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I LO S A N G E L E S D EC 2019

HAIL THE

QUEEN

Olivia Alexander reveals what makes her products—and all who use them—royalty ›››

WINTER WOES How to keep your holidays merry and bright

SOBER CURIOUS Why next-gen parties are alcohol-free


C11-0000499-LIC


®

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CALL US: 800-4FOXFARM

VISIT US: FoxFarm.com


LOS ANGELES SENSI MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

sensimediagroup @sensimagazine @sensimag

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F E AT U R E S

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Woke, Not Wasted

What is the sober-curious movement, and can sobriety really be fluid? SPECIAL REPORT

Haute Highs

How luxury has gone to pot

D E PA R T M E N T S

9 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 THE BUZZ News, tips, and tidbits

to keep you in the loop PART OF THE ART Flutter invites you to join in on the whimsy. LADY-MADE wellness balms sourced from LA SENSIBILITIES Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month

32 THE LIFE Contributing to your

health and happiness QUEEN QUALITY You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy high-caliber cannabis. LET’S DO BRUNCH Three options for your next #SundayFunday

40 THE SCENE Hot happenings and hip

hangouts around town CALENDAR Squeeze the very last drops out of the 2010s with these cultural events and celebrations. TIMELESS TOASTS Drinks that fit any time of year (including the New Year).

50 THE END

Expert tips and reassurances for surviving the holidays

ON THE COVER Olivia Alexander, the founder of Kush Queen PHOTO BY DAVIS MULLER

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A DV I S O R Y B OA R D

Autumn Brands Cannabis Cultivation

Perennial Whole Plant Products

Clark Neubert, LLP Legal

Red Rock Fertility Fertility Doctor

Coachella Labs Manufacturing

Stewshi Apparel

Dragyn CBD/THC Wholesale

TruSolis Technologies Commercial Lighting

Flourish Software Distribution Management

Undoo Overconsumption Relief

Genius Products T, Inc. Recreational Cannabis Products

Vriptech Luxury Vaporizer

Hemp Love Nano-Enhanced Hemp Oil Hybrid Payroll (Ms. Mary Staffing) Staffing & HR Benefits

FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA FACE BOOK Like Sensi Media Group for the parties, topics, and happenings we’re obsessed with right now.

Ikanik Farms Cannabis Distribution Inclusive Cannabis Marketing Independence Risk Solutions Cannabis Insurance Specialists Integrated Benefit Consultants Employee Benefits

T W I T TER Follow @sensimag to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Sensi cities.

LINX Card Merchant Services Next Level Prerolls Cannabis Culture ONIT Sciences Cannabis Investments

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I NSTAG RAM @sensimagazine is home to exclusive photos and content.


Magazine published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2019 Sensi Media Group. All rights reserved.

EXECUTIVE Ron Kolb CEO ron@sensimag.com Tae Darnell President tae@sensimag.com

I

Alex Martinez Co-Chief Operations Officer alex@sensimag.com

Mike Mansbridge Co-Chief Operations Officer mike@sensimag.com EDITORIAL Stephanie Wilson Editor in Chief stephanie@sensimag.com Doug Schnitzspahn Executive Editor doug.schnitzspahn@sensimag.com Dawn Garcia Regional Editor dawn.garcia@sensimag.com Leland Rucker Senior Editor leland.rucker@sensimag.com

Robyn Griggs Lawrence Editor at Large robyn.lawrence@sensimag.com Helen Olsson Copy Editor Rachel Svoboda, Lori Tobias Contributing Writers DESIGN Jamie Ezra Mark Creative Director jamie@emagency.com Rheya Tanner Art Director Wendy Mak Designer Kiara Lopez Designer Josh Clark Designer Jason Jones Designer em@sensimag.com PUBLISHING Mark Basser Publisher mark@sensimag.com B U S I N E S S /A D M I N Kristan Toth Head of People kristan.toth@sensimag.com Amber Orvik Director of Administration amber.orvik@sensimag.com Andre Velez Marketing Director andre.velez@sensimag.com Neil Willis Production Manager neil.willis@sensimag.com

