CBD Drinks: Diving into the CBD Drinks Rush
As one of the latest wellness beverage trends, CBD drinks have found their way onto heath stores’ shelves, into the ingredients lists of the most Instagrammable cocktails and onto the menus at London’s coolest bars.
So, whether you’re a curious consumer looking to dabble in this 2020 drink trend, or a CBD junkie seeking new means of consuming the good stuff, there are plenty of ways you can get your hands on this potent substance.
In this piece, you’ll find The Cocktail Service’s:
But, before we get started on the beverages, let’s take a look at what CBD actually is…
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant is made up of over 100 different cannabinoids, of which the two most prevalent are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD (otherwise known as cannabidiol). THC is the psychoactive compound that gets users ‘high’; CBD, however, does not have intoxicating effects.
Did you think CBD had psychoactive effects? You’re not alone. There’s a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding CBD, born, no doubt, from the reputation of its rebellious younger cousin, THC.
In fact, according to nutritional expert and author of CBD Drinks for Health Carlene Thomas, misunderstandings around CBD even extend into the wellness sphere.
“CBD is not the same as cannabis,” Carlene told The Cocktail Service. “It can actually help balance some of THC’s effects. When I first started writing about CBD, I had colleagues in the nutrition space tell me they didn’t peg me as a ‘stoner’. I was so shocked by how wrong the stigma surrounding hemp is, even in the professional wellness world! We still have a long way to go when it comes to dispelling assumptions that consuming CBD is the same as ‘getting high’.”
Okay, so we’ve established that consuming CBD won’t get us high, but now you’re probably wondering whether this cannabis-derived substance is legal…
Good question! But, while everyone at The Cocktail Service is pretty good fun, we’re not crazy enough to promote illegal activity. So no, CBD is not illegal; the Home Office declared CBD legal to consume, so long as it contains no more than 0.2% THC.
Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s dive into the CBD drinks rush… What’s all the fuss about, then?
CBD’s Health Benefits
Copious studies and individual consumers have argued for CBD’s positive effects on health. Potential benefits include its relaxing, sleep-aiding properties and relief of those all-too-common work stresses and anxieties, as well as treatment for rarer illnesses like severe forms of epilepsy, cancerous brain tumours, ulcerative colitis and type 1 diabetes.
Pretty incredible, right?
And that’s not all! Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, CBD hasn’t been connected with any negative side effects.
Sold? We thought you’d say that… Here’s how you can get your CBD kick.
CBD Drinks at Home and On the Go
CBD Shots: Re+ CBD
Looking for a quick and healthy mood-shifter? These vegan drinks are sugar-, preservative- and gluten-free, and they also contain 25mg of full-spectrum CBD. Not only incredibly healthful, these CBD shots sure pack a punch.
“Our shots are perfect for those who need help unwinding at the end of the day,” Josh Cuby, founder of Re+ CBD told The Cocktail Service. “Our perfect blend of botanical extracts works with the body to help reduce anxiety and stress, giving a better night’s sleep. Re is quick and convenient, and your ideal partner at any time of the day.”
“The taste of the product combined with the branding and packaging, which is 100% recyclable, resonate across all demographics within the healthy lifestyle space. The recommended daily dose of CBD for wellness purposes is 25mg, which is the exact dose in each of our shots,” Josh concluded.
What’s the damage? Seven shots for £20
CBD Coffee: Pot Head Coffee
Coffee buzz without the jitters? Introducing… CBD coffee!
Calling all coffee-lovers, Pot Head Coffee is an online coffee shop selling some of the strongest and best value CBD coffee in the UK (with 10mg of CBD per 10g of coffee). Initially a hemp-free company, Pot Head Coffee is a hit with the CBD and coffee critic.
We caught up with Tristan, the company’s founder and, according to his email signature, self-professed ‘pot head’, to find out more about why and how he and his customers consume their CBD coffee.
Why do people drink CBD coffee?
“A lot of my customers like my coffee because they feel the CBD reduces the negative side effects of too much caffeine” Tristan explained. “I have to agree, but I do also find that too much CBD can make me too relaxed to work!” Tristan continued, laughing.
“I tend to save the stronger infusions for when I want to relax at the weekend, and I’m guessing it’s more of a treat or a way to relax for the majority of my customers.”
How is CBD coffee best consumed?
“The beans can be brewed using any traditional method,” Tristan told us. “Personally, I use a cafetière at home and drink it black. In the summer, I use the same method but keep it in the fridge to make a cold CBD brew. I’ve also made some delicious CBD espresso martinis before.”
What’s the damage? £23 for a 200g bag
CBD Tea: BioBloom’s Hemp Flower Tea
Quintessential Tips is one of the UK’s eco-friendliest and most sustainable hemp providers. Trading in CBD oils, edibles and pastes, Quintessential is a CBD haven, but it’s their CBD tea we’re most fascinated by.
A great introduction for the CBD-curious tea-lover, a hemp BioBloom bevvy provides the perfect opportunity to unwind in the evening as well as potentially offering those powerful medicinal benefits.
BioBloom’s Hemp Flower Tea is made from organic hemp flowers that are harvested and processed by hand. Containing CBD acid (CBDa) and other valuable, non-intoxicating cannabinoids, the tea has been widely praised for its pain relieving and relaxing qualities.
According to the tea’s reviews, drinkers vary from sufferers of chronic arthritis, who rely on the tea for its painkilling attributes, to those who get an afternoon boost from a BioBloom brew.
Feeling inspired? Simply order online, infuse the tea in boiled water, steep for 8-15 minutes and enjoy! Hot tip: sweeten it up with a drizzle of honey.
What’s the damage? £13.99 for 20 tea bags
CBD Sparkling Water: Drink 420
These no-added sugar, CBD-infused, low calorie drinks are giving a new meaning to 4:20 pm. The perfect four o’clock beverage, Drink 420 provides the relaxing and pain-killing health benefits of cannabis, without the high.
Choose between Hibiscus Ginger, Elderflower and Lime and Wild Berries CBD drinks. Hibiscus Ginger is our favourite, for its 2% ginger juice content works anti-inflammatory and antioxidant wonders.
What’s the damage? £27.99 for 12 cans
CBD Beer: Green Times Brewing’s IPA
And for those who are looking for a little light intoxication… CBD drinks don’t get much cooler than Green Times Brewing’s gluten-free, vegan CBD-infused IPAs.
Green Times’s Session IPA has an ABV of 4.1%, and refreshing mango and lime zing, making it the ultimate easy drinker. Packed with natural cannabinoids, the CBD in this drink even helps counter some of the alcohol’s negative side effects.
The best part about this beer company? Consumers aid more than their health when drinking with Green Times as this company takes a stand against climate change, donating part of their profits to anti-deforestation charity Cool Earth.
Buy these beers in bulk on Green Times’s online shop (opening March 2020), or pop down to your nearest stockist to give them a go.
London’s Best Venues for CBD Drinks
Bored of ordering your regular every time you head out for drinks? Give the CBD drinks in these restaurants, cafés and bars a go!
CBD Cocktail at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals
Kick back and relax in the urban oasis that is Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, where displays of eccentric souvenirs adorn the bar and exotic, botanical flavours flood the menu.
Inspired by adventure, Mr Fogg’s quirky CBD-infused cocktail, Bhang, takes intrepid travellers on a journey. The aromatic concoction is curated from CBD oil-washed Ailpus San Juan mezcal, herbal liqueur, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and fresh tarragon. Served in a vintage smoking vessel, Bhang arrives at guest’s tables in a dramatic flurry of smoke. This CBD drink looks bhanging, tastes brilliant and feels even better.
What’s the damage? £14
Location: Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, 48 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1QQ
CBD Beverage at Behind This Wall
Behind This Wall serves some killer CBD cocktails from one of Hackney’s coolest dimly lit basements (and there’s actually a surprisingly large amount of competition for this title…).
According to Behind This Wall’s Alex, the bar’s Suzaku Maru – which is a riff on a pisco sour with a floral, Japanese element – is the most popular CBD cocktail the bar have ever created.
“People are responding well to both the taste and the CBD in the drink,” Alex told The Cocktail Service. “We make our CBD syrups from scratch, and we make them strong to ensure that customers get a high dose of full-spectrum CBD to counterbalance the alcohol. The honey ginger syrup, which we’ve used in this cocktail, is also our most accomplished and popular syrup.”
A collaborated effort, this masterpiece is the result of three members of staff. “Diego worked on balancing the base with pisco and chile,” Alex continued. “Anna developed the sour element from kombucha and ume, and then I balanced the sweet using our CBD syrup, and added some aquafaba to give a saline texture.”
What’s the damage? £12
Location: Basement, 411 Mare Street London, E8 1HY
CBD Drink at Maison Bab
Sucker for a kebab? Considerably more up market than your greasy local, this swanky, Covent Garden-based kebab shop will be sure to settle some cravings. Amidst the offerings of rustic dishes, created from homemade ingredients, you’ll find Gin & Chronic on their menu.
Created from Bombay Sapphire, Azuca CBD sugar and lemon, Maison Bab’s menu describes this CBD beverage as sour to start, then sweet and slightly bitter, and finished on a herbaceous note.
