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Last Call: Drinking ‘Green’

Posted on  | March 22, 2016   Bookmark and Share
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As an ingredient, hemp has been farmed as a cash crop; lauded by fitness enthusiasts for its 20 amino acids, vitamins A, D and E, and omega 3s and 6s; treated a bit unfairly because of its relation to marijuana; and, now, used in cocktails. Johnny Swet features it in his “Going Back to Cali” at The Rickey in Manhattan. “It’s healthy but cool,” says Swet, “and has a bad boy image even though it’s not bad at all.”

No doubt, the “bad boy” appeal of hemp as a cocktail ingredient stems partially from its relation to marijuana—they are both members of the cannabis plant family. Yet hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects). 

To use hemp in his cocktail, Swet starts with hemp seeds that have been ground into a powder (Hemp Protein Powder is available at health food stores), then purées the powder with avocado, simple syrup and lime juice. Besides the health benefits and the laid-back attitude that hemp brings, Swet notes that it also brings a unique depth of flavor. “There’s an earthy back note to it, sort of like green hay. I get a little bit of the avocado, but I really get the viscosity in the mouth,” he explains. “Hemp doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it gives some backbone to the lime and vanilla as well.”


Going Back to Cali

By Johnny Swet, The Rickey


2 oz Herradura Tequila

2 oz Avocado Purée*

½ oz Tuaca Vanilla Liqueur

Garnish: Lime Wedge and Mint “Bud”

*For purée: Combine 2 diced avocados, 1 pint simple syrup, 1 pint fresh squeezed lime juice, 2 Tbsp ground Hemp Powder; purée in a blender until smooth.


In a shaker, combine the tequila, avocado purée and vanilla liqueur. Add ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass with cubed ice. Garnish with lime wedge and mint bud.


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