By John MacNeil, Zenabis Corporate Red Seal Chef
With temperatures raising all over Canada, why not refresh your days with a flavourful Cannabis Drink? This Jalapeño Ginger Lemonade recipe is perfect for infusing with a high limonene strain of Cannabis.
One of my favorite culinary ingredients when cooking with cannabis is citrus fruit. They come in a variety of colourful shapes, sizes, and flavours; even the leaves have a sweet citrus aroma to them. Cannabis plants also share some of these attributes: they are very versatile, from highlighting savoury dishes to sweet applications in tarts, sorbets, lemonade. Naturally, I am drawn to the flavour and aroma of cannabis strains containing high levels of limonene.
Limonene is one of the most noticeable hydrocarbon terpenes that jump out at you when you first open most jars of cannabis, made up of bright citrus notes that are also present in lemons and tangerines. Limonene can also have soft notes of spicy dried juniper, a botanical made famous in the production of the spirit Gin. With warm weather and patio days soon ahead, here is a way to stay cool while keeping it spicy with a Jalapeño Ginger Lemonade. Grab your main squeeze and try something fresh.
We will make an infused jalapeño and ginger syrup and then add to fresh squeezed lemon juice, drinking water (still or sparkling), and crushed ice. If you make the syrup a few days in advance make sure you give it a very good stir. This will help keep the THC/CBD evenly suspended during portioning. Always start low and go slow if inexperienced with consuming or preparing cannabis drinks. Onset times for infused drinks can sometimes be shorter than traditional edibles as the body can absorb and metabolize liquids faster.
Prep time 15min | Cook and Cool time 30-45min
Makes 75mg – 225ml of infused syrup
15 servings – 5mg each*
To prepare the syrup you will need:
To prepare the citrus to be zested, it’s best to wash them under warm water, dry them, then roll them along your cutting board. This will help release the fragrant oils and terpenes that are naturally found in the colourful outer layer of the fruit’s skin. This layer is quite thin and is going to give the syrup the bright lemon flavor. The white layer under the skin is the pith; it’s very bitter and should be avoided for this recipe.
A quick note on using jalapeño peppers: they are very spicy, even on the Scoville scale where they rate between 1,000 to 10,000 units. (For reference, a bell pepper is anywhere from 0 to 100 units.) Take care to use protective eye wear and gloves when handling these. You can substitute for dried jalapeños as this will add heat to your cannabis drink, but you will lose the fresh taste of the spicy pepper.
To make the syrup add lemon zest, granulated sugar, jalapeños, ginger, salt, and water in a medium–sized pot and boil on medium to high heat for approx. 20-25min to release all the flavours. Once the mixture has become viscous, pour it through a fine mesh sieve and let it drain completely, keeping only the drained syrup.
Return the syrup to the stove and add in your cannabis oil or cannabis infused vegetable glycerin. Boil for 5 min, stirring every minute or so. Now leave to cool. Your finished syrup should be sweet and lemony but have background notes of spice. You can add 2 tsp of pickled jalapeño jus to this syrup for an added zing of sour spice to the finished cannabis drink.
Once completely chilled store infused jalapeño ginger syrup in a safe place until ready to use.
To finish your infused Jalapeño Ginger lemonade, you will need:
Put all ingredients in chiller shaker and shake until well mixed.
Pour into sugared kief glass, enjoy.
If decarboxylation is too complex or infusions have you short on time, try substituting ready–to–consume cannabis oil from a licensed producer. Also, if you are new to cannabis, using a commercial oil ensures more precise dosing when making a cannabis drink.
*Cannabis doses vary based on personal preference. This dose is not a recommendation on behalf of Zenabis. For more information on dosing, remember to “start low and go slow” and reference Health Canada for guidance.