During the summer and early fall months, I find myself pouring vast bottles of iced sparkling water down my gullet. One of the beverages which has gotten much attention in the cannabis world is tincture infused seltzer. I find them pretty boring, and I won’t be covering them here.
This recipe is not like those other brands of marketing, parading as their gift to liquid libations. I’m finding them pretty to look at, but that’s about it. They are trendy. Period.
What I was influenced by is just not available here in the United States. This product is known as Vichy Water. I’m sure with the internet at your disposal, you could order a couple cases of real Vichy water and have it sent to you. The shipping would probably cost more than double what the water would cost, but no matter, you have to have the real thing, right?
No. You don’t have to waste your money. This recipe makes your job much easier, and you can take your cat for a walk afterwards just to say, I told you so. (it’s that delicious) …….
Putting your cat on a leash? Maybe not such a good idea.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to cook for a really short time at a hotel kitchen located in the South of France. It was not a glamorous position, but I did take advantage of the art of paying attention to what was going on around me. The bar served a particularly delicious beverage that didn’t contain any alcohol, but it was bursting with local flavor. One of the bartender’s beverages that I’ve reinterpreted here, primarily because we cannot get real Vichy water easily, involves making what you can get, better.
The creative saucier/bartender would whip up this refresher, standing tall to the world, spun with dashes of herbs de provence, a touch of simple syrup, that naturally salty Vichy water, oily lemon zest and cucumber coins. I took that cocktail and twisted it up a bit by adding a massive amount of cannabis. More than that. No micro dosing here. I cannot tell you how many milligrams you will be imbibing, but it’s far north of 100 per drink. Irresponsible? Perhaps. But no one said you had to finish the whole thing; you know… Common sense. Lose that and it’s all out the window.
The first thing you will need to do is make the herbed simple syrup. Yes, this simple syrup is herbed with something called herbs de provence. But it is also herbed with one ounce of the finest, decarbed cannabis flowers that you can attain. And what I mean by decarbing is activating the THC from THCA. (I’m not a scientist, but you need to do this) …. I use the Ardent technology because it gives me 100% bioavailability and no burnt ounces of very expensive cannabis. It’s a brilliant piece of micro-processor machinery that does exactly what you need to do for this recipe. If you are not using one, your toaster oven will work, as will your regular oven, but they offer inconsistent heating and recycling times, leading to flawed decarbs. I don’t recommend those methods.
The Pharmacy Punch is a sum of several parts, so follow along with me… I think you’ll like the way this drink turns out.
Recipe: Infused Vichy Water
2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence in a section of cheesecloth and hemp string
1 ounce of the finest decarbed cannabis also in that section of cheesecloth, then carefully seal the packet
1 cup rich simple syrup – made with raw honey, 1:1 ratio, plus filtered water as needed
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Maldon French Sea Salt
Italian or French Natural Sparkling Water
Prep: Simple Syrup
Heat the cheesecloth (containing the cannabis and the herbs de provence) along with the raw honey simple syrup and the sea salt, and the cider vinegar, adding a touch of water as necessary, to 160° F. Pay attention so that the liquid doesn’t burn or turn into caramel, so add the cool water carefully so it doesn’t splatter. Hot sugar is not the thing you want to get onto your skin. Pastry cooks when they work with spun molten sugar always keep a bowl of ice water nearby. You should too, just in case.
When the syrup is infused with the cannabis and the herbs packet, after about two to three hours, I suggest letting it cool overnight in the fridge, with the packet… The next day put on a pair of rubber gloves and squeeze the herb packet of cannabis and your culinary herbs de provence into the honey simple syrup. When you think you’ve squeezed as much out of the packet as possible, make a pot of herbal tea and toss the herb packet into the tea pot. Let steep overnight and make a very stony tea with it.
Prep: Lemon Zest Ice
Freeze an ice tray of distilled water overnight with copious amounts of lemon zest (no pith, please) and about ten shakes of lemon bitters. Put the tray into two freezer bags so the ice tastes like lemon, not like that two week old takeout, garlic pasta lurking in the back of your fridge… ice is really important!
Prep: Infused Vichy Water
Prechill Collins Glasses with plain ice and water until they are frosty… pour out the ice and water
Dot the inside of the glasses with the cucumber bitters
Add the Lemon Zest/Lemon Bitters Ice
Add 1 oz. of the herbs de provence/infused honey simple syrup
Pour over the sparkling water
Sprinkle sea salt on top of the Collins glass
Serve with a funky straw and do not drive for a while. They hit pretty hard. Take heed, leafhopper…
I love to serve this punch in teacups, preferably with my pinkies out. Do not under any circumstances wash your fingers in this THC laden punch. It’s strictly a sipped punch, not a finger bowl.
This punch can also be served in a punch bowl. Under those exceptional circumstances, may I please suggest freezing a large cube of the coconut water, like a gallon sized milk carton filled with above mentioned coconut water, then frozen overnight. Remove the wrapper and add to a punch bowl. Build the punch around that frozen block of coconut water ice. As it melts, the magic really takes place. Yum.
I estimate this punch won’t let you down. You will get stoned. I promise you that. There is a serious amount of weed in that simple syrup. For an added kick, might I please suggest a healthy dosage of something medicinal… Craft… potent. I might suggest Foursquare Rum from Barbados. It’s not inexpensive, nor should it be with all the effort that you’ve put into this drink so far. It’s not always that you make lemonade from scratch. Nor do you prepare simple syrup with enough THC to knock down a small village. Ok, maybe not that much, but you get the gist. This is not a weak plonk punch made with uncertain ingredients. It’s a carefully woven story, best told amongst only a couple of like-minded friends who are accustomed to the best things in the world.
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.