Cocktail & Other Recipes Flavor Profile Herbaceous

CBD Dirty Martini

On a white counter with a sky-blue background, a beautiful curved Nick & Nora glass holds a Martini. The drink is slightly cloudy and decked with spots of pepper. A single pepper-stuffed olive is pierced on a silver skewer resting across the mouth of the glass. / Tim Nusog

The cocktail scene is a constantly developing one, as bartenders create, follow and build on trends. Some trends include new spirits or liqueurs, others include novel approaches to the craft, like barrel-aged cocktails or sous vide-infused drinks. One trend that rose in the later part of the 2010s was the inclusion of cannabidiol in drinks. Cannabidiol—more popularly known as CBD—is an active ingredient in cannabis. Far less regulated than THC—the other major ingredient in cannabis, and the one known for getting people “high”—CBD has no proven psychoactive effect, but has been reported by some users to decrease anxiety and relieve pain.

With more and more states legalizing cannabis, CBD has been making its appearance in bars, adding both a nutty, piney flavor to the drinks as well as, reportedly, enhancing their soporific quality. One of the first—and some would argue, most polarizing—forms of CBD cocktails to emerge was the CBD float. Popularized by innovative bartenders, floating CBD oil works best when it’s paired with strong acidic and salty flavors that cut through its piney tones. The olive brine in this CBD version of a Dirty Martini does the job nicely. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the “dirty” part of a Martini, it is acceptable to add it to a traditional, olive-free Dry Martini, just keep in mind that the flavors of the CBD oil will be more pronounced with only gin and vermouth to balance it.

Using raw CBD oil rather than a syrup also ensures you’re getting the maximum flavor (and any terpenes) from the CBD as it has been minimally processed or heated. The ease of adding it means it’s an easy first recipe with which to try out a CBD infusion.

CBD is legal on a federal level, though some states have restrictions and prohibitions on its sales. Many states, however, have embraced it so much that oils and candies can be found at local grocery stores and markets. Other times it’s necessary to go online for it.


  • 2 ounces dry gin
  • 1/2 ounce extra dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce green olive cocktail brine
  • 1 dash fresh cracked black pepper
  • Garnish: green olive
  • Garnish: CBD oil
  • Garnish: cracked pepper


  1. Add the dry gin, extra dry vermouth, green olive cocktail brine and cracked black pepper into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a chilled Martini or coupe glass.

  3. Garnish with a skewered green cocktail olive, 3 drops of CBD oil (such as House of Spain) and a dash of cracked black pepper.