Een THC Mint Julep: Barrell Bourbon en 22Red Cannabis / Ardent FX


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Barrell Whiskey out of my terribly unpolished mint julep cup

Barrell Whiskey out of my completely unpolished mint julep cup

Warren Bobrow: iPhone

About five years ago I made my way on assignment down to Louisville, Kentucky for the Running of the Roses at Churchill Downs. It was not one of the high points of my journalistic experience. Primarily because of my lodging arrangements. I was initially staying near the airport.

Actually at the end of the runway, in a really seedy motel that normally cost forty -five dollars per night was now seven hundred and fifty dollars per night, take it or leave it.

I took it. And so began the dreary and rainy, mud drenched weekend of the Kentucky Derby. Next to a family of eight in one room. I got out of there really quickly.

My journalism/Hunter Thompson style Kentucky Derby experience in person was a complete washout. It wasn’t memorable, yet all these years later I still tell the story of how bourbon became the topic of my second book and how Maker’s Mark whiskey helped my grandmom live to almost 105. Yeah, it means something to me.

Every time the Kentucky Derby Day comes around, for the first weekend in May, I think back upon my unforgettable Kentucky Derby experience and how the juleps just didn’t exactly shine a light on the whole experience, although the souvenir glass was a handy keepsake for many years to follow. The juleps at the track just stunk. The glasses still bring a smile. I’ll never go back.

The mint julep that I have in mind is not like the ones served at Churchill Downs. In fact they are not served (legally) anywhere in this country, or any other country.

These mint juleps are to be made at your house. Hopefully you will share the sweet, mind-boggling elixir, if not you will have enough for another, although I would suggest taking your time drinking the first. Why? Taking cannabis edibles or in this case, drinkables takes planning. You don’t want to drink too much too quickly. It’s like eating Thai food. Never get it too spicy the first time around is what I usually recommend for this tongue piercing repast. Drinking a cannabis cocktail is a similar endeavor. Take it slow. Common sense!

a perfectly delicious THC infused mint julep for Derby Day

Warren Bobrow mint julep with THC infused Rye whiskey from Barrell Bourbon

Warren Bobrow: iPhone

This mint julep is made with really fine cannabis from 22Red that I had from a professional -tasting sample. It’s really good stuff and it decarbs like a champ.

The recipe to infuse fine bourbon whiskey or any whiskey with THC is an easy one. But only if you have the right equipment for the job. I recommend using the newest incarnation of the Ardent Decarb machine. The FX. This is the device that I’ve touted in past years as being the be all, almost end all of the decarb equation. Some cannabis alchemists like to toast their herbs in the oven. I don’t recommend this method because the temperature varies as much as twenty degrees, up or down. Your decarb will be flawed, you won’t get stoned. And I mean almost end all because you may have your hippy recipe from your uncle who made mind-boggling strong hippy cookies in the 60’s. I’m not going to suggest to you that your recipe is flawed. This one is just different.

With the Ardent FX, there is a microprocessor at work, making for a computerized decarb experience unlike any you can perform in your oven. Your oven is just not precise enough. No wonder your edibles aren’t hitting your brains right out of the park. Decarb times are also really important. The Ardent has you covered on this important process.

Ever start a decarb in your home oven and fall asleep after smoking some of that “In The Couch” Indica you brought back from Oregon? Now you’re waking up hours later to your apartment filled with acrid smoke and the landlord is really angry?

I have, so it’s ok. The only thing you lost was your expensive smoke. And the landlord? I can’t help you with that one. With the Ardent FX, those pesky sleepy time errors are definitely a thing of the past. And there is virtually no scent at all. At least I couldn’t detect anything. Nor could anyone else. Now for the timing, the really important part. There is an ingenious mechanism that determines the correct time for the decarb. Perfect every single chance that you get to use it. And how do you determine that algorithm? Self-contained within the device, there is a micro brain that makes the Ardent the cannabis decarb solution. I haven’t used my oven to decarb in years. All that you have to do is turn it on. That’s it. No learning curve. Perfect for me.

The next step after you professionally decarb your cannabis, is to use a device that usually makes whipped cream. It’s called an isi. I use an isi whipped cream dispenser to force the decarbed cannabis, the THC directly into the craft spirit or anything for that matter. I love forcing the THC into condensed milk, then activating the THC with a bit of heat. You can do the whole process with your isi. This professional device can be purchased at a restaurant supply online. I’d get the slightly more expensive, but very much worth it, heat-proof version. They can be set into simmering water without fear of explosion. Even with overproof bourbon whiskey inside, it safely lets the vapors out with a gentle release, away from any open flames, thank you.

Chefs use them to hold pressurized sauces until service in bain maries- a container filled with simmering water.

The first thing that you want to do is decarb your cannabis.

Next, add the decarbed cannabis to an isi.

Fill the isi 1/2 with fine Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I used Barrell Bourbon. It’s the really good stuff.

Force three whippits of nitrous oxide into the bourbon and cannabis mixture.

Release gas carefully, you probably don’t want to inhale this.

Put the isi into a bain marie that is just simmering at NO MORE THAN 160 degrees for about an hour, releasing pressure as necessary.

Let cool completely, releasing pressure along the way.

Strain out the cannabis through a cheesecloth. Wear gloves otherwise you can get super stoned and not realize it until later.

Add fresh Barrell Bourbon to bring the measure back up to 750 ml.

Re-cork and let rest in a warm, dark place for a couple days.

THC Infused Mint Julep: Not your Kentucky Derby Vision of Beauty

Ingredients for two persons:

Two, well-polished *unlike mine* sterling silver, copper core julep cups that belonged to your grandpappy, or bought in a silver store as an instant ancestor vessel.

Pack the julep cups with crushed ice to cool down well, set aside

4 oz. Barrell Bourbon Batch #021. I infused my 750ml. bottle with one ounce of 22Red cannabis, that is one gram per fluid ounce. (potent dose)

1 oz. Laird’s Bottled in Bond Apple Brandy

Fresh Mint (well washed)

Demerara Sugar Cube

Prep:

Express the mint by slapping it lightly across your palm and other palm

Add to the pre-chilled julep cup

Add a bit of THC infused bourbon

Muddle slightly

Add some Demerara Sugar

Add some crushed ice

Muddle lightly, so not to bruise the mint

Then more bourbon, mint, ice, sugar until the cup is most pleasing and frozen in your hand.

Garnish with a sprig of especially lovely looking mint and splash .50 of the Laird’s Apple Brandy over the top of each julep cup. Serve with a knowing smile.

And the 22Red? This is perfect cannabis flower for the infusion process. The nugs are just right for your pipe, but really excel in a mixed drink. If you follow my instructions you’ll know why the cross-fade is your new go/to for deeply stony refreshment, and no one has to know your business! Smoke a joint in the street and everyone knows. Drink a THC infused mint julep? Just my point.

Cheers! WB

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