Note: Most of these bottlings have limited distribution.
Whether labeled as hemp, “hemp seed” or “cannabis sativa seed,” if you see a weed-adjacent spirit on a shelf in the U.S., it’s 100% certain that hemp is what was used in the bottle. It’s not often advertised for use in cocktails, but hemp oil is widely available at health food stores, which makes it an easy addition for drinks.
“It’s the Wild West out there,” says Paul Hletko, founder of FEW Spirits, based in Evanston, Illinois. He’s also an investor in Sterling Beach, a cannabis investment fund. Such experimentation may be exciting, but grandiose claims in the budding industry often amount to little more than smoke and mirrors. He advises a “buyer beware” approach.
Hemp oil is made from the seeds of hemp plants. These strains of the Cannabis sativa L. are bred to have only trace amounts of THC, defined in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as those containing “not more than 0.3% [THC] on a dry weight basis.” The CSA no longer classifies hemp as marijuana, although the plant’s structure is similar in many ways.
As the legalization of marijuana continues across the U.S., spirits producers are seeking ways to get on board. Their efforts mirror the rise in cannabis-infused beer and the ongoing interest in wine and weed.
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Humboldt’s Finest: A cannabis seed-infused vodka. Humboldt Distillery, Humboldt County, CA.
Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Place remaining ice in prepared glass.
1 ½ cups ice cubes
Combine vodka and orange juice in a highball glass and stir to combine. Add ice. Garnish with orange slices if desired.
Orange or lime twist (for serving)
6 ounces orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
1 ½ ounces Papa™ Peruvian vodka
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