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The Infamous Le James Brown Cocktail... and How to Make One (Infused!)

Written by Warren Bobrow

There was a time when I wrote about liquor exclusively. That was a long time ago, and for reasons still not well known… but I’ll tell you the story again.

I was down in New Orleans for the yearly event called Tales of the Cocktail, AKA: Tales. As I swigged my way around the city’s watering holes, this year (2018) felt much different. Cocktails just didn’t taste the same to me, for a reason I couldn’t at the time explain. My drinking days were about to become a thing of the past, but just how would I be able to make a living? I was pretty well known for being the keeper of Klaus as well. How would I continue to travel?

The answer is, by doing what I love… and that was to smoke cannabis and write about it, hopefully for more than exposure. But how could I turn a career in off-premise craft spirits into something that actually could pay a living wage? I’m still trying to find out how to do this. Let me know if you have any suggestions, because my writing is pretty well known by now…

Anyway, I have a deep forte with cocktail mixology, and have written six books on this unique topic, starting with my book Apothecary Cocktails. For the record, my publisher wouldn’t allow me to use cannabis as an ingredient in this book, even though the plant figured deeply into preparatory pharmacy before the Pure Food and Drug Act took all the fun out of being a cocktailian (or should I say, a drunk). Back in 2015, I wrote the ground-breaking book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics, and my world changed yet again. I mixed craft spirits with obscene amounts of THC, offering an experience unlike anything that anyone imbibed before.

The Le James Brown Cocktail is an offshoot from one of my favorite drinks: the French-influenced, salubrious-Vietnamese iced coffee, but in this context the drink gets a gentle treatment of Cognac infused whipped cream instead of the overly sweet, condensed milk. The addition of THC-infused French whisky is especially intriguing. I used a very special whisky from a French company named Brenne. This hand-crafted sip offers hints of fall flowers, toasted almonds, rich cream, and peat. Cannabis is happy to be in her company.

I recommend doing the basic infusion, which is one ounce of the finest decarbed cannabis, wrapped in cheesecloth, added to a Ball jar. Top with your favorite Whisky, cap tightly and place in a warm, dark place for at least a month, shaking it daily (or more time if you like). What you will end up with after you squeeze all the cannabis out of the cheesecloth, wearing gloves so you don’t get super stoned… is magical.

The Le James Brown Cocktail, named for the Godfather of Soul

Ingredients for two rather brisk cocktails that have THC infused Whisky in them:

4 ounces Chilled Espresso Coffee

2 ounces, THC infused Whisky of your choice

Splash of Club Soda

½ Cup, Cognac Whipped Cream

Scraping of Fresh Nutmeg

8 drops per cocktail, Black Walnut Bitters (I used Fee Brothers)

To make the Cognac Whipped Cream— prepare a batch of freshly whipped cream, do not skimp and use a canned whipped product (that would be very bad). Do not whip the cream into butter; that would also be bad.

Add 1-2 ounces of Cognac folded into the whipped cream, set aside, and keep in the fridge until use.


Brew your espresso and let it cool overnight in the fridge for best flavor— you want really assertive coffee flavor in this. Do not use decaf. What is that, anyway?

Add several large ice cubes to pre-chilled Collins glasses. Those are the tall ones in your cabinet. I pre-chill by adding ice and water to the glasses, and then tossing out the mixture before I add fresh ice.

Top the ice with the chilled espresso.

Add 1 oz. of the THC infused French whisky over the espresso, and stir lightly.

Add a tiny splash of Club Soda.

Spoon the Cognac infused Whipped Cream over the top.

Dot with Black Walnut Bitters.

Scrape fresh nutmeg over the top, and serve!

NEVER MORE THAN ONE PER HOUR, PLEASE. This is a very strong drink, let me assure you... and it’s delicious, too!

Sure, you can make it without the THC, but it wouldn’t be as amusing. As always, use common sense!


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