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How to Make a Manhattan Cocktail with a THC Twist

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Cannabis-Infused Manhattan
February 09, 2021
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The fire and warmth of one of America’s premier liquors, Bourbon, is a great foil to the flavors of cannabis and a cannabis-infused bourbon can be enjoyed on its own, or in many different combinations.

While still packing a flavourful punch, Bourbon is often a mellower, smoother drink than scotch, or rye whiskey; a characteristic imparted by the aging process which must, by regulation, take place in new charred oak barrels.  It’s tamed nature makes it an ideal addition to any drinks cabinet and perfect for use in a variety of cocktails.

You could use cannabis-infused bourbon in a variation of an Irish Coffee, or a Hot Toddy, as an alternative to a cocktail, but there’s something about a chilled cocktail that enchants, inspires, and elevates the mood.

Working closely with mixologists, we have come up with a list of 5 classic bourbon-based cocktails, all with a THC twist.

Before diving straight into mixing your cocktails, we would strongly recommend that you read our article All You Need to Know About Cannabis Cocktails.

What will I need to make Cannabis-Infused Bourbon Cocktails?

Obviously, you’re going to need some cannabis-infused bourbon.  We have covered how to infuse liquor with marijuana in another article, so that is a great place to start.  Of course, use whichever bourbon you prefer, but we’d suggest that you reconsider your choice if you’ve just found a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle; that stuff is liquid gold and you shouldn’t mess with near perfection! Try and find something that is kinder on the pocket, too.

As an alternative, you may want to add a few drops of a cannabis tincture, and the method to make that can be found here.

Frozen THC Infusion

Each of our recommended cocktails has a full ingredients list, so that’ll let you know everything you need to buy in advance, drinks-wise.

In addition to the liquid ingredients and garnishes, you’ll need fresh ice to hand, a cocktail shaker, and some glassware. Our glassware suggestions are exactly that, use whatever glass you have to hand.  It’s nice to show your cocktail off in the correct, recommended glass, but the truth is it’ll taste good out of a jam jar.  

Our Favorite Weed-Infused Bourbon Cocktail Recipes

Our team has put together a list of five cocktails with the intention of marrying the flavor of the marijuana-infused bourbon, with complementary ingredients.

Feel free to swap out the infused bourbon for a cannabis tincture, if you’ve gone to the trouble of making some and have it to hand.

Manhattan

This ‘sweet’ version of the classic cocktail is bold in flavor and strength.  The herbal nature of the vermouth works extremely well with the bud-bourbon’s new edge.  The salt solution adds a ‘dirty’ twist to this classic and is optional.

Cannabis Manhattan Cocktail Recipe
Cannabis Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

2oz Cannabis-infused bourbon

2/3oz Sweet vermouth

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dash of Salt Solution or Olive Brine (Optional)

How to mix:

Pour the ingredients in your shaker, over cracked ice.  Do not shake, but stir well.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Take a slice of orange peel and ‘twist’ it, whilst holding it over the drink.  The peel will release essential oils that float on the surface of the drink, imparting a subtle aroma of oranges.  Discard the peel and enjoy.

To make a salt solution add 20g of salt to 80ml of water and stir.

Mint Julep

This bourbon cocktail is best known as the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. We’ve given this easy-to-make refresher a new moniker, the Mary Jane Mint Julep.  As with our tequila cocktails, the combination of weed-infused liquor and mint is a great paring.

Ingredients:

2 oz Weed-infused bourbon

½ oz simple syrup

8 mint leaves

2 dashes Angostura bitters

How to mix:

‘Build’ in a Julep cup or rocks glass by lightly muddling the mint leaves and simple syrup and then adding the bourbon. Now, tightly pack the glass or Julep Cup with crushed ice.  Stir constantly, until the cup is frosted on the outside and the drink can be seen towards the top of the cup.

Top with more crushed ice and form into an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig, and for an extra touch of class, dust the sprig with icing sugar.  Remember to firmly slap the mint sprig on the palm of your hand, before garnishing, to release essential oils.

Gold Rush

NYC’s Milk & Honey should be credited for the origination of what has become a modern-day classic, the Gold Rush.  Our team has taken this honeyed twist on a Whiskey Sour and given it a THC spin, with the addition of weed-infused bourbon.  You could, of course, use cannabis honey, instead of the bud-bourbon.

Ingredients:

2 oz Bud infused bourbon

1 oz honey syrup

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

How to mix:

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled Old-fashioned or rocks glass, with a large ice cube or two.  Garnish with a slice of lemon peel, twisted over the drink to release the essential oils.  Discard the twist and dress with a lemon wedge or wheel.

To make the honey syrup, mix 3 parts honey to 1 of water.

Beggar’s Banquet

This cocktail or, rather, ‘beertail’ is a breeze to make and is so very, very refreshing.  With another twist on a Whiskey Sour as a base, this recipe dispenses with the sugar, or honey and uses Maple Syrup for sweetness.  Try a hoppy, craft IPA, instead of lager, or a British bitter-style beer for a further variation.

Ingredients:

2 oz cannabis-infused bourbon

¾ oz maple syrup

½ oz fresh lemon juice

5 oz well-chilled lager

How to mix:

Before adding any ice, pour the bourbon, maple syrup, and lemon juice into a Collins glass or large rocks glass and stir.  Add further ice cubes and top with lager.  Stir gently to combine all ingredients and top with an orange wheel.

Chilled Kentucky Cider

This bourbon-fuelled mulled cider can be enjoyed chilled, or warm if you prefer.  The winter spices are a great compliment to the spice of your infused bourbon.

Ingredients:

2 oz cannabis-infused bourbon

Still apple cider

1 ½ teaspoon of honey

Splash of lemon juice

Pinch of allspice

How to mix:

Stir the apple cider, bourbon, honey, lemon, and allspice in a cocktail shaker, until the honey is dissolved.  Add ice and shake vigorously for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Strain into a Collins glass, over ice.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge.

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