The Hudson Standard adds CBD (from Local Hemp) to Your Cocktail
Marianne Courville at the Hudson Hemp farm.
The Hudson standard team: Lily Gile, Emily Woerthman, Marianne Courville, Marcel Reid-Jaques
The Hudson Standard has been crafting some of the most unique and delicious beverage mixers using organic local ingredients since 2014. Now, from its Hudson, New York, kitchen founder, Marianne Courville, there's an added ingredient to the mix… CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of the hemp plant, has been a proven treatment for a number of serious ailments from epilepsy to PTSD and is widely believed to help with many more common health problems like anxiety and insomnia. It does not have the same intoxicating effects as its partner in crime, THC, making it legal to produce in New York, which still only has limited medical marijuana laws.
“Honestly, I’m a true believer in the benefits of CBD,” says Courville who, along with husband Michael Albin, co-owns Hudson Wine Merchants, downstairs from the test kitchen. “I think what it does is remarkable. For me, it just sort of lessens a negative feeling. It doesn’t let my body get stressed.”
Among The Hudson Standard’s new products are CBD-infused Watermelon Chill Shrub (a type of drinking vinegar) and the Hops and Hemp Bitters. Because the ingredient was illegal to use in New York until just a few years ago, the shrub and bitters are some of the first products most have tried with the ingredient, and the flavor profile is refreshingly new.
“We like to call it recreational CBD,” Courville says, adding that she and business partner Emily Woerthman have been having a blast selling the new product at events like Basilica Hudson's Farm + Flea. “Even if you’re not ailing, I think CBD is good for you.”
The Hudson Standard likes to use all locally grown ingredients and the CBD is no different. Courville and Woerthman get their supply from Hudson Hemp, a new nonprofit hemp-farming operation that’s as professional as they come. Courville says the group is trying to be no less than an industry leader in the burgeoning field.
“John Gilstrap (Chief Operating Officer at Hudson Hemp), who we’ve known for years through the store, came in and said he wanted to learn about making bitters with their products. Immediately we realized, well, we can do this now.”
The watermelon shrub uses a chemically pure CBD isolate that has little hemp flavor, but the CBD is brought to the fore by a mellow fruit sweetness and the zip of vinegar.
“We are beyond happy with our flavors,” Courville says. “Emily and I had wanted to do something with watermelon for a while. It mixes great with tequila.”
The Hops and Hemp Bitters is a much more intense flavor. The bitters use a whole plant distillate so the flavor accompanying the CBD is pronounced. If you taste a drop straight, as if it were a tincture, the organic hops hits you hard right away with the bright, leafy bitterness of a high-test IPA. As the flavor blooms on your tongue, the aftertaste is that of a quality marijuana (or, you know, I would assume). Diluted in a cocktail or just in seltzer it adds the earthy elements of fresh greenery.
While there is not a lot of either product left in stock (buy now), The Hudson Standard is already thinking up some winter flavors they can add CBD to. And Courville stresses their other non-CBD offerings are as good as ever and make unique and crowd-pleasing Christmas gifts.
“All the others are like poor siblings to the CBD flavors right now,” she says with a laugh. “I feel bad.”
The Hudson Standard’s whole line of products can be found at specialty stores throughout the region, but when in doubt the website is a convenient place to shop. (If you spend more than $50, shipping is free.)
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