BY SUZANNE ZUPPELLO
The summertime cold brew jitters are very real, which is why we’re all for swapping out a few of those weekly coffees for cannabis-infused iced tea. Soon enough, we might even see infused thirst-quenchers in grocery stores and delis, as companies like Coca-Cola explore cannabis drinks. But more on that later. For now,you can—and should!—go the DIY route. Here, you’ll gain a bit of expert intel on how to make cannabis-infused drinks, such as this elevated take on the ultimate respite for a sweltering afternoon: iced tea. The process is fairly simple—you can steep your flower and tea at once, especially if you’re opting for an unsweetened version—and the result is a mellow, thirst-quenching drink you’ll want to sip all summer long. You’ll need to turn on your oven to activate your flower, but once that’s complete, you won’t need much heat to make these chilled beverages.
Tyler Cooke, director of the Eedibles Ddepartment over at NUG, has whipped up a recipe for iced tea that utilizes fresh fruit instead of sugar or honey to add a subtle sweetness to the drink. His recipe includes strawberries, but you can swap them for peaches, blueberries, or even watermelon, and you can utilize any type of tea, though we’re partial to using a green variety in this recipe. Looking for some culinary accompaniment for your beverage? The fruit from the tea pairs nicely with the salty crunch of a BLT, and if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can make your own mayonnaise with infused olive oil. For a more traditional brew sans fruity flavors, Nick Levich, co-founder of Key To Cannabis, likes to use a simple black tea and honey recipe that’s perfect alongside a Greek salad or juicy burger. First, you’ll need to activate the raw cannabis, which means heating it to the temperature that kicks off the carboxyl group and releases the psychoactive properties. Place the flower on a cookie sheet in the oven for 40 minutes at 240°F. Gently rotate and stir the flower every 15 minutes to ensure even toasting. Next, roughly grind the flower; a grinder is great for this,but a sharp knife will work as well—just be careful!
6 tea bags of your choosing
1 basket fresh strawberries (peaches and blueberries work nicely here, too)
2 eighths of your favorite strain
Lemons for garnish
1 stove pot
1 cookie sheet
1 fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
1 long-/handled spoon
Slice your strawberries and set them aside.
Place your ground flower in a large pot and cover with 1 gallon of cold water.
Add your tea bags. Bring to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired strength.
Using the strainer and cheesecloth, pour the tea into a pitcher, removing all the cannabis and tea bags.
While the liquid is still warm,add the sliced strawberries and allow to cool. If you like your tea sweet,you can add agave syrup, honey or sugar. Maple syrup is a fun twist, too!
After the tea is cooled, pour over ice, garnish with a lemon slice,and enjoy!
ICED TEA INFUSED WITH CANNABIS HONEY
From Nick Levich, co-founder of Key To Cannabis
Makes 6 servings, with each servicing (1 cup) containing between 10–-15mg of cannabinoids; the potency range depends on how much honey is added and the potency of the strain your choose. For reference, a single edible serving size in many states is 10mg THC.
6 cups water
6 black tea bags (or 3+ tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea)
1/3–-1/2 cup cannabis-infused honey (recipe follows—- adjust to sweetness and dosage preferences)
Optional: fruit of choice (lemons, peaches, oranges, apricots)
Infused honey simple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup all-natural honey (infused,or plain,depending on your audience)
Your favorite strain, activated
Directions Place simple syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and turn to medium/high heat.
Bring to 150°F and stir until honey dissolves into water.
Pour into a container. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 8 hours to let the herbs infuse even more. Strain before serving.
Bring 6 cups of water to a simmer in a sauce pot and remove from the heat.
Add the loose tea or tea bags and let steep for about 4 minutes, or until it's the strength you like. Leave it in too long and your tea will be overly bitter.
Strain loose tea with a fine-mesh sieve, or remove the tea bags.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cannabis-infused honey until completely dissolved.
Let the tea cool, then transfer to a pitcher, cover and refrigerate.
Feel free to add fruit and citrus slices for added flavor while chilling.
Serve over ice in a tall glass and enjoy!