If you delve into history, you will discover that both cannabis and wine have been used around the world for thousands of years, by different cultures. They are, without a doubt, two of the most popular and longest lasting intoxicants. So why not combine the two into a delicious, tasty, soothing and effervescent drink! While the idea of combining cannabis and wine may seem new, the art of infusing marijuana into wine is not. According to Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University, “Ancient wines were always fortified, like the ‘strong wine’ of the Old Testament, with herbal additives… The easy availability and long tradition of cannabis use ensures that it was added to the mixes as well.” To help revive this tradition, we’ve put together a few recipes. In the first recipe, we show you how to enhance wine that you already have in your home. In the second recipe, we show you how to make wine from cannabis, without grapes. To make it even better, it uses cutting residue instead of buds, so it’s a great way to use parts of your harvest that you would otherwise throw away!
RECIPE 1: CANNABIS ENHANCED WINE
This first recipe is a quick and simple way to infuse a good red wine with the warm buzz of cannabis. Ingredients:
- 28 grams of trimmings (cannabis leaves and stems)
- 1 bottle of decent red wine
- 1 orange, cut into segments
- 4 cloves
- 0,25 tsp nutmeg
- 0,25 tsp cardamom
- 0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
Note: The spices are optional, but can add a lot of extra depth to the flavor. Instructions:
- Place all ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Boil the mixture gently, for two hours.
- Strain the wine and serve.
The process of cooking everything together will decarboxylate the cannabis and cause the alcohol to bind in the wine.
RECIPE 2: CANNABIS WINE
This more complicated recipe is for making wine from cannabis and not fortifying a grape wine. Tools for brewing:
- 2 x 5 liter demijohns (basket bottles) to brew
- A water lock for brewing
- A one meter siphon tube
- A thermometer
- Airtight bottles
- Optional: A hydrometer
- At least 120 grams of cannabis clippings (the more, the better)
- 2 oranges
- 1 Lemon
- 1.4 kilo granulated sugar
- 1 fresh yeast cake (not dry yeast) or wine yeast
- Cut/grind your snippets and put it all in one of your demijohns.
- Make juice from your fruit and pour it into the demijohn with the cannabis.
- Pour 3.5 liters of water into a large, non-aluminum, pan and bring to a boil.
- Dissolve all your sugar in the water.
- Pour the water into your demijohn, seal the bottle and shake it well.
- In a separate jug, use some warm water (about 20 degrees Celsius) to dissolve the yeast cake. Note: Yeast works best around a temperature of 15-25 degrees Celsius. Below that it may not ferment, above that it may die.
- Check the water temperature in your demijohn. Once it has cooled enough for the yeast to reach it safely (see above), pour in the yeast mixture.
- Close your demijohn and shake well again.
- Now pour in some more warm water so that the mixture comes almost to the brim (but not quite).
- Place your demijohn in a warm, dark place, such as an air-permeable closet or kitchen cabinet. Most importantly, maintain a healthy temperature for the yeast and a lack of light.
- After a while, you should see bubbles/browning. This is the yeast fermenting in the mix and turning it into alcohol. After a day, when the yeast is busy, place the water seal on the demijohn to seal it. Often you will need to add a little water to your lock, so read the instructions to make sure you do it correctly. This prevents more oxygen from entering your bottle, while allowing excess carbon dioxide, produced by the yeast, to escape. It prevents your cannabis wine from turning into cannabis vinegar!
- The fermentation process can take 2-4 weeks. You will discover that it is finished when the mix stops bubbling. This means that the yeast has done its job. During this period, check the mix every few days, taking off the lock and pushing back any clippings that have risen with a sterilized, wooden spoon. Now you can also take the opportunity to test the wine with a hydrometer. This will give you an idea of the alcohol content. Never shake the mix if fermentation has already begun. Once fermentation is complete, it’s time to siphon the mix so it can be bottled.
Siphon, bottle and store:
- Remove your demijohn from the cabinet and carefully take the bottle to an area where you can work (try not to disturb the sediment too much).
- With your transfer tube, pour the cannabis wine from the demijohn, through the cheesecloth, into your second demijohn. Don’t worry if the mixture is cloudy, this will sink in naturally over time. The cheesecloth should catch larger pieces of clipping residue or sediment that may be poured along with it.
- Place the lock in your new demijohn and put it back in a dark place. Leave the bottle alone for a month. This will allow enough time for the wine to mature and for the sediment to settle.
- After a month, your cannabis wine should be ready to bottle. Prepare your bottles by sterilizing the inside with hot water (at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Again, carefully take your demijohn to an area where you can work. At the bottom, you should see a dark layer of sediment. Be sure not to disturb this layer. If it does, leave the demijohn for about an hour until the sediment has subsided again.
- Remove the lock and carefully place your transfer tube into the wine. You want the end to stay about 2cm above the sediment.
- Carefully pour the wine through your cheesecloth into the bottles.
- Seal the bottles, either with a built-in, airtight seal (as can sometimes be seen with glass bottles), or some melted wax over the cork.
- Although the wine can now be drunk, you should consider keeping the bottles in a dark place for another 6 months. It may taste weird otherwise.
- You may still encounter some sediment in your bottles. No worries if this happens! Be sure to decant the wine into another container before you drink it.
That’s it! You now have homemade cannabis wine. This wine should induce a mild but immersive buzz, where you can chill and relax with loved ones and friends. The buzz is mild because the cannabis has not been decarboxylated, meaning the THC has not been fully activated. That’s also why so many cuttings are needed to induce this mild stone. You can try decarboxylating your cannabis before using it in this recipe if you would like a stronger effect. However, we have not tried this and cannot tell you if, and how well, this works. If you feel like experimenting, you can try it along with this non-decarboxylated version so you can compare the two. Good luck and enjoy your buzz!