Do proceed with caution, however, as once you’ve experienced the relaxing properties in this CBD drink, you may never see your go-to kebabby the same again.
What’s the damage? £13
Location: 4 Mercer Walk, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9FA
CBD Drinks at Farm Girl Cafe
On a wellness kick? Look no further than London’s Farm Girl. Farm Girl’s Happy Hot Choc, made from cacao, hazelnut milk, date syrup, matcha, peppermint and CBD, is a favourite among the sweet-toothed hemp-lovers.
Or, for an extra £3-£5 (location-dependent), you can add CBD oil to any Farm Girl drinks. So, why not spice up their super healthy (and vegan!) rose and lavender lattes for the ultimate mood-booster?
What’s the damage? £4-£6 for the Happy Hot Choc
Location: Fitzrovia, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Soho and Chelsea branches
CBD Drinks Recipes
We’ve done pop up bars with Mirabeau and run exceptionally popular events with Irish whiskey brands, but now that our clients’ interests in CBD are growing, we’ve consulted the experts to find out how best to cater to this demand.
These are some of our favourite CBD drinks recipes, and how you can make them yourself:
Non-Alcoholic Cranberry Spritzer
Janice Newell Bissex, Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, Culinary Nutritionist and Cookbook Author, helps sufferers of chronic pain find relief through CBD.
The curator of multiple CBD recipes, we thought Janice a reliable source for a good CBD cocktail recipe: “I love making non-alcoholic cocktails with CBD!” Janice told The Cocktail Service. “My go-to is a simple spritzer with cranberry juice, seltzer [carbonated water], freshly-squeezed lemon juice and honey, along with five drops of water-soluble CBD tincture.”
• Five drops of water-soluble CBD tincture
• 1/2 teaspoon honey
• 120ml cranberry juice
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• Carbonated water
“I stir tincture, honey and lemon juice into cranberry juice and then top with seltzer. Happy without the high!”
CBD-Infused Espresso Martini
Inspired by our chat with Pot Head Coffee’s Tristan, we created a CBD-infused espresso martini, using his CBD coffee. https://www.thecocktailservice.co.uk/how-to-make-an-espresso-martini/
• 100ml Vodka
• 50ml coffee liqueur (our preferred is Kahlua)
• 50ml freshly-brewed CBD espresso coffee
• 3 whole CBD coffee beans to garnish
1. Make the espresso using Pot Head’s CBD-infused coffee beans and let it cool down (or ideally even chill).
2. Fill a shaker with ice cubes, add all ingredients, shake it to wake it and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with coffee beans.
With 100 CBD drinks in her book, Carlene kindly shared her favourite recipes with us:
“When it comes to cocktails, I love the simple Hemp Old Fashioned,” Carlene explained, “which plays up the hempy-ness of full or broad-spectrum CBD oils. If you’re a fan of bitter aperitifs, you’d like this one.”
Sounds delicious, hey?
Here’s how Carlene does it:
• 1 large ice cube
• 75ml bourbon
• 15mg CBD double strength simple syrup
• 1⁄8 teaspoon aromatic bitters
• 1 hemp leaf for garnish
1. In a short tumbler, add the ice cube then top with bourbon, CBD syrup and bitters
2. Using a bar spoon, stir drink for 20 seconds
3. Garnish with hemp leaf and serve immediately
Make it a Mocktail
Replace the bourbon with an alcohol-free mixture to make it a mocktail.
Combine 120ml of hot water with one black tea bag and steep for three minutes. Remove tea bag and add 1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and the 15mg measure of CBD syrup. Then swap out the bourbon with 75ml of this mixture.
Roasted Root Broth
“If you’re looking for something warming and healing, the Roasted Root Broth is a great way to clear the fridge of beets and other root vegetables,” Carlene advised.
This vegan CBD broth is flavour-rich and earthy blend of roasted root vegetables, and it’s mind-blowingly good.
• 25g peeled, roughly chopped carrots
• 25g peeled and sliced shallots
• 150g peeled and sliced yellow onion
• 2 small, cooked and peeled beets
• 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
• 600ml water
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
• 15mg CBD full-spectrum oil
1. Preheat oven to 190°C
2. Add carrots, shallots, onions, and beets to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are browned and soft
3. Add vegetables and water to a medium-sized saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat
4. Strain solids using a fine mesh sieve
5. Add lemon, salt, coriander, and CBD to broth. Stir to combine. Serve while hot or store for later
6. To store, pour into a sealed container and place in refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat to serve
Looking for a healthy, hearty meal? Carlene’s tip: “Don’t discard the solids but blend them in with an immersion blender for a savory soup.”