EDITOR’S NOTE

I don’t know about you, but for me

it seems like 2019 flew by so fast it was hard to catch a breath. Throughout every issue we’ve shared, the one truly extraordinary aspect is the sheer wonder of everything we’ve learned, experienced, and seen. This December issue marks the beginning of a new Sensi era as we launch a brand-new design. Change is one of humanity’s greatest adaptations, and we hope you love the new design as much as we do. Our industry has grown and extended into so many different markets, including healthcare, luxury living, environmentalism, beauty, and fashion, and it’s something to celebrate. Cannabis has come a long way, and as stringent laws become more focused on creating safe and reliable product, encouraging medical and recreational discovery one state at a time, cannabis is becoming less “scary” and more commonplace. Considering how short a time span it’s been since its legalization, that is worth high-fiving. As we enjoy the final month of a wonderful, bizarre, newsfilled year, looking back on those we’ve highlighted—leaders of industry, innovators, visionaries, artists, and more—one thing can be said with total certainty: people can be phenomenal and impactful. This issue is filled with change-makers. Meeting the woman behind a highly successful cannabis line, getting schooled on the many layers of the mushroom world, taking a bite out of LA, and exploring life without the beer goggle lens, this issue is a fun way to bid farewell to one year and usher in a new one. In the words of Goran Persson, “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”

As we look back on the final month of a wonderful, bizarre year, one thing can be said with total certainty: people are phenomenal.

We are always here for you.

Hector Irizarry Distribution distribution@sensimag.com M E D I A PA R T N E R S Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Dawn Garcia @dawngarcia DECEM BER 2019

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CONTRIBUTOR

Dawn Garcia

THE

Be Luminous Los Angeles invites you to be a part of the art. It’s said that doing art or a form of craft project is not only good for the soul, it may also lower the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, even more so than just reading books, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic. This festive season, Angelenos are invited to spend two hours exploring their more youthful and creative side at Flutter. Flutter is a fully immersive art experience intended to bring a 10 LOS A N G E LES

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sense of wonder and joy that will last beyond the pop-up art installation. Partnering with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Flutter is geared toward fostering the mental wellness of youth and adults. “Together we’ve created an interactive experience that will uplift your soul and immerse you in your own world of art,” explains Flutter’s website. The exhibition features mul-

tiple spaces designed to engage visitors through creative rooms brought to life by global artists. This show features artists Elise Peterson, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jillian Mayer, Job Piston, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Katie Stout, Laia Cabrera, Isabelle Duverger, Leah Guadagnoli, Liz Collins, Saya Woolfalk, and Cyril Lancelin. Each artist has put their own spin on their rooms, including Stout’s


“Sphinx in My Garden,” which is “a labyrinth of tautological holes and mirrored facades that loop back to the question, What’s real?” There is also “Stay a While” by Guadagnoli, a colorful homage to the geometric oddities in the design and art of the 1980s. The room has colored pencils and paper to encourage you to create your own patterns. Each room located in this 6,000-squarefoot space offers a sensory journey utilizing interaction with bright colors, playful settings, large-scale sculptures, luminous light installations that enhance your mood and introduce a sense of permanence and structural design, and more. Located five minutes from the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), Flutter is an invitation to tap into your weirdness and embrace your curiosity, your sense of wonder, and your need for positivity. Through art and kindness, Flutter offers a collective space of belonging. Flutter is in Los Angles through December 29. flutterexperience.com / Tickets, $32–$99 plus processing fee

BY THE NUMBERS

$1.035 TRILLION IN SPENDING

is estimated this holiday season, up 3.7 percent from 2018. Source: eMarketer

1⁄2

OF ALL PURCHASES in the US are made online. Source: eMarketer

30% OF ADULTS

consume energy drinks. That number is 68% for adolescents and 18% for children under 10. Source: European Food Safety Authority

4.9

MILLION

CANADIAN ADULTS USED CANNABIS in the past three months.

