The Clever Root

Fall / Winter 2015

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8 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t How Cannabis and Cocktails are ripe for exploring TIME HONORED COCKTAILS by Rachel Burkons At West Hollywood, CA's Gracias Madre, Beverage Director Jason Eisner serves a legal, non-THC hemp seed variation on his experiential cannabis cocktail. "M arijuana can be an ingredient in a cock- tail, just like anything else," says Alex Straus as he places perfectly trimmed sativa buds on a parchment paper–cov- ered pizza stone. Straus, a Los Angeles barman who has con- sulted on some of the spirits industry's coolest brands and bar concepts, is demonstrating the slow, low-heat THC acti- vation process he uses to cre- ate cannabis-infused spirits. While "green dragon" has been an underground cannabis-infusion method for decades, made by activating fresh marijuana by steeping in a high-proof alcohol like Everclear, Straus's method allows for a versatility and nuance of flavor that doesn't overwhelm the palate with an overly pungent, raw marijua- na taste. "Activating the THC and then infusing a spirit gives me a lot of different op- tions to play with," comments Straus, adding that, yes, this method tastes better too. PHOTO BY: CAL BINGHAM

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