On the 1st day of 2018, at 6am, it officially became legal for licenced establishments to sell and serve marijuana and related products to the public in the state of California. This is an important change in the law that many businesses are quickly taking advantage of and, in the process, giving the local economy a huge boost.

One business that is hitting the headlines is the west Hollywood bar- Gracias Madre, an off-shoot of Newport beach’s famous ‘Café Gratitude’. Situated on Melrose Avenue, this Mexican-style vegan restaurant is now service cannabis cocktails. The three cocktails currently available to order from the bar are the brain-child of bartender Jason Eisner and are a take on traditional cocktails seen all over the world, the main difference being the addition of CBD oil to each of them.

CBD oil or cannabidiol is derived from the stems and stalks of the hemp plant, but unlike marijuana that is produced for smoking or baking into ‘hash brownies’, it contains no THC, which is the substance responsible for giving people the sensation of ‘getting high’. There is growing evidence that CBD has many medical benefits including; reduced anxiety, better concentration and wakefulness, pain management, helping with depression and it may even have cancer fighting properties.

The three cocktails currently on offer are;

The Stoney Negroni- As in a traditional Negroni, this cocktail includes Gin, Vermouth & Amero, but instead of Campari, they use Contratto Aperito to lower ABV while maintaining the distinctive flavour. A spoonful of Port is stirred in to balance the bitterness of the CDB.

The Rolled Fashioned- A different take on the Old Fashioned, with the addition of Sarsaparilla syrup and, of course, CBD oil. This cocktail comes complete with a vegan Churro garnish attached to the glass in a dime bag with a mini clothes peg and has an added hint of cinnamon.

The Sour T-iesel- A Tequila Sour cocktail with vegan egg white, made in-house, called Aquafaba. It contains Tequila Blanco, lime Juice, Agve Nectar, mint & sage leaves and a dash of salt. The drink is then strained into a coup glass and topped off with a stencilled hemp leaf design for decoration.

All the cocktails are available at the Gracias Madre West Hollywood bar for $20 a glass.

Jason Eisner says that adding CBD oil to his cocktails gives them a ‘fuller and almost buttery flavour’, bringing out different notes from the ingredients in each cocktail. He sources all his CBD for the west Hollywood bar from a 100% organic cannabidiol producer in San Diego to guarantee the quality of his ingredients. Those wishing to try one of the cannabis cocktails do not need a medical marijuana card, they just need to be able to prove they are over the legal drinking age of 21. Although there is no psychoactive THC in the cocktails, they do still contain alcohol so be sure to arrange alternative transport home!