TASTY NEW SUPERFOODS These nut butters are plant-based, natural, and damn good.

Butterfly Superfoods is an alternative nut butter company that’s sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and organic. And sure, normally that would translate to something less than tasty, but Butterfly Superfoods are anything but dull. Founded by Jared Talla, these nut butters are made with a blend of walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, and MCT oil. “I started the brand because nut butters are my absolute favorite thing to eat,” Talla says. “I grew up on peanut butter and then graduated to almond and cashew butters, but I was still unsatisfied. They were either too boring and plain, or had sugar and other ingredients I didn't like.” So, he started experimenting. “To satisfy my own cravings, I bought a little food processor and started making my own. I wanted to be creative just for the hell of it and kept throwing in nuts and other ingredients that I loved, with one underlying rule—no sugar. For months, I made it for myself and gave it to friends who seemed to keep coming back for more. I decided it would be fun to sell it at the Farmers Market on Melrose Place and see what happened. Much to my surprise, people actually liked it. Fans now return on a weekly basis and bring their friends to try, too. It’s still surreal to me.” The most interesting aspect of the nut butters is the flavor profiles and added ingredients that make it sweet or savory in the absence of sugar and other harmful additives. Talla uses vanilla, cinnamon, pink Himalayan salt, cacao, and reishi powder. The nut butter line offers four flavors: cinnamon vanilla, chocolate reishi, original, and rosemary. The rosemary is the most surprising and interesting, though each one is loaded with flavor and pairs well with just about anything. butterflysuperfoods.com / @butterflysuperfood

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THE BUZZ

VOX POPULI

Q: What is the best part of December in SoCal?

Female Strong

One company is creating a space in CBD and hemp that brings women together. STASHA SURDYKE Actress, @stashasurdyke Los Angeles

___________________ My favorite thing about December is that suddenly the ‘Gift of Giving’ comes out full swing—people are kinder, more social, more forgiving, and the spirit of generosity blooms everywhere.

DANTÉ DUMAS

MATT SANDERSON

___________________

___________________

Comedian, @dante.the.entertainer Los Angeles

That it’s 80º F on Christmas day, and we can go to the beach after opening presents.

Writer and Producer, @noticeoffilming Los Angeles

December marks snow-capped mountains (usually), brand-new movies that open on Christmas Day, and I love going to the Grove to see Svn Space is a brand that believes there is a great need for women in the cannabis inall the decorations. dustry to come together in a grand gesture of community. Founders Monica Campana, Grace Saari, and Megan Villa are innovating the way the world sees and experiences hemp and CBD products. This year at FoundersMade in Santa Monica, Svn Space shared its passion and purpose with attendees. The trioʼs ultimate mission is clear. “Our goal is to redefine and Gummy bytes for real people rebrand hemp by bringing you the latest Hemp & CBD products through original Research done by the American Heart Association and the videos, unique content, and storytelling,” World Health Organization has shown that too many energy says Svn Spaceʼs website. “For years, itʼs drinks are tied to side effects including elevated blood pressure, had a certain connotation (“Alright, alright, irregular heartbeat, seizures, stroke, and heart attack. One alright.” –Dazed and Confused, circa 1993), study suggested that in healthy young adults, a single 24-ounce and we are here to reveal its truth and modenergy drink may impair blood vessel function. ernize the perception of the plant. We want That is why VPN Mega Bytes (vpnbytes.com), founded by to create a progressive, welcoming space to Anthony and Roger Tyre, may be a fantastic alternative. Creatdiscover, learn, and share the many benefits ed initially for gamers, the VPN gummies also work great for coming from the many talented individuals anyone staring at a computer screen for prolonged periods of and companies associated with hemp.” time (like writers and editors, for instance). The gummies are svnspace.com / @svnspace designed to offer functional energy (Korean panax ginseng), increased focus (AlphaSize), improved reaction time (gingko biloba), and protection from blue-light (Lutemax 20/20). The gummies are made with natural ingredients and supplements, and come in three flavors: Sour Retro Berry, First Blood Orange, and GG Grape. They are vegan, kosher, and allergen-free.

