For many, cannabis use and alcohol may have only crossed paths once at a high school party or a college-dorm rager. Unfortunately, in those experiences you might have been met with a flat-warm beer or a unknown mixture of jungle juice. Although these times haven’t passed for many, those of us who have refined our palate tend to appreciate the finer tastes of life. Whether it be paring a single malt with a pineapple kush or delving into Leafly’s wine and weed guide, elevating our knowledge will lead to great conversation and an even greater appreciation for flavor.
The Three Sensational Species of Cannabis
Many Sativa strains have uplifting ‘head high’ effects that can be great for an active lifestyle or staying engaged during social situations.
Indica strains are the typical ‘couch lock’ or low energy strains that have high-analgesic or pain-relieving effects. Additionally, indicas are very good for stress and insomnia, usually allowing the user to lower their heart rate and have a general feeling of relaxation.
Hybrid strains are a mixture, in different percentages, of a sativa and an indica. These kinds of strains can vary in their effects quite significantly. Always do your research or ask your local dispensary about what strain is right for you.
**Warning – Please enjoy alcohol responsibly. Mixing cannabis and alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly – in all seriousness, know your limits and be careful. That being said, let’s dive in and look at the best cannabis and booze combinations.
“I only drink beer…”
For the loyal beer drinkers out there, enjoy the following combinations:
- Pineapple Express & Hoegaarden
Although this pairing seems almost too easy, don’t let its obvious nature pass you by. It’s not only a flavor of beer that pairs well with this energetic euphoric smoke, but the wide rimmed glass is also so closely associated with this kind of witbieren (German for wheat beer). The large surface area allows the drinker to continually smell the peeled orange and crushed coriander lurking in this cloudy beverage. This a great pairing for a Sunday BBQ, dinner engagement, or even the beginnings of a night painted red.
- Matanuska Thunder F*ck & Chocolate Porter
Matanuska Thunder F*ck’s earthy aroma and sweet flavoring make it the perfect smoke to enjoy with a dark beer like Porter. To up the intensity and smooth out the harsh smoke, pair it with something more specific like Boulder Brewery’s chocolate porter. A strong body buzz gives this sativa a powerful yet slow starting high. Take care with the amount used, as alluded to in the name, this strain gets a bit electric. If the effects start to dry out your palate, keep a glass of water handy to hydrate, which is especially necessary when drinking higher percentage alcoholic beverages.
Combos For Workaholics
It’s Friday night. Finally.
For those of you who’ve been looking forward to the weekend celebration to blow off some steam after a long week of hard work, we’ve got the perfect pairs for you.
- Afgoo & Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2013
A pairing for those creative workaholics that spend more time at their desk then in their bed. Take off the tie, kick off your shoes, and roll up your sleeves…then roll up some of this Maui Haze descendant. Pour into a clean wine glass and this South Australian favourite will show some bite. Crispy pepper and a light-coating finish match perfectly for those just ending a big day of deals or a long traffic commute. Don’t worry about over-consuming, Afgoo should have you slumbering into la-la land before you can imbibe too much.
- Fire OG & Limoncello
This Californian Hybrid is heavy on the Sativa, which makes it the perfect companion for an after-dinner lift. Not surprisingly, Fire OG’s lifting highs and citrus flavorings pair well with Limoncello. This ‘digestivo’ is made from the lemons from the Amalfi coast in Italy and provides a very intense lemon flavor with a sweet lasting finish.
Ready to go out until the sun rises? These combos will suit you well.
- Maui Waui & Jameson and Ginger
A classic sativa that lowers stress and improves mood, Maui Waui’s high has short-lasting effects which matches perfectly with this East Asian infused Irish cocktail. The mellow smoke blends well with the prickly taste of ginger. Better whiskeys can be used for this cocktail, but the blended Irish product retains it’s smokey flavorings in a cocktail mix where other whiskeys may get lost.
- Silver Surfer & Soju
If you are the thrill-seeking head of a pub-crawl or the leader of a roaming band of nightlife seekers, this may be the perfect pairing for you. As a general rule of thumb, this classic Korean beverage is meant to be shot, never sipped. Any intrepid Seoulite sitting on the ground outside their neighbourhood KimBap Chun Kuk (there is also one in Coquitlam, B.C.) will know the proper serving sizes and accompanying glassware: drink until it’s gone, straight from the bottle.
*Pro Tip: Uplifting highs go well with games, so try the game of the death or one of the many other great Korean drinking games.
- Willie Nelson & Tequila
Despite this Sativa’s namesake distancing from alcohol, this Cannabis Cup winning bud is a great pre-game for any big birthday bash or on-the-border blowout. It gives a very uplifting high that should make gathering any slow-moving compatriots a simple task. Grab a decent bottle of 100% agave tequila like Tapatio or El Jimador and start your celebrations with a tangy margarita or enjoy a chilled-neat to get the best of the citrus aroma to match this uplifting bud.
- Anesthesia & Caeser
After a long night of libations, you may find yourself waking up the next day to a common affliction: a hangover. Fear not, as this pairing is a surefire fix for your symptoms. As the name suggests, this indica is not the ‘get-out-and-do-things’ strain. If you can make it to the couch (if you aren’t there already), wave over your bartender roommate and order up this Canadian summer classic. The punchiness of the Clamato juice combined with a fresh stick of celery will give you the energy to grab your closest pipe and recover.
So there you have it! These alcohol and cannabis pairings provide fantastic ways to wind down or spark up. Many of the above strains are readily available at local dispensaries for qualified medical users. Enjoy mixing and matching your own flavors to share with friends!
Writer Bio: Anthony Franciosi was born and raised in New Jersey until 2008 when he moved to Colorado to become a marijuana farmer. Since then, Anthony has founded HonestMarijuana.com, an organic marijuana growery. Outside of work, Anthony can be found high up in the mountains on his snowboard.