The Bittersweet Valentine

… to Fortify Your Heart

There’s hardly a soul old enough to mix a drink who hasn’t had their heart broken. When you’re in it, you are IN IT. The misery of being human can be painfully sharp when love fades. In the best of scenarios, a supportive network and the blessing of time will slowly remedy a bad case of lovesickness. Still, we all have friends (or are those friends) who are chronically afflicted, always on alert for a glance or a text from “the one.” Despite all the fish swimming by, the world’s greatest love songs weren’t written because moving on is easy. The great Louis Armstrong, a legend in matters of heart and soul, was a firm believer that sometimes you need more than a stiff drink and an OkCupid account. In an era defined by prohibition, Armstrong openly vouched for the healing power of cannabis, calling it, “A thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend.”

If this Valentine’s Day is bittersweet on your heart, double up on Louis’ advice and mix up these spicy chocolate Manhattans, elevated with a float of Papa & Barkley’s medicinal 3:1 THC-CBD tincture. Leaning on the classic bourbon and sweet vermouth formula, the classic cocktail is subtly infused with heat from the cherry bomb pepper and a whisper of chocolate from the Aztec bitters. Though surely no cure-all, it’s a drink to build a dream on.


Bittersweet Valentine Manhattans (Makes Two)


4 ounces bourbon

2 ounces sweet vermouth

8 dashes chocolate bitters (look for Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters)

3-4 thin slices fresh cherry bomb pepper, seeds removed

½ dropper Papa & Barkley’s 3:1 THC-CBD tincture*


Combine bourbon, vermouth, bitters and slices of fresh cherry bomb pepper to a cocktail shaker and muddle (the heat from the pepper is subtle). Add ice and stir. Using a cocktail strainer, strain into two tumblers. Serve with love and enjoy!

*Each drink contains 2.8 mg THC and 1 mg CBD


Emerald contributor since January 1970


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