Focus Up!

“IF YOU LOOK FOR IT, I’VE GOT A SNEAKY FEELING YOU’LL FIND THAT LOVE ACTUALLY IS ALL AROUND.” —Hugh Grant as the prime minister in Love, Actually

amazon.com/vpn / $30 for a 1-month serving

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THE BUZZ

SENSIBILITIES WHAT MATTERS THIS MONTH BY STEPHANIE WILSON

Sincere Gratitude

We couldn’t do it without the LAFD.

1 GOT ANY VACATION DAYS LEFT IN 2019? Use them! Last year, 55 percent of American workers did not use all their vacation days, leaving a record 768 million days on the table. That’s about $65.5 billion worth of forfeited benefits. Don’t be a sad statistic. ______ 2 NEW RULE: Catching up on your emails during the holiday break is

forbidden. Emails breed emails, so every reply or forward you click sends that task to someone else who is either a) trying to enjoy their holiday break, or b) trying to clean out their inbox as well. No more. If it’s in your inbox on December 22, it stays there until January 2. Deal? Deal.

______ 3 I REPEAT: No tossing your forgotten/low priority to-dos on other people’s

plates when they are on vacay.

______ 4 IF YOU’RE RESOLVING TO CLEAN UP ANY BAD HABITS IN 2020,

go all in on them in December. Really indulge your vices: have that second drink, dab, dance, swim in the chaos, make bad decisions. You’ll not only get it out of your system, you’ll be so over it come January 1.

The Los Angeles Firefighters have had their hands full this year, and as December comes around, we all want to say thank you. Thank you for your tireless efforts, for working days on end without much sleep, for saving homes and families, for protecting the wildlife every chance you can, for providing the city with a sense of gratitude that cannot be voiced in mere words. You are our modern-day superheroes, and this time of year we have to pause to let you know that we wouldnʼt be here without everything you do. Happy Holidays from the bottom of our hearts. Los Angeles Firefighters / lafd.gov

______ 5 IF YOUR VICE IS CONSIDERING THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR MEANS IMAGINARY (thanks Oscar Wilde), disregard the above advice. You

can lose the holiday weight if you stop overeating, but credit card debt doesn’t work like that. It grows, no matter how much you believe Santa will take care of it.

______ 6 SMILE. The magazine you’re holding right now was made with a whole lot

of enthusiasm by some talented magazine junkies who have been working on the details of this redesign for the last year. This debut is like our Oscars, and we hope you like it. I love it.

I would fly to Los Angeles just for a cheeseburger with pickles and extra tomatoes from In-N-Out." —Zoë Kravitz, actress

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THE BUZZ

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Made With Humility Humble Flower Company is women-owned and made in LA.

Committed to the healing properties of hemp and cannabis cultivation, Humble Flower Company is moving things forward by offering a line of high-end CBD-infused skincare. Founded by Thea Wayne and Jordan Darian, who met at Humboldt University, Humble Flower is designed for consumers who take their skincare regime 16 LOS A N G E LES

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seriously. Utilizing all-natural and ethically sourced ingredients and recycled packaging, this range of lotions, body oils, full-spectrum topicals, and light and soothing aromatherapy incorporates a spalike feel to your daily life. Essential oils like ylang-ylang and lavender are used in the body oil, and jasmine and rose oils are

featured in the body lotion to give your daily skincare a luxury bump. The line also includes muscle and relief balms. Each product has between 200 and 500 milligrams of CBD oil, offering powerful therapeutic benefits. The line features muscle and relief balms, body lotion, and body oil. $55–$145 / In stores and online / humbleflower.com


