1 ounce of honey syrup into a glass and strain the shaken mixture into it. Top with soda water. Gently stir in CBD tincture to dose or to taste. Slap in some mint to bring out the flavor and top the drink, flowers optional. Take your time and enjoy.

Amy Ogle (she/her) is a local food enthusiast who splits her time between Blue Lake and Shelter Cove.

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Amy Ogle

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