CBD-infused cocktails have become one of the industry’s biggest trends, but Danny Jahnke of Chicago’s Flora Hemp Spirits is doing something that really caught our eye: he's introduced CBD into the growing market of non-alcoholic spirits. Genius!
Q: What was it that first got you into cocktails?
Danny Jahnke: I’ve always liked hosting parties, entertaining guests, and wowing them with new and unique things. I’ve always worked in the service industry and love coming up with fun drinks with unique ingredients to entertain my guests at the bar.
Q: What new cocktail discoveries are you exploring right now?
DJ: My main focus lately has been making fun cocktails with CBD and THC rather than alcohol. We created Flora about a year ago and are constantly coming up with new SKU’s and different ideas. Flora is a CBD Spirit made with water soluble CBD that really helps you either relax after a tough day or start your day in a chill mood. Plus it’s got plenty of health benefits!
Q: Why do you think people at home may be intimidated by making cocktails?
DJ: The lack of understanding of how simple cocktails are: you can just take a bottle of Top Note Grapefruit and mix it with tequila and you have a Paloma! Vodka with some lime juice and Top Note Ginger Beer and you have a Moscow Mule! Most cocktails only need two or three ingredients to make and many are interchangeable.
Q: What are some of your favorite cocktails to make at home?
DJ: Penicillin riff: scotch, ginger beer, honey, lemon, and Flora. Mmmm.
Q: What do you take to a party?
DJ: I love showing people new things, so lately I’ve been bringing Flora and Indian Tonic so people can relax while still keeping their edge.
Q: Where do you think the cocktail and bar industry is going?
DJ: I’ve noticed people are more gracious and grateful to have places to go out to. They’re really valuing their experiences, and it’s what bartenders really appreciate about their jobs, as well. The quality of service is only getting better.
Q: What has the pandemic taught you?
DJ: Boxed wine is not that bad… just kidding! Seriously, though, it’s taught me that people are really struggling with making cocktails at home. I was getting text messages and calls everyday asking me what drinks to make. My answer is simple: all you need are quality mixers and decent liquor.
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