THE BUZZ

Clever Little Lies Get witty with a game that keeps brilliance in mind. The best gift you could give this year is a game that combines clever intellect with a comical twist. The trivia board game Half Truth was created by Richard Garfield, the mastermind behind the iconic card game Magic: the Gathering, and Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy! world champion. The game’s art was created by wellknown board game artist Ian O’Toole. A party game for all ages and people, Half Truth comes with 500 trivia question cards, each with a category on it and with six possible answers—three wrong and three right. Players bet on which answers they believe are correct. A perfect game-night choice, Half Truth challenges us to realize we’re smarter than we think. Half Truth / $30 / kickstarter.com/projects/halftruthgame/half-truth

“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering— because you can’t take it in all at once.” —Audrey Hepburn, actress and humanitarian

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s i b a n n a C ! p a n S a in î…š

Only At

/App

Inhale, Exhale, Smile

Autumn Brands is a coastal Santa Barbara licensed cannabis cultivator that is 50% women owned. United by the vision of two families and dedicated to the synergy of health and wellness, we are committed to cultivating the highest quality, pesticide free, sungrown-indoor cannabis ower possible.

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WOKE, NOT WASTED They say they’re not alcoholics, and they’re certainly not anonymous. What is sober curious—and can sobriety really be fluid? TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

I

drink badly, and I have a lot of fun doing it (when I remember). That’s a lethal combination, and when you throw in my unfortunate discovery of White Claw—I can drink as many as I want and never feel full!—I flamed out with alcohol last winter. On February 1, just as everyone else was celebrating the end of Dry January and just ahead of the Summer of the Claw, I swore off the seltzer. I figured I’d give myself one month (note: the year’s shortest) to reset. It wasn’t an easy 28 days, but when March 1 rolled around, I felt better than I’d felt in years. The

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chronic inflammation I had attributed to everything from gluten sensitivity to genetics was clearing. I saw the light, and there was no going back. I thought sobriety would be lonely, that every Saturday night would be Netflix. I forgot the Brett Kavanaugh generation isn’t in charge of culture anymore (thank God). Millennials and Gen Xers aren’t interested in swilling beer until they black out like we did in the ’80s. Sober is sexy—or, as hipsobriety.com sees it, “sobriety is the new black.” On Instagram, there are influencers such as @stylishlysober, @thesoberglow, and the darker @fucking_sober

and hashtags like #soberliving, #soberAF, and #sobercurious. Millie Gooch, who posts as @sobergirlsociety, encourages her nearly 60,000 followers with inspirational messages like “Mocks not cocks” and “Sobriety: a surefire way to improve your wellbeing and your Uber rating.” Just like that, I’m a cool kid—with a huge range of new options on Saturday night (and beyond). I’m exploring elixirs made with raw cacao, maca, and horny goat weed at Tonic Herban Lounge just a few blocks from my home in downtown Boulder (I can walk home after imbibing, and it amuses me that I don’t need to). I can

do yoga and shake it before dawn at a Daybreaker dance party (daybreaker.com) in Denver, one of 27 cities where the alcohol-free early morning rave pops up and invites people to “sweat, dance, and connect with ourselves in community.” I’m surely not alone in this realization that life is better without booze. Worldwide, alcohol consumption fell by 1.6 percent last year. Led by young people, heavy-hitting countries like Russia, Canada, Japan, and the UK are seeing drinking rates as well as tolerance toward intoxication decline. An international survey found that about a third of people wanted


