Going forward into Fall, my body calls out for liquids that warm deeply inside. It’s still getting hot during the day but as the months progress towards the colder period, I thirst for drinks that make me buzzed and warm, all at the same time.
Bertha Lee’s Baby
One such beverage is comprised of a base of strongly brewed hot coffee, (I use my trusty Vietnamese drip device) along with spirits such as Rhum Agricole, or Mezcal. I also use grilled orange slices to gently squeeze over the top of the liquescent. Funny that orange would compliment coffee so well, but this little potation is meant to refresh, and then sooth, deeply. Grilled orange slices help relax the palate by adding a touch of smoke to the tangy, caramelized orange flavors. Mezcal, the smoky, mysterious neighbor to Tequila or Rhum Agricole, distilled from freshly crushed sugar cane juice, instead of molasses from Martinique has a mysterious finish, reminiscent of your backyard fire pit. Agricole Rhum, or agricultural rum, offers a tangy release to the drink, just like the use of Mezcal offers a splash of smoke to the assembly.
I think you’ll really enjoy this beverage at the end of the evening, but on a hot day it’s quite refreshing when made with iced coffee and served over ice made from yesterday’s leftover coffee…. Just pour it into an ice cube tray, freeze, and then use in this cocktail.
The recipe I’ve included here is made with iced coffee, but you can make it any way you like. Hot or iced, it’s quite delicious and depending on how much weed you use, quite potent.
First you have to decarb your cannabis. I use either the LEVO2 to decarb, or the Ardent device. Both do a fantastic job activating your cannabis. The Ardent decarbs much more flower than the Levo2, so it may work better if you are making a large portion of the base ingredient which is in this case, either Mezcal or Rhum Agricole.
For a 25 oz. or 750ml. bottle of liquor, I place ¾ of the bottle in a ball jar. The ball jar is placed in a stainless steel bowl filled with water heated to 160 degrees. Add one ounce of the decarbed cannabis to the liquor inside the ball jar. Only use a hot plate or an electric stove with plenty of ventilation, two fans and an open window is what I ask that you use. Do not use a gas stove unless you want trouble. Vaporized alcohol is highly combustible. You can level your house with it. Don’t be that person who appears in the newspaper for being stupid about an open fire and liquor.
Simmer the liquor and cannabis together at 160 degrees (no more!) for at least an hour then let cool in the freezer (covered) overnight. The next day let it come to room temperature and strain the cannabis from the spirit. Be sure to press all the cannabis out of the liquor. That’s the good stuff in there! Also, my pro-tip is to use gloves because the activated cannabis will be absorbed through your skin, and you’ll get SUPER-STONED!
Recipe: Bertha Lee’s Baby (for one)
3 Grilled Orange Slices
1 oz. Mezcal or Rhum Agricole- each fluid ounce has about 100mg of THC, more or less depending on the strength of the weed.
3 oz. cold, strong coffee
Raw honey or sugar to taste
Chill a Collins Glass or a stoneware cup (if the drink is served hot)
Rub the inside of the cup or glass with the grilled orange slice to reveal the secrets…
Add a spear of hand cut ice to the glass, no ice if the drink is served hot!
Add about three ounces of the strong – either hot or cold coffee over the ice
Pour over the coffee your one ounce (liquid measure) of Mezcal or Rhum Agricole
Dot with Angostura Bitters for good gut health…
Finally, stir and garnish with a grilled orange round.
Warren Bobrow is the CEO of Klaus Apothicaire, a 6x Author, Chef, Barman, Cannabis Alchemist, Master Mixologist. Some of his cannabis awards include: SXSW Cannabis Disruptor 2018, Berlin Bar Convent-Cannabis, and Moscow Bar Show-Master Class-Rum. He is the author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics, Available in Indie Bookstores, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo Books. See his cannabis creations on instagram.