Infusing Spirits with Liquid Marijuana
In this post, we’re going to teach you three different ways of passing all your ganja’s goodies onto your liquor of choice, these are three different methods of creating liquid marijuana that is ready to be infused into classic cocktails.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing our cannabis cocktail posts, delicious cannabis-infused alcohol recipes featuring your favorite drinks with a THC twist.
What Spirits can I Infuse with Cannabis?
Well, the truth is that you can infuse almost any spirit with weed if you really want to. However, lower ABV spirits will take longer to infuse and we really wouldn’t recommend that you drag your bottle of Hennessy Paradis Imperial out, unless you can really afford to do that!
Any liquor you choose to infuse will take on some of your marijuana’s flavor and color, so you could ‘ruin’ a very expensive bottle of brandy, rum, or gin if you’re expecting it to retain the flavor profile it had before you stuffed a load of weed in it.
The longer you steep your weed in the booze, the more cannabinoids will be extracted. So if you really want to bestow all the benefits of your blessed buds on your bottle, a long extraction time is the way to go.
The downside of a lengthy extraction is that, along with your THC and CBD, more chlorophyll and flavor will pass from your weed to your booze. A shorter extraction period results in a clearer, less flavored spirit, but with reduced potency.
So, when you’re choosing your spirit, keep in mind that the lower the alcohol content (ABV), the longer the extraction will take. The higher the ABV, the more efficient the liquor will be at extracting the goodies from the plant matter, and the less time you’ll need to leave your weed in the spirit. Feel free to experiment and find the right balance of time, potency, and chlorophyll that suits your taste.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to use a 40% ABV spirit such as a regular, store-bought, vodka, or bourbon. You could use 37.5%, if that’s what you have, anything much lower than that will take time.
Easy Liquid Marijuana Infusion in Alcohol
This is a quick extraction/infusion option and doesn’t require much work. It results in quite a clear liquor, but it may not be as potent a result as the other two methods produce. Still, it is possible to get usable results the same day, if you’re impatient and don’t mind putting in a little effort.
You can watch a demonstration of this method on the video that accompanies our weed cocktail posts.
Ingredients and equipment:
Bottle of your chosen liquor
3.5g decarboxylated cannabis
Large mason jar
Muslin or cheesecloth (See method #3)
Finely grind your decarbed weed and add it to the mason jar. Pour in your spirit and shake for 3 minutes. Place in a cool dark place, like a kitchen cupboard, for 2 days or anything up to 4 months. Strain through the cheesecloth, into a new, clean container or the original spirit bottle.
For a quick infusion that you can use the same day, follow the directions above, but after shaking for 3 minutes, let it rest for an hour. Then repeat the 3-minute shake and leave for another hour. Do this shake and rest one more time and strain the mixture into a new container, or the original bottle.
We’d suggest keeping the soaked weed, for use in tea, or firecrackers, as it is unlikely to have been fully depleted of cannabinoids in that short time. However, infused alcohol should still pack a punch, so be careful!
Liquid Marijuana-Infused Alcoholic Butter
We think this works really well with whiskey or bourbon. This method adds mouthfeel to your bourbon and a unique hint of strawberry if you fancy it. Of course, you could use any fruit you want, oranges are also a great addition.
If you’d like to see someone putting this method into action, take a look at the videos that accompany this series of posts on cannabis cocktails.
Ingredients and equipment:
Bottle of Bourbon
½ cup of butter
3.5g decarboxylated weed of choice
3 sliced strawberries
A large Mason jar, or similar
Straining cloth (See method #3)
Melt the butter over a low heat in a small saucepan or skillet. Add your finely ground, decarbed cannabis, and the fruit (optional). Stir frequently over the next 1-2 hours, ensuring that the butter never comes to a boil. TIP: Adding a splash of water helps to regulate the temperature and prevents the butter from scorching. Ideally, keep the temperature above 160ºF (71ºC) but never exceeding 200ºF (93ºC) or you will destroy the THC content.
Let cool and transfer to your mason jar. Add as much bourbon as you can to the jar, leaving a small gap at the top. Save the remaining bourbon. Seal the jar and shake to combine.
Let your mixture rest at room temp. After the mixture has sufficiently rested and is settled, strain through a fine strainer and/or muslin cloth ‘til clear. It might take several passes through the filter cloth to remove all the fat. Use the funnel to pour your liquor back into the original bottle, along with any remaining bourbon, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Liquid Marijuana Alcoholic Tincture
This extraction will result in a highly potent liquor, with a deep color and lots of flavor. Depending on what you’re planning on making with it, this could be a good thing. If you’re just going to do shots, it probably won’t make any difference at all.
Ingredients and equipment:
Bottle of Vodka, or spirit of your choice
3.5g chopped cannabis of choice
A Mason jar, or similar.
Straining cloth (See below)
You can use fresh weed in this infusion, but if you want to get the biggest bang for your bucks and guarantee a good high, decarboxylate weed first! Also, the dryer the weed is, the better it will soak up the alcohol and aid the extraction, so decarbing your buds is by far your best bet. If you use fresh ganja, you’ll get the flavor and maybe a touch of those goodies, but absolutely nothing like using decarb. It’s possible that you won’t even get high using fresh buds.
Finely grind your decarbed wonder-herb and add it to the preserving jar. Pour over enough vodka to cover the weed completely, plus an extra couple of inches above the top of the grass. If you are using well-dried weed, you may have to top up the level over the coming days to keep the weed covered.
Set your remaining vodka aside, you’ll need it later, so don’t drink it!
Use a canning lid to keep your cannabis submerged if you have one. If your buds are exposed to air for any length of time, they can develop mold or bacteria. This is definitely not desirable and could ruin the entire project.
Cover your jar with parchment paper, before tightly securing the lid. This will stop constant contact with the spirit from degrading the rubber seal.
Leave your jar to infuse for up to 6 to 8 weeks in a dark place, like a kitchen cupboard. Shake it once or twice a day, or whenever you’re passing, to help the extraction along. The liquor will darken throughout the extraction period.
After around 6 weeks, pour your spirit through a sieve, into a jug. Pour half of the reserved vodka through the sieve, to make sure you have everything.
Now, filter the fluid in the jug through a very fine filter, into another container. Pour the last of your reserved vodka through the filter to rinse out any remaining goodies.
Line a funnel with some Winemaker’s cloth, which is perfect for the job and readily available online. Alternatively, a couple of layers of muslin will also get the job done. Pour your extraction through the funnel and into the original spirit bottle. Squeeze the cloth filter, to ensure you don’t waste any of your liquor.
It’s a good idea to label your bottles with what quantity, and what strain of bud you used.
How much Weed-infused Spirit can I Drink?
As we’ve said many times throughout this series on cannabis cocktails and weed edibles, it really all depends on your tolerance to both alcohol and THC, and the two combined. In addition, your weed strain, the extraction method, and your decarboxylation will all affect the potency of your cannabis liquor.
For example, if you were using high THC strains then chances are you would be able to consume far less, as opposed to if you were using low or medium THC strains or even high CBD strains which will naturally have lower THC levels.
The only sensible way is to start low and slow and leave it for at least a couple of hours, before even considering having any more.
We would always recommend that if you haven’t got a big enough boost on the first occasion, leave it to another day to up the measure, rather than taking another dose on the same day. You may just be doubling up, taking dose on top of dose, and you could find that you’ve overdone it.
Once you’ve got a handle on the right dose for you (titration), you are free to experiment and enjoy some of our damn fine cocktails. Enjoy!