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cus, Presence, and Deep Connection” is February 14–16, 2020, at Massachusetts’ renowned wellness retreat center Kripalu). Her take is that a lot of Americans might not have a “problem” with alcohol but see it as getting in the way of their healthy lifestyles. “We eat well. We exercise. We meditate,” the press release for Sober Curious states. “So, why do we… still drink?” Warrington wants to to reduce their alcohol APPS FOR THAT know why the only peointake because of everyple who don’t drink are Loosid: Digital platform for sober dating, destinations, and meetups Sober Grid: “The worldʼs most popular mobile sober community” thing from sexual regret the ones who can’t and Twenty-Four Hours a Day: Inspiration through daily meditations and embarrassment to asks, “What if I am just…a little bit addicted?” physical health. A 2018 Call me old school, survey found that nearly but a little bit addicted 40 percent of global consounds a lot like a little sumers want to drink less pushing more women, mi- As Sean Paul Mahoney norities, and poor people writes on The Fix, a web- bit pregnant. I worry that for health reasons. to the bottle, according to site about addiction and In the US, CNBC repeople who shouldn’t ports, 52 percent of adults a study published in JAMA recovery, “I didn’t get so- will take the advice of ber to be cool. I just got John Costa, who writes are trying to lower their al- Psychiatry. The national on twentytwowords.com cohol intake, and underage Institute for Alcohol Abuse sober to stop dying.” and Alcoholism reports drinking has steadily dethat being sober curiclined in the last 10 years. that 17 million adults in A LITTLE BIT ADDICTED? ous is like being bi-curiBut only 21 percent of US the US are alcohol de“Sober curious” became ous—you don’t always adults in a CivicScience pendent, and the Centers a thing after Harperhook up with people of poll said they had any for Disease Control and Collins released Ruby the same sex, and you interest in drinking less Prevention says one in Warrington’s Sober Cudon’t have to cut out or not at all, and most of six binge drink—defined rious: The Blissful Sleep, drinking forever. “Be those were 21- to 34-year- as drinking four or more Greater Focus, Limitless sober half the time,” he old, vegan-leaning flexitar- drinks over two hours or Presence, and Deep Conwrites, “and sauced the ians who practice yoga and until blood alcohol reaches nection Awaiting Us All on other half.” He’s joking, consume cannabis daily. 0.08—nearly once a week. the Other Side of Alcohol but those are dangerous Women, especially those For this White Claw guzin 2018. Warrington also words for me. That’s the in their 30s and 40s, are zler, that definition is, well, has a podcast, runs Club life I was living: sober by drinking more than ever. sobering. I called that hap- Söda NYC (featuring day + tanked by night = Booze still rules for py hour. sober events like Kundbalance. most Americans, and Giving up alcohol isn’t alini Disco), and stages Like all disorders (and “increased stress and dea hashtag for a lot of peo- events (“Sober Curious: pretty much everything moralization” is actually ple. It’s not even a choice. Choosing Sobriety for Fo- in our culture), alcohol DECEM BER 2019

SOBERING STUDIES

Alcohol accounts for nearly 1 in 10 deaths of people aged 15 to 49 and is the leading risk factor for disease and premature death. Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Binge drinking rates in states where cannabis is legal fell to 9 percent below the national average and 11 percent below non-legal states in 2016. Source: Cowen & Co.

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SPIRITS FOR NEXT-GEN PARTIERS The joke goes that nonalcoholic drinks are like listening to porn on the radio, but times have changed. Theyʼre the CBD of the alcohol world. Nonalcohol (NA) beverages are a bright spot in a declining alcohol market, and their sales are expected to grow 32 percent by 2022, according to a Bon Appetit report. Todayʼs creative, health-inducing craft beverages are a lot more than just alcohol-free.

