Cocktail trends often ebb and flow, with new ingredients coming into popularity and old ones being rediscovered. In the late 2010s and early 2020s, one ingredient that began cropping up on cocktail bar menus was CBD. The abbreviation stands for cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in cannabis, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol, more popularly known as THC. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get a person “high,” and is legal in many states, as well as at the federal level (though some states do have regulations against its sales). With loosening restrictions nationwide on cannabis in general, CBD has become a hot ingredient in things like drinks.
While little research has shown evidence for strong physiological effects from CBD, many proponents of it tout its use as a pain reliever and anxiety-reducer. Generally, when added to cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks, its oils are what’s used; in addition to the potential physical effects, it also imparts a subtle flavor and mouthfeel. That’s what Jason Eisner at Gracias Madre in California uses in the Sour T-iesel, along with tequila, lime, and agave nectar.
This minty tequila sour has a few other variants from the normal; rather than opting for egg whites to add a silky mouthfeel and layer of foam, Eisner uses aquafaba, which is the liquid leftover from canned chickpeas. Aquafaba is a popular vegan alternative to egg whites as it replicates the same foaminess, albeit with a bit more work generally. In this recipe, Eisner uses an emulsifier, though a dry shake (without ice) before shaking with ice can do the trick as well.
To add some extra complexity as well as a cheeky detail about the ingredients, Eisner also stencils a matcha cannabis leaf on top of the foam. He uses a ceremonial-grade matcha, which is the kind used to make tea, rather than a culinary-grade matcha which is more often used for things like matcha lattes. It will definitely impart a bright, grassy and vegetal flavor to the drink, so exercise caution when applying.
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- 1 pinch pink sea salt
- 3 mint leaves (without stems)
- 5 drops cold-pressed CBD oil (extracted from industrial hemp)
- 3/4 ounces aquafaba
- Garnish: matcha stencil
Place all of the ingredients except for the CBD oil and aquafaba in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Fine-strain into a 64 ounce container, and add the CBD oil and aquafaba. Emulsify the liquid for 5 seconds with a handheld emulsifier on turbo.
Transfer the liquid back into the cocktail shaker, and strain the liquid into a coupe glass with a Hawthorne strainer.
To create a cannabis leaf image atop the cocktail, use a stencil and ceremonial-grade matcha.