CBD Cocktails? Yes, please.

“As a mother and entrepreneur trying to juggle everything, I was feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis,” says Jewel Zimmer, founder of Juna, a Bay Area–based line of CBD products. “I was looking for relief, but wasn’t interested in a pharmaceutical option that would potentially leave me with unwanted or long-term side effects. I was introduced to CBD in late 2015 as a plant-powered solution to stress and never looked back.”

Zimmer, a sommelier and fine-dining pastry chef, launched her first business, {cocoa} absolute, at Barneys New York in 2009 and gained international success almost immediately. That’s when she realized she had hit the sweet spot by combining food with botanicals and, so, a few years later, her foray into CBD was a logical next step.

The popularity of CBD has been on the rise since it was first introduced to the market, but now brands are going the extra mile teaching curious consumers how to creatively incorporate it into their lives. (CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical in the cannabis plant that does not give a high.) And with the substance known to help with a wide range of ailments that many of us suffer from, it makes sense that the herbal remedy is becoming our over-the-counter treatment of choice.

“The magic behind CBD is that its entire job is to restore balance so that the body can perform as optimally as possible. It activates our body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS),” Zimmer says, adding that the ECS is a network of receptors throughout the body and brain that are known to regulate key functions such as pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immunity and reproductive function. “By incorporating CBD into our body daily, we supercharge our own naturally producing ECS and are able to restore and maintain balance in the areas that need it most. For so many of us this includes reducing inflammation (think brain fog), stress, sleep and hormones.”

jewel zimmer
Jewel Zimmer

While CBD comes in a couple of different forms — balm, drops and capsules are among the most popular — Zimmer prefers to work with drops when she is crafting food and drink recipes.

There really is no wrong way to experiment but Zimmer does have a few pointers: “I either look to enhance the herbal, floral or citrus flavors that come from our tinctures or I try and blend them in. I love warm turmeric apple cider with our Ease drops, which blend in perfectly and mask the CBD flavor altogether. I keep my Balance drops next to my Chemex coffeemaker and it’s become habitual to drop them into my coffee every morning. It sets the tone and eliminates caffeine jitters. I also regularly add to salad dressings, green juice and my kids’ smoothies,” she says.

Wondering where to start? This recipe should do the trick.


  • Strawberries one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which supports healthy immune function and helps reverse cell damage from sun exposure.
  • Citrus rich in vitamin C and flavonoid polyphenols, which scavenge free radicals, improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, suppress inflammation and have antiaging properties.
  • Mint stimulates the production of enzymes that quicken digestion and the production of the relaxing, antidepressive compound linalool.
  • Tequila rich in probiotics and a sugar called agavin that lowers blood sugar rather than spiking it. 
  • Balance CBD provides an optimal ratio of bioavailable cannabinoids, antioxidants, and terpenes, all of which enhance relaxation and cancel-out alcohol-induced inflammation.


Citrus Strawberry Mint CBD Margarita

This is the consummate spring cocktail. Enjoy it during your next Taco Tuesday or socially distanced happy hour, especially at this time of year when citrus is juicy and strawberries are at their best.

Mood: Lifted, excited, enhanced social curiosity

Serves 2


12 strawberries, green tops removed

6 mint leaves

juice of 2 lemons and of 1 blood orange

3 tablespoons agave nectar

2 droppers full of Juna Balance

4 ounces silver tequila or 6-ounce Topo Chico (for a nonalcoholic option)



To Make

  1. Combine strawberries and 4 mint leaves in a blender. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Pour into a cocktail shaker. Add lemon, blood orange, agave, Balance CBD drops, tequila or Topo and ice. Shake for 60 seconds.
  3. Divide into two glasses, rimmed with equal parts sugar and salt. Garnish with remaining mint leaves. Enjoy!