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CBD beverages: on-site operators are taking advantage of the growing popularity of CBD

August 30, 2022

As cannabis legalization continues to advance across the country, with more states routinely allowing the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, the platform for CBD-enhanced products behind the bar developed. Federal bans remain in place to prevent serving alcohol and fully loaded THC products in the same space, but cannabinoid offshoots like CBD, and now marijuana terpenes, are slowly being creatively embraced by mixologists.

“CBD has exploded in popularity and I truly believe that the stigma of marijuana has largely diminished in recent years as people become more familiar with the benefits of CBD,” says Paige Nast, Corporate Beverage Director and Mixologist for Tap 42 Craft Kitchen + Bar. , a chain of nine restaurants in South Florida with strongholds around Miami and Fort Lauderdale. “We use CBD as an infusion to complement certain drinks, and it’s also a complementary option for any drink. We use CBD interactively by infusing butterfly pea tea with CBD and putting it in a dropper for customers to add to their cocktails themselves.

Tap 42’s CBD-enhanced staples include Strawberry Kush ($13.50 in Miami), made with Haku vodka, basil syrup, lemon juice, and fresh strawberries, topped with basil mousse and the CBD pipette, and the Gin ‘N Chronic ($13.50), mixing Bombay Sapphire gin with Jack Rudy Classic Tonic syrup and fresh sage, topped with the CBD pipette. “Brewed butterfly pea tea changes color depending on the acidity of a drink, which adds intrigue and makes it fun,” says Nast. “CBD drinks have become more popular in recent years.”

In Seattle, The Pine Box bar sells Aprch Mint + Cucumber CBD sparkling water by the can ($8 per 12-ounce can) and also uses it as a cocktail ingredient. Popular CBD-enhanced drinks from the bar include F’n Smashed ($11), which combines Pearl Cucumber Vodka with sugar and muddled mint, topped with mint and cucumber CBD water, and Pimm’s & Chill ($10), made with Pimm’s No 1 liqueur, Durwoods gin, lemon, and cucumber mint CBD water. The Dealer’s Choice bar non-alcoholic cocktail ($6) — mixing Gosling’s ginger beer with simple syrup, muddled lime, and cucumber mint CBD water — is also popular.

“The availability of CBD in bars makes it more accessible,” says Cynthia Huntley, bar manager at The Pine Box. “People who are familiar with CBD are generally happy that we have it as an option. CBD has definitely made a name for itself, and there are so many ways to use it. Huntley adds that as the demand for low-alcohol or alcohol-free cocktails continues to grow, bartenders are embracing CBD as an alternative to more traditional alcoholic ingredients.

The plant-focused restaurant Gusto Green in Los Angeles opened last January in a building owned by cannabis industry incubator Green Street. The venue does not yet offer CBD-infused food or drinks, although the bar plays around with cannabis-inspired terpenes, the chemicals naturally found in plants that are responsible for aroma, flavor and color. . “We use terpenes to enhance the aromatic qualities of cocktails and for the wellness benefits associated with them,” says managing partner Jeronimo de Miguel. “We are working with terpenes as the most accessible option, but we look forward to working with CBD in the near future.”

Gusto Green lists the Nemo ($17), a Paloma-inspired drink made with mezcal Rayu, Scrappy’s Fire Tincture bitters, grapefruit juice and Abstrax Grapefruit Kush terpenes, and the Zero-Proof Weavers ($13 ), blending blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and Abstrax Master Kush terpenes. Each drink only requires a few drops of terpenes. “Primarily, terpenes add a layer of flavor to the drink, which in turn affects how your taste buds interpret flavor,” de Miguel explains. “As cannabis has become legal, the stigma surrounding it has crumbled and its use has [expanded]. Although it is illegal to sell cannabis and alcohol in the same space, we are experimenting with flavors through terpenes so that when legalization occurs we can have a fully developed cocktail program that incorporates cannabis. responsibly and intentionally.—Laura Pelner

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Tagged: cannabis, CBD, Market Watch


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