Discerning Portland potheads are already familiar enough with Bend-based Magic Number's line of resin-spiked sodas, candy-sweet tinctures and flagship ginger beers. So when we caught wind of its limited-edition, seasonal run of Magic Bubbly, a $36, 750 ml bottle of cannabis-infused sparkling cider, we knew exactly what had to be done.
I would have to take it to my squad's annual five-guest holiday party.
Every year—yes, including this one—my pod and I get together sometime between Hanukkah and Christmas to watch RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular. It's a weed-infused annual tradition, so I figured Magic Bubbly would be a welcome addition.
My quarantine crew is made up primarily of career stoners, some who booze, others who abstain, and some in recovery. There's a lot of crossover and teetotaling, so the product seemed as if it would fit right in with the other bottles on the host's kitchen counter, ranging from Rumplemintz and microbrews to eggnog and coffee.
At least, that was my assumption. Here's how it went.
Weed was already in the air by the time I'd wrested the cap from the top of the Magic Bubbly bottle. The wire that secured the cage to the bottleneck snapped halfway through twisting it free, requiring pliers to finish the job.
A bottle of Magic Bubbly contains 50 mg of THC, so it was relatively easy to deliver approximately 10 mg into every guest's mug. Heavier smokers got a heavier pour, while the novice tokers of the group got a more restrained splash. Only one guest was disappointed to see that the bottle was full of sparkling cider and not champagne. That guest got a very reserved splash.
Upon our first sips, we all swooned over the dry, floral notes of hibiscus and elderflower layered within the crisp sweetness of fresh-pressed apple cider. None of us detected even a hint of the Pink Lemonade live resin that medicated the cider, which sent one homie into a tailspin.
"This tastes like the stuff you give to kids at a holiday party," she said. "It tastes like a fancy farmhouse cider you'd keep in your cabinet for sober people to drink on New Year's."
We brainstormed the drink's potential as a cocktail mixer. It's drier than classic celebration ciders but still retains a soft, round sweetness. We figured a splash of club soda could unbraid the floral perfume from the dense smack of the apple, and that would make room for a stiff shot of spiced rum or aromatic liqueur.
The amount of THC per bottle would also make it a nice addition to an intimate evening with one or two others, and pothead partners with no attraction to traditional champers could share it on New Year's Eve. If a body had enough of thirst, sweet tooth and high tolerance, they could probably polish off a bottle to themselves in one sitting without going catatonic.
Nearly 45 minutes after we'd all drained our mugs, the cider was working its full magic.
We scream-laughed at raunchy Christmas raps, gorged ourselves on baked goods, and spent way more time puzzling over the Hot Box game cards I'd just introduced than we would have on any other evening. The body highs were loose and languid across the board, while the head highs seemed to hit everyone in their own particular way. For instance, I felt dreamy and euphoric, while another homie spaced out for a while trying to locate a kitten holiday video on the big screen. Another forgot several times how many people were in the room: five—always just five.
"This isn't for the office party, it's for the office after-party," was one homie's hot take.
"Weed people need way more weed," offered another. "If you brought this to a party full of potheads, I think the consensus would be that this is, ahem, cute."
HOW WE SPENT OUR HIGH
After the Holi-Slay special drew to a close, our small party gathered on the sectional sofa for a game of Hot Box, the stoner version of Cards Against Humanity. After the last round, now two hours and a handful of joints since we'd drained our mugs, I checked in with the squad.
Homie #1 was curled in a cuddle puddle with his pets. Homie #2 was claiming the Magic Bubbly's effects were lost on her, but I could clearly see one eye drooping shut while the other brightened to keep up with her exhortations. Homie #3 and I giggled as we reexamined the most cringy of the Hot Box answer cards. Homie #4's eyes were so low, cheeks so rosy, and grin so wide, he could have sat in for Stoner Santa.
These effects couldn't be attributed to the Magic Bubbly alone, but I'm sure the sparkling cider could be credited with delivering at least a modicum of syrupy glee—as well as something to festively deliberate over. By the end of the night, roughly 3.5 hours after a 10 mg dose, there was only a small layer of euphoria remaining, but it was enough to make the bike ride home gently exhilarating.
As a seasonal commodity, a bottle of Magic Bubbly would be a considerate addition to a small cocktail party with a diverse intersection of smoking and nonsmoking guests. For some, it would be a novelty and for others an event, but either way, it's a contemporary way to jazz up a standard wet bar.
GET IT: MindRite, 1780 NW Marshall St., 503-477-4430, mindritepdx.com.