It took over six months, but chef Clark Grant has finally rolled out four new CBD-infused cocktails at Hogshead, the restaurant he co-owns with Shawn McClenny on the Country Club Plaza. 

Hogshead is one of the first restaurants in Kansas City to jump on this new food and drink trend. This past August, Clark tried to test a single Piña Colada-style cocktail, the "CBDiki," only to be told by Regulated Industries (the Kansas City agency that oversees liquor licenses and liquor establishments) that it was not allowed under the law. 

Last week, the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) issued a statement that as long as CBD oil has no THC, it is legal to use in alcoholic beverages. That was the green light Clark needed to roll out his new CBD-infused cocktail menu, which launched a week ago.

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of hundreds of chemical compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants. It is non-psychoactive, which means it does not contain the potent THC that makes a person feel high. CBD can reportedly be used to treat a wide variety medical issues from anxiety to seizures.

Grant is working with Colorado-based Sacred Leaf CBD oil, which he found has virtually no aftertaste and easily dissolves in drinks. His new CBD cocktails use either this oil or CBD-infused seltzer water from Queen City Hemp, a company out of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Eight to 10 milligrams of CBD is the recommended daily dosage, and each drink at Hogshead has roughly 8 milligrams of CBD. “We are already in the business of monitoring our guests alcohol consumption, and we will be doing the same with our CBD-infused drinks as well,” says Clark.

Each CBD-infused cocktail is $14 and is named after a Wu Tang Clan song. Clark says he can also add CBD oil to any drink on the menu, whether alcoholic or not, for an additional fee.

The "Liquid Swords" is light and refreshing, and is the only cocktail that uses the Queen City lemon-lavender CBD-infused seltzer in addition to rooibos tea-infused Effen vodka and Fee Brothers lemon bitters. The "Killa Bees" is the most balanced drink on the menu, made with local Restless Spirits, Builder’s gin, acidulated orange juice, salted chai-spiced honey and CBD oil.

The drink that started it all, the original "CBDiki," makes an appearance on the new menu, featuring togarashi-infused mezcal, coconut, watermelon, Peychaud’s bitters, mint and CBD oil. Finally, the Ol’ Dirty Fashioned is made with bacon washed Old Grand-Dad bourbon, sorghum syrup, Dale DeGroff pimento bitters and CBD oil, and delivers a depth of flavor any bourbon-lover would enjoy. 

“The overall effects of enjoying a cocktail with CBD oil in are very mild for most people; you literally do not taste it in your drink. It just relaxes you the same way a cocktail would normally relax you,” says Grant. “For some, it can also help you sleep better at night, and ease a variety of minor aches and pains.”

Clark has also released a new menu of non-alcoholic cocktails that he refers to as “crafted refreshments.” Four drinks are available, along with several non-alcoholic craft beers from St. Louis-based Wellbeing Brewing Co., which he also plans to put on tap on March 1 for Lent. 

Working on his crafted refreshments menu, Grant reached out to a bartender at The Monocle in St. Louis. He suggested working with Seedlip, a London-based company that makes water-based distilled “spirits” using a process of macerating and distilling fruit, botanicals and herbs with water in copper stills to get all of the flavor and none of the booze.  

The delicious distillate has zero alcohol, sugar, sweetener or calories, and you can simply add soda or tonic water and drink. Seedlip is available in three flavors: Grove 42 (a citrus and spice blend), Spice 94 (with Jamaican allspice berries, cardamom and a touch of lemon) and Garden 108 (which offers the fresh vegetal flavor of spring peas from the garden). Clark is using all of them in different drinks on his menu, and is hoping to become a distributor for the product in Kansas City.

Hogshead's “crafted beverages” are $7 each and named after songs by the Beastie Boys. These include the "High Plains Drifter" with Seedlip Spice 94, acidulated orange juice and chai-spiced infused honey, which is similar to the Killa Bees on the CBD drink menu. "No Sleep till Brooklyn" drinks like a coffee martini; it features Seedlip Grove 42, nitro cold-brew coffee, maple, orange and chocolate bitters.

Seedlip Garden 108 is used in the "Praying Mantis Style" along with Verjus, celery bitters and English pea simple syrup, which gives the drink its a bright green color. Finally, "The New Style" is designed to mimic whiskey or bourbon, featuring smoked over-steeped black tea, Muscavado syrup, Angostura and orange bitters.

Clark’s greatest hope is that the new menu of non-alcoholic cocktails will take help remove the stigma for the person, who for whatever reason, chooses not to drink alcohol. He also wants to give these guests the same quality experience and service as those who order a traditional cocktail.

“Seedlip is a top quality product, based on the distilled non-alcoholic remedies from The Art of Distillation, a book written in 1651,” says Clark. “Today, these recipes are now being used to make incredible crafted drinks with zero alcohol while still delivering an amazing aroma and flavor. I am proud to be using this product on my drink menu.”

Both of the non-alcoholic and CBD-infused drink menus are now available at Hogshead. 

Hogshead, 4743 Pennsylvania Ave., Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.321.2929, hogsheadkc.com

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Jenny is Feast's contributing editor for Kansas City. She brakes for chef's coats.

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