Are You Paying Too Much for Your CBD Cocktail?

Probably, but not by too much.

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Old fashioned cocktail garnished with orange peel and cherry on wooden table with black background. Surrounded by fresh orange slices and a muddler.
How much are you willing to pay for a little something extra in your old fashioned (and we don't mean the cherry)? / David Cabrera Navarro © 123RF.com

Better Bitters,” which appeared in our last issue, noted the calming effects of CBD bitters and the opportunity for operators to charge more when using them in cocktails.

That didn’t sit well with Todd, who was agitated enough to fire off an email to us in response to the $18 CBD old fashioned cited in the story. “Hemp and CBD aren’t (shouldn’t be) that expensive,” he wrote. “An $18 old fashioned? Yeah, no, not for me or my friends.” When we asked what he’d be willing to pay, he stuck to his messaging: “It’s less than $18, for sure.”

In the face of this logic, we conducted a highly scientific, double-blind, peer-reviewed study (we did an Instagram poll) asking both consumers and industry folks how much they’d pony up for a CBD old fashioned. Responses ranged from $10 to $20, with the average coming in at $14.83. Surprisingly (to us), there wasn’t much variation between what the general public and the pros would be willing to spend; less than 10 cents separated the average responses of the two groups. (Data geeks can find our super-scientific graphs below.)

Some illuminating—or not so much—comments we got:

  • Zero. ‘Til there is some science on mixing booze with CBD, I think this is a bad idea.
  • $16 in a bar, $8 in a can.
  • Not much more than a regular old fashioned…CBD is cheap.
  • Depends what bourbon is in it.

So congratulations, Todd: You’ve been vindicated! Anything over $15 is, in fact, too much to pay for a CBD old fashioned. Bartenders and operators, your job is now to find those people who throw Jacksons around willy-nilly, or are willing to pay a premium for bourbon aged in a 1,200-year-old barrel that Napoleon Bonaparte rolled around in. Get on it.

Graph showing all responses to how much would you pay for a CBD old fashioned?

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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