High Country: Terpene tonics from Kitchen Toke | AspenTimes.com

High Country: Terpene tonics from Kitchen Toke

Two citrus cocktails with a twist to shake up at home.

Katie Shapiro
High Country
Terpenes are the essential oils of plants (think basil, citrus or lavender — cannabis included).
Eva Kolenko/Kitchen Toke

We haven’t caught up with Kitchen Toke magazine since founder Joline Rivera’s crowd-wowing debut of Red Belly Honey during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last fall. Now in our third year of collaboration, the latest installment of High Country’s quarterly recipe series with Kitchen Toke magazine dove into the archives for a deeper look at terpenes.

When a bartender twists that narrow strip of lemon or orange peel to garnish a cocktail, a tiny spritz of oil bursts into the air, releasing the fruit’s aroma. It’s in that moment when you’re not only experiencing the anticipation of the drink, but also the effect of terpenes.

Terpenes are the essential oils of plants (think basil, citrus or lavender) — cannabis included — responsible for a unique scent and flavor. Containing zero THC, terpenes are where the majority of health benefits lie and can still affect your state of mind like using essential oils in aromatherapy.

“Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant,” said John Korkidis, founder of Chron Vivant, in Kitchen Toke (Volume 2, Issue 4). “Perfumists have been using compound terpenes for decades, and it’s only recently that consumers have discovered their existence and importance. Terpenes allow me to add the nose of cannabis or combine it with other herbal ingredients. I like to use them more as a mood enhancer.”

Korkidis uses cannabis-derived terpenes, as well as steam-distilled ones from other plants, which are easier to find, less expensive (starting at around $14 per ounce) and have the same profiles. Similar, federally legal products are available online from companies like True Terpenes and Terpene Botanicals.

Whether you challenged yourself or not last month, here are two terpene cocktail recipes (courtesy of Korkidis) to try in celebration of saying goodbye to Dry January.


Tangie Sour
Eva Kolenko/Kitchen Toke


• 2 ounces rye whiskey

• 1 egg white

• 3⁄4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

• 1⁄2 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice

• 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup

• 0.25 ml Sour Tangie terpenes

• Orange slice or peel to garnish


• Shake ingredients (except terpenes) in a container.

• Add a large cube of ice and shake again until thoroughly chilled.

• Strain into a lowball or coupe glass and add terpenes to the top of the foam.

• Garnish with an orange slice or peel.


Terp 75
Eva Kolenko/Kitchen Toke


• 0.25 ml limonene terpene

• 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup

• 1⁄2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

• Dry sparkling wine

• Lemon twist


• Add terpene to an empty flute or coupe glass, followed by simple syrup and lemon juice.

• Top with chilled, dry sparkling wine.

• Garnish with a twist of lemon.


Caryophyllene: With notes of black pepper and baking spices, this is found in Rockstar and Skywalker OG cannabis strains. It has a calming effect; used to combat anxiety, pain and inflammation.

Humulene: Common in White Widow and Girl Scout Cookies strains, hoppy humulene has earthy, woody aromas and herbal notes. It’s known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Limonene: With a citrus profile, limonene is found in Lemon Haze, OG Kush and Tangle. It’s used to lift mood and relieve stress.

Linalool: Found in the Lavender OG and LA Confidential strains, this terpene has floral aromas and promotes relaxation.

Pinene: With notes of pine needles and herbs, pinene is found in Bubba Kush, Jack Herer and Trainwreck strains. It’s said to promote alertness and reduce inflammation.

Myrcene: Earthy and sometimes skunky, myrcene is found in the Kosher Kush and White Widow strains. It’s used as a sedative, anti-depressant and sleep aid.