BEER

Athletic IPA: Robust alcohol-free craft brew Heineken OO: The OGʼs first NA brew OʼDoulʼs: Anheuser-Buschʼs classic has new limited-edition meant-for-Instagram cans by local artists in New York, Chicago, and LA

WINE

Napa Hills: Blend of fruit-flavored water and VitaRes (antioxidant blend with resveratrol, red grape skin, and red wine extract) with as many antioxidants as red wine O.Vine: Grape-infused wine water with “the health benefits of the real thing”

use runs on a spectrum. I was at the end that spent hours upon hours researching whether drinking while on this antibiotic would really make me projectile vomit and scoffed at friends as they struggled through Dry January, Dry July, Sober September, and Sober October. I wasn’t interested in giving up drinking for any reason or any amount of time, until I had to give it up for life. Warrington, who sees reducing alcohol intake as another step in the wellness revolution, is at the other end of the spectrum—and she is aware of the difference between recovering from alcohol addiction and feeling better during yoga. I hope all of her fol-

lowers are, too, because the last thing most drinkers need is a loophole. I want to believe the trend Warrington is leading toward spirits-free activities and thoughtfulness about alcohol’s role in our culture—where every ritual, celebration, loss, entertainment, and even sporting event is cause for a drink—is not a trend but a movement. That we’ll look back at “mommyjuice” like we shake our heads at “mother’s little helper” pills from the ’60s and ’70s. The infrastructure to support sobriety is being built, and public opinion is turning. After centuries of going hard, America is getting woke, not wasted. Cheers to that.

SOBERING STUDIES

A British study of Dry January abstainers found that 82 percent felt a sense of achievement, 62 percent slept better, and 49 percent lost some weight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is the author of the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis.

SPIRITS

Curious Elixirs: Individually bottled alcohol-free craft cocktails High Rhode by Kin: “Euphorics” made from nootropics and adaptogens, including 5-HTP, rhodiola, and caffeine Ritual Whiskey: “As a veggie burger is to beef, or almond milk is to dairy, Ritual is an alternative to traditional whiskey” Seedlip Spice 94: Gin-like blend of Jamaican allspice berry, cardamom, and citrus peel Stryyk: “Zero-proof spirits,” including Not Vodka, Not Rum, and Not Gin Three Spirit: “Social elixir” made from yerba mate, lionʼs mane, damiana, and cacao

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HIGHS A

t the end of October, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Cannabis Open Houses Are Putting the High in High-End Real Estate.” The trend piece by author Katherine Clarke revealed the emerging discovery being used by developers and real-estate agents to move luxe properties in communities where recreational cannabis is not just legal but widely accepted. It’s not unlike Los Angeles, where the rising industry is being hailed as an untapped source for buyers of high-priced homes. Throwing cannabis-related events—everything from elaborate seven-course pairing dinners with vapes in lieu of vino to live trimming classes—at multimillion-dollar properties on the market is garnering attention, building social buzz, and attracting buyers with money earned in, around, or on cannabis. Not everyone sees the genius behind the trend, however. Clarke spoke

SPECIAL REPORT

Luxury has gone to pot. TEXT LORI TOBIAS AND STEPHANIE WILSON

to one agent in New York, where recreational cannabis is still a pipe dream and old tropes live on about munchie-motivated stoners. “When I think about cannabis, I don’t think about buying an expensive house,” says Warburg Realty’s Jason Haber. “It’s not a call for action as much as a call for Doritos.” Someone should tell him friends don’t let friends make tired stoner jokes anymore. Especially ones implying cannabis consumers indulge their munchies with mindless consumption of unhealthy snacks when the reality is cannabis appeals to what The Economist dubs the “health-conscious inebriate,” citing a poll that 72 percent of American consumers thought cannabis was safer than alcohol. A 2018 The New Yorker headline declared cannabis to be a wellness industry in California where, in fact, a cannabinoid cousin of THC and CBD is starting to garner a whole lot of buzz.

Instead of stimulating appetites, THCV may suppress those hunger pangs. When 2021 is declared the year of THCV, you can say you heard it here first.

CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM Cannabis has moved so far beyond the clichés of yore. Tie-dye tees, bell-bottom cords, dancing bear patches, plastic bongs, Ziploc baggies: these tired trends are so out of style, some have already circled back and left again. (Looking at you, tie-dye.) The stoner kids of yesterday are the cannabis entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs of today. And as they’ve aged, their tastes in cannabis aged with them, like the fine wine they can now afford. Cannabis consumers have money to burn. And since we live in a capitalist society (an unjust one where people remain locked up for nonviolent drug charges in states that earn taxes off now-legal cannabis DECEM BER 2019

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Eva Littman, MD, F.A.C.O.G.

