How To Toast Spices To Enhance Cannabis Drinks
A fantastic way to add some extra flavor to cannabis-infused drinks is toasting whole spices before incorporating them into a recipe. Not only does toasting enhance the aromas and flavors, but it also adds unique characteristics contributing to the depth and complexity of the beverage.
To try this at home, I recommend using the stovetop method since it’s easy to keep a close eye on the heating process versus using your oven broiler. For this method, all you’ll need is a small sauté pan or skillet.
To toast, simply add the spices to the pan and begin to warm over medium heat. As the spices begin to toast, shake the pan or use a spatula to move the spices around to keep them from burning. Typically smaller spices with thin skins only need a minute to toast, but larger spices with thick skins, such as cinnamon sticks, can toast a few minutes longer. Once the spice aromatics begin to fill the air and smell “toasty", remove from heat and empty into a small bowl or ramekin. The goal is to never let your spices smoke! This means they are burning, so stick to low heat and only toast for a short time for best results.
Depending on what your recipe calls for, immediately use the whole toasted spice as an aromatic garnish or crack/grind using a mortar and pestle before mixing with your other drink (or food) ingredients. Some of the best spices to experiment with include cinnamon sticks, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cloves, juniper berries, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds. Remember, all of these spices will compliment cannabis's natural aromas and flavors due to terpenes, particularly beta-Caryophyllene, so have fun with it! Click here for my Terpene & Aroma Pairing Guide.
I encourage you to give this technique a try the next time you’re craving a toasty and spicy cannabis-infused drink!
Header Image: photo by Colleen Eversman for Cannabis Drinks
Spice Image: photo by Jocelyn Morales for Unsplash
About the Author:
Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm and author of The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol and Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home. She is an author, entrepreneur, and writer specializing in cannabis, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. In addition to her work in the cannabis industry, Jamie has over a decade of wine industry experience and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Having represented a wide array of organizations and wineries, she is best known for her literary work and producing high-end events. She was also named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheHerbSomm.