3 Cannabis Cocktails for Thanksgiving

While the worlds of medical cannabis and craft cocktails don’t often overlap, there’s been a push in recent years to see more collaboration between the two. It’s a pairing that makes sense—both have undergone their own renaissances in recent decades, and cannabis industry professionals are just as serious about their products as the most dedicated mixologists.

What is a Cannabis Tincture?

The crossover point typically comes in the form of the cannabis tincture. Essentially, a cannabis tincture (you might have heard it referred to as “green dragon”) is just an alcohol-based THC extract that can be used to medicate drinks or edibles. These infusions were once widely available in the apothecary shops of old, but they’ve finally started showing up in dispensaries here in the US as restrictions on medical cannabis have loosened.

How to Dose a Cannabis Cocktail

Because cannabis tinctures are alcohol-based, they’re perfect for use in cocktails. Figuring out how much to use per drink is simple: any tincture you get from a dispensary is going to be labeled with the amount of THC it contains, but they tend to be fairly consistent.

Usually one eyedropper worth (about 2 ml) will be enough for one drink. That said, if it’s your first time using a tincture, you may want to use half that amount. Also note that you should wait at least an hour between cannabis cocktails, as they take a while to kick in and it can be easy to overdo it if you’re not careful.

Medicating Your Thanksgiving Cocktails

With Halloween wrapped up and Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re squarely into the holiday season—and there’s no better time for some seasonal cocktails! Thanksgiving is full of harvest flavors that make for great drinks, and the grassy, earthy, occasionally fruity notes of a cannabis tincture complement them fantastically.

The Cranberry-Spice Cocktail

This drink uses fresh cranberries, ginger, and hard apple cider to create a veritable cornucopia of Thanksgiving fruits and herbs. It was first concocted by Brad Thomas Parsons, author of the books Bitters and Amaro, and the addition of a bit of cannabis tincture rounds the original out nicely. It’s also a relatively low-alcohol drink, so it’s a good one for easing into cannabis cocktails.
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 4 oz hard apple cider
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 13 fresh cranberries
  • Three 1-inch pieces crystallized ginger; 2 minced and 1 whole for garnish
  • 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1-2 ml cannabis tincture

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange wedge with 10 of the cranberries and the minced ginger.
  2. Add the Aperol, Lillet Blanc, bitters, cannabis tincture, and ice. Shake well.
  3. Double-strain the drink into an ice-filled Collins glass and top off with the hard cider.
  4. Garnish with the 3 remaining cranberries and the slice of ginger skewered on a toothpick, and serve.

The Turkey and Sage Cocktail
The Turkey and Sage cocktail doesn’t actually have turkey in it, thankfully, but it does use Wild Turkey bourbon, a healthy dose of fresh sage, and some irresistible pumpkin butter (which you can pick up at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods). A cannabis tincture blends well with its herbal notes, and the drink itself goes great with just about anything on your typical Thanksgiving table.
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Wild Turkey 101 bourbon
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin butter
  • 0.25 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1-2 ml cannabis tincture

Directions:

  1. Reserve one sage leaf for garnish and muddle the rest gently in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice. Add bourbon, pumpkin butter, lemon juice, bitters, and cannabis tincture. Shake until chilled, about 20 seconds.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and float a sage leaf on top for garnish, and serve.

The High-PA
Sometimes, you just want to drink a beer on Thanksgiving (it goes great with football). For those of you less inclined towards cocktails, the High-PA is a simple medicated drink that tastes great. The hoppiness of an IPA is very similar to the flavor imparted by the tincture, so it won’t throw off the balance of your favorite beer—and if you’re a big hop-head, it’ll probably make it even better.
Ingredients:

  • 12 oz IPA beer
  • 1-2 ml cannabis tincture

Directions:

  1. Add the cannabis tincture to the bottom of a pint glass.
  2. Pour your IPA into the glass and enjoy!
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