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How To Make Cannabis-Infused Alcohol

Enjoy responsibly. It's called “green dragon” for a reason. This recipe is part of our Danksgiving party menu.

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Cannabis Infused Alcohol, “Green Dragon” (Nitrous Method)

There are many recipes available for preparing cannabis infused alcohol. In researching, I found a lot of "old school" methods that call for mixing dried cannabis with a high-proof alcohol then storing the mixture in a dark cabinet for days or weeks, shaking occasionally. There are two problems with methods like this: First, over time, a lot of the plant material will break down into the alcohol and you end up with a thick, murky liquid with a very strong cannabis flavor – which isn't always the most appealing or palatable. Secondly, any recipe that doesn't apply heat to the cannabis to decarb it, isn't going to capture the full potency of your cannabis and ends up just wasting perfectly good weed (No!). I want an infusion that's potent but clean-tasting enough to mix well in a cocktail. I found my inspiration for the recipe below in this Popular Science article.

Like all extractions, you can increase or decrease the amount of cannabis for the desired potency. I went with a lighter dosage for my rum infusion because it was part of a larger Danksgiving menu and I wanted my guests to make it through the whole meal, not fall into deep couch-lock after one cocktail.

By increasing the amount of cannabis to an ounce or more (depending on the parts and potency of the plant), similar methods (such as this one) can be used to make a cannabis tincture: a potent concentration, applied in a few drops sublingually (under the tongue) or in a glass of water. I made a more potent vodka-based infusion using this same nitrous method in order to make my cannabis-infused honey, which you'll see in a later recipe.

INGREDIENTS

10 grams of cannabis (based on my mix of small buds, trim and some leaf)

500 ml high proof alcohol (the higher the better – minimum 80 proof). I used Myer's Original Dark Rum

Equipment

A 500ml heat-tolerant whipped-cream whipper

One nitrous oxide charger

A double boiler large enough to fit the whipper bottle

A fine mesh strainer, or a strainer with cheesecloth

DIRECTIONS

1. Pre-heat oven to 240°F

2. Spread out cannabis onto a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with either aluminum foil or parchment paper to make the next steps easier)

3. Bake for 30 to 60 minutes to decarb (I baked mine for 40 minutes).

4. Roughly break up any large pieces of cannabis.

5. Place cannabis and rum in the whipper bottle (having the cannabis on foil or parchment paper would help make transferring into the bottle easier here).

6. Close container and charge with one canister of N2O according to the instructions.

7. Let sit for 5 minutes.

8. Vent out the pressurized gas.

9. Stir the mixture to allow all the remaining gas to bubble off. Let sit for a few minutes.

10. Place sealed container in a double boiler and let simmer for an hour.

11. Strain the solids out of the liquid and discard. The remaining liquid is nitrous green dragon.

12. Enjoy responsibly – It's called "green dragon" for a reason.

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