Here in the northeastern portion of the United States cold weather has set in early. And with this blast of Canadian air (isn’t all our frigid air from Canada?) comes a quickening of my cocktail thirst. Not only do I want to warm my insides, but also I want to warm my hands and body equally.
May I suggest a series of hot toddy and some cooling punches for warming more than just a seasonal fancy. These drinks will carry you through the early spring. So, with Halloween fast approaching I’ve concocted a few easy to replicate views into this important national holiday for the thirsty.
And in keeping with my Halloween theme, the names reflect the seasonality of this yearly event. And the warming depth for each one is undeniable, but warning, the cannabis cocktails do pack a punch, so drink one and see where they take you.
The Crypt Robber Toddy is one such drink that warms you right down to your toes, mostly because of the rum.
And if the weather is as cold outside as it feels inside- I’ll be warmed up in mere moments.
The Crypt Robber: Hot Toddy
- 2 oz. Overproof rum (pot still)
- 4 oz. hot chocolate (Bitter is preferred)
- 2 oz. whipping cream
- 1 oz. rich simple syrup- 2:1 dark (2 cups sugar in the raw to 1 cup boiling water)
- scant teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Mexican spicy mole bitters (of your choice)
Preheat a ceramic mug with boiling water, pour out when steaming hot. Add the Overproof rum. Top with the bittersweet hot chocolate. Top with the whipping cream. Dot with the mole bitters. Scrape nutmeg over the top. Sweeten with dark simple syrup as necessary.
You can flame this drink with a capful of the Over proof rum on top of the whipping cream and a sprinkle of the raw sugar, then set ablaze. Like a Baked Alaska!
The Decapitation Waltz is a take on the classic rum punch with a few tricks thrown in for fun and seasonality.
A head banger of a drink!
- 3 oz. raw rum (pot still rum is much preferred) infused with just the amount of THC that you desire
- 2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. orgeat syrup (almond in flavor)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly scraped nutmeg
- 1 oz. Angostura bitters (for good gastric health)
- grilled orange round
- splash of grenadine syrup
To a cocktail mixing glass: Add one or two large cubes of ice. Add the infused rum and the fresh juices. Stir to combine. Add the orgeat. Stir. Add the nutmeg. Stir. Add the Angostura. Stir again. Strain into rocks glasses with a few cubes of ice and a grilled orange round. Serve with a splash of grenadine for a blood curdling effect.
Slowly Dragged Across the Burning Coals
- 3 oz. Smoky Scotch Whisky (your choice)
- 1 oz. Mezcal, infused with the THC of your choice – at the strength of your own choosing*
- scant sprinkle of espresso powder
- scant sprinkle of charcoal powder
- crushed coconut water ice
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with regular bar ice: Add the Scotch and the Mezcal. Add the espresso powder and the charcoal powder. Cap and shake hard for 20 seconds. Strain over crushed coconut water ice. Serve.
Boiled Bags of Brains
- 1 oz. Bourbon Whiskey- infused with THC to your specific need and strength*
- 1 oz. dry Vermouth
- 2 oz. Raki or ouzo
- ¼ oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ oz. freshly crushed carrot juice
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Peychaud’s bitters
Add all the ingredients to a Boston shaker filled ¾ with bar ice. Pre-chill some coupes. Shake the Boston Shaker hard for 20 or so seconds. Strain into the coupes and spoon the heavy cream over the top. Spoon the Peychaud’s over the cream and serve.
To make a cannabis infusion, add 7 grams—or the dosage recommended by your caregiver—of ground, decarbed cannabis to 250 ml (about 1 cup) of a liquor of your choice in a heat-proof mason jar. Do not seal the jar, it could burst. Place the jar in the top of a double boiler on a hot plate or electric stove top.
(Never, ever use a gas stove or an open flame.) Fill the top of the double boiler with enough water to cover the mason jar halfway.
Simmer lightly at around 160ºF (71°C) for 30 to 60 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Alcohol flames just over 170ºF (77°C), so pay close attention to the job at hand, and don’t go running out for a pizza. Plus, a low heat will keep evaporation to a minimum.
Let the mixture cool, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, then funnel it back into the empty liquor bottle. Top up the bottle with the remaining un-infused liquor until it’s back to a volume of 750 ml. This ensures that the THC will be dispersed throughout the infusion. Your infusion is now ready to use in your handcrafted cocktails.
Warren Bobrow, a.k.a. The Cocktail Whisperer, is the author of four books, including his latest: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics.