CBD’s reach in the kitchen extends all the way to the liquor cabinet. Along with the myriad use cases for cooking with it, mixologists at buzzy bars and restaurants around the country are incorporating it into your drinks. Whether as an update on an old favorite or a brand new concoction meant to surprise and delight your booziest taste buds, there’s something for everyone.
But, why, exactly, is this a thing? CBD doesn't produce the psychoactive side effects associated with THC, and instead works to relax and lower your inhibitions...kind of like alcohol.
“On CBD, you’re very chill, very lighthearted, mellow. The alcohol will make that more intense," James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, told VICE. “If you’re a happy drunk, then CBD could make you a happier drunk. If you’re an angry or violent drunk, the CBD may certainly disinhibit some of that.”
Sounds like reason enough to us to add a CBD tincture to our bar cart! Here, we collected six of the best CBD cocktails from different hot spots around the U.S. (each recipe serves one). Is it happy hour yet?
Consider this an upgraded, updated twist on a margarita.
Created by Jason Eisner for Gracias Madre, West Hollywood, CA.
- 2 oz. tequila blanco
- 1 oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. agave
- ¾ oz. aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas that's a great substitute for eggs)
- 3 mint leaves
- pinch of sea salt
- 10–15 mg CBD tincture
- matcha powder
- Put all ingredients except for aquafaba and matcha powder in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake and strain.
- Add aquafaba.
- Emulsify with hand blender (use a regular blender if needed) and strain into a glass.
- Garnish with matcha powder.
The Jeff Spicoli Special
CBD isn’t the only intriguing ingredient in this mezcal-and-pumpkin-butter mix.
Created by Johnny Swet for Jimmy at The James, New York, NY.
- 1 ½ oz. mezcal
- ¾ oz. Amaro Montengro (substitute: any amaro)
- 2 spoonfuls pumpkin butter
- 4 drops CBD tincture
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- CBD gummy (to garnish)
- Add all ingredients except for gummy to a cocktail shaker and shake over ice for 10 seconds.
- Strain into a glass with crushed ice.
- Garnish with gummy.
A blend of citrus flavors creates the perfect base for a CBD injection.
Created by Steven Kincade for The Breslin, New York, NY, available at The Lobby Bar at Ace Hotel.
- 1 ½ oz. Pommeau
- ½ oz. Italicus Bergamot (substitute: simple syrup)
- ½ oz. grapefruit vermouth
- ½ oz. grapefruit juice
- 12 mg CBD oil
- grapefruit (to garnish)
- Shake all ingredients except grapefruit with ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Strain and serve over ice with a grapefruit twist or wedge as garnish.
Tropical, made-for-vacation drinks get you feeling even more relaxed with CBD.
Created by Jerrod Gardiner for Hogshead, Kansas City, MO.
- 1.5 oz.mezcal (infuse 8 oz. with 1 tbsp of Togarashi or any chili powder blend; let sit for 20 minutes)
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
- 3/4 oz. pineapple juice
- 3/4 oz. watermelon juice
- 1 oz. coconut cream
- 1/2 oz. heavy cream
- 8 mg CBD oil
- Peychaud bitters (substitute: Angostura bitters)
- fresh mint leaves (to garnish)
- Mix all ingredients except bitters and mint in a cocktail shaker.
- Strain over glass filled with crushed ice.
- Top with 7-8 dashes of bitters and mint.
The Stoned Fruit
Consider this a fruit punch with extra kick.
Created by Max Reis for Gracias Madre, West Hollywood, CA.
- 2 oz. mezcal
- ¾ oz. Aperol
- 1 oz. yuzu juice
- ½ oz. apricot brandy
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- ½ a plum, nectarine, or apricot
- 15 mg CBD tincture
- Combine yuzu and the fruit (any seasonal stone fruit suffices) in a cocktail shaker; muddle.
- Add all other ingredients, shake with ice, then strain over rocks.
- Garnish with any seasonal fruit desired.
The classic cocktail gets a fresh laid-back spin thanks to a few drops of CBD.
Created by Lenard Mokus for Adriaen Block, Astoria, NY.
- 1 oz. Cocchi Americano (substitute: dry vermouth)
- 1 oz. dry sherry
- 1 oz. Floc de Gascogne (substitute: apertif wine)
- Angostura bitters
- CBD tincture
- orange peel
- Fill a cocktail mixer with ice and a few dashes of bitters.
- Add Cocchi Americano, dry sherry, and Floc de Gascogne and stir for 30 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled glass over one large ice cube; garnish with orange peel.
- Top with droplets of CBD tincture.
Photography by Mike Garten; Food Styling by Sean Dooley; Prop Styling by Ashley Naum
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