ME Chef Zack Squier brings his talents to pot drinks from cannabis cooking


Those of us who remember buying and enjoying cannabis decades ago might find this new world of marijuana quite fascinating. First, it’s now legal in many states, including Maine and Massachusetts, so we don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the slammer if we follow the rules.

And now, instead of inhaling the smoke from the burning of the dried “flower” in a joint, pipe or bong, we can savor cannabis in a tincture deposited on the tongue, topical lotions and edibles like cute little gummy candies. Or, in a BBQ sauce spread over a rack of ribs.

Today, enterprising and talented chefs like Kittery’s Zack Squier apply their culinary skills and innovation to the creation of foods and drinks that contain cannabis. Its Squier’s Specialty Edibles, which include flavorful sauces, elixirs and kitchen products, start with farm-fresh ingredients.

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“In the edible market everywhere, not just in Maine, there are a lot of products that I wouldn’t eat if they didn’t have cannabis, so why would I eat them with cannabis? I really wanted to deliver something that has so much thought, so much care in food, as well as cannabis.

Squier's Specialty Edibles Pink Pineapple Elixir contains cannabis and is used as an ingredient for cocktails.

Squier, a Portsmouth High School graduate who was in the past chef and partner of Fuki in Portsmouth, Umami in Northwood and more recently Stoneface Brewery in Newington, has developed a range of tasty sauces, including Mango-Honey barbecue sauce for those spare ribs, Sweet Chili Sriracha, and for cooking and dressings Organic extra virgin olive oil. But, he said, his focus is on drink mixers which he says sell very well and are a good alternative to alcohol.

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“This is what I do really well. Drinking is a big part of the restaurant industry and it is not a healthy lifestyle. I’m trying to get away from it, so it’s nice to be able to come home and make myself a cocktail, but it doesn’t contain alcohol. You also always have that social aspect for people who want to go to parties and not drink alcohol. They can have a cannabis cocktail with my products and feel like they’re sipping something and not just the person drinking water or soda in the room.

Squier's Specialty Edibles manufactures beverage mixers containing cannabis.

Yet it was those tasty sauces that guided him to the drinks.

“I really started to think about it on the chef’s side, the salty side. I threw up the sriracha and barbecue sauce and made a cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, a kind of infused cranberry and orange chutney. I gave people a recipe with it just in case they weren’t all using it at the table so I pulled out a drink recipe using it and the comments on it were crazy. They asked me for more cranberry sauce, but it was for the holidays, so I thought, “Maybe I got something with these drink mixers that are actually made from real fruit. . “

For his clementine elixir, Squier starts with 80 pounds of clementines and the mango is made from whole fruit rather than purees and concentrates or pre-made fillers. All of its products are made with full spectrum oil grown in Maine.

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“I wanted to give people something that isn’t lemonade, because that’s really all there is on the market. I wanted to give people something that really has a certain quality. “

Squier said that unlike experiences in the past, consumers are able to carefully assess how much cannabis they consume when sipping on his Pink Pineapple Drink Mixer made with Fresh Pineapple, Pink Grapefruit. , lemons, raspberries and organic sugar cane or Maine blueberry-lemon available. in strengths of 200 mg and 400 mg.

“It really hits all the markets on dosage and what people are comfortable taking,” Squier said. “I feel like a lot of people have a misrepresentation of edibles because they ate a high school brownie that was made by someone who has no idea how much cannabis they have. contains. It’s probably a thousand milligrams and they had a terrible experience. I’ve been there. But now people do it professionally, you can regulate how much cannabis you consume. You can start with 2, 5 milligrams and you sort of know what you’re getting into or you can go down to 100 milligrams.

He said that in addition to a more precise dosage, edibles are good for those who don’t want to inhale smoke. Ingesting edibles also results in a smoother and more chewy high, he said.

Currently, Squier’s Specialty Edibles is distributed at Mark’s Organix Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Kittery and although Squier has stated that they are looking to enter the equally legal recreational or adult cannabis market, it may take some time.

“It’s just medical right now. I’m getting into the adult market soon, but it’s hard to find a zoned space for it. It really is a whole new market. The medical has been established for a long time, but the recreational is only just beginning, so setting it up and making it work is a little more difficult than the medical, but it does happen. “

A line of CBD-containing products is also coming up for those who don’t want the psychoactive effects of THC, but still want the benefits of a cannabinoid. He said he would like to expand his product line of sauces and tasty drinks to other New England states, furthering his goal of improving herbal medicine through products, recipes and products. events developed by chefs.

And while cannabis products cannot be consumed on-site at a dispensary in Maine or even in the majority of states in the United States, he is also considering a day of sitting at a bar stool or in a lounge or restaurant means ordering from a cannabis cocktail menu or enjoying a full meal of dishes containing cannabis.

” It’s a possibility. It will take time to relax the laws because at the moment you cannot buy something and then eat or drink it on the spot, but those laws are changing. It’s definitely something I want to get into. Obviously, being a chef my real passion is food and cooking, so I really want to get into infused dinners and cool stuff like that, going back to my culinary roots, you know, once that is established.

Squier's Pink Pineapple Paloma

Squier’s Pink Pineapple Paloma

25 mg per drink

1 ounce Squier’s Pink Pineapple Elixir

½ ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

6 ounces of sparkling water

Sliced ​​limes for garnish

Ice cream for serving

Combine Squier’s Pink Pineapple Elixir and Grapefruit Juice in 12 oz. glass over ice, toss to combine.

Add the sparkling water and the lime slices. Stir and enjoy!

Budtender Tip: Adjust Elixir to your preferred dose. For an extra kick, try Squier’s Extra Strength.

Learn more about Squier’s edible specialties at www.squiersedibles.com.

Squier’s specialty edibles are available for medical marijuana patients at Mark’s Organix, 134 State Road, Kittery, Maine (207) 475-6247 and by visiting brandsorganix.com.

Rachel Forrest

Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner, critic and resident of Seacoast, who now lives in Austin, Texas and Belize. She can be reached at [email protected]

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