Amity Hererra, PA-C

Voted “Top Doc� in Fertility Trained at Duke & Stanford Universities

15 Years in Reproductive Endocrinology Trained at UCSD & Western Universities


PHOTOS COURTESY OF BARNEYS NEW YORK, INC.

The High End at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills

sales—that’s a whole layered story for a different day), money makes things happen. And what’s happening now is the emergence of a cannabis experience elevated to a higher level. If you were paying attention to the pop-culture cues over the decades, you would have seen the high-end highs coming. When cannabis prohibition began its slow-and-steady march to its forthcoming end, it emerged from the black market with an established following of consumers—loyal cannabis consumers with no brand loyalty, because cannabis brands didn’t exist. Dealers did, growers did, activists, advocates, and believers, too. But the concept of cannabis brands was all brand-new. With strict laws surrounding where the substance can be marketed,

sold, advertised, distributed, and more, establishing customer loyalty in this industry is more difficult than it would seem on the surface. What differentiates one edible brand from another, one vape pen from the next is complicated to discern for those who aren’t well versed in the modern verbiage or its meaning. (Full-spectrum distillate, live resin, 2:1 ratios, oh my!) This is where marketing and branding comes into play. And with marketing and branding comes the emergence of new market segments, including the ultra-luxury category. It is from within that category that future trends are likely to emerge. That’s how trends play out, as Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) explained to her new assistant in one iconic scene of The Devil Wears Prada. (If

“Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” —Karyn Wagner, Paradigm Cannabis Group

you haven’t seen it in a while, a quick refresher: “The color of the shirt you are wearing right now was determined years ago by high-end designers preparing their collections for fashion GOT MONEY TO BLOW? week runways.”) This Caleb Siemon Trickle-down trends Blown Art Glass are a hierarchical proWater Pipe will cess whereby individuals set you back with high status establish about $950. fashion trends, only to be imitated by lower-status individuals wearing cheaper versions of the same styles. “It’s always been a thing,” says Karyn Wagner, CEO of Paradigm Cannabis Group, a women-owned extraction company specializing in pre-rolls and extracts made from small-batch sun-grown flower. “There’s always been those products that are better than others. But now, with adult use, we have to be more brand-conscious. With DECEM BER 2019

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that, how do you distinguish yourself from someone else? Why is this better? What makes it better?”

PHOTOS (FROM TOP): KATHLEEN HARRISON, KIKOKO HIGH TEA / COURTESY OF BEBOE

SOME LIKE IT HAUTE With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy, Wagner says. But you can never underestimate the prestige that comes with a high price tag. “The moneyed class always loves expensive items,” she says. “This normalizes it in their world. It brings in folks who didn’t normally have the desire. It made it OK in their class. Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” Jenny Le Coq, president of Le Coq & Associates, a marketing and communications firm in San Francisco that represents Kikoko cannabis-infused botanical mints, points out that most people typically don’t seek out a cheap bottle of wine, but look for something fine, trustworthy, and familiar. They want to know the winery, its reputation, who recommends the vintage. “People are looking at wines today with a more discerning eye—how their grapes

With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy. Luxury doesn't always have to indicate price, but what it must indicate is quality.

are grown, for example,” Le Coq says. “People are looking at cannabis in the same way: with a discerning eye.” “Discerning” can add up to big money, for sure. Anecdotal stories abound in national media outlets, suggesting couples in Colorado will drop several bills on “cannagars” and other high-end party favors to celebrate weddings and anniversaries. At The High End, Barneys New York’s luxury cannabis lifestyle shop in Beverly Hills, shoppers can splurge on a $1,475 sterling silver bud grinder or a $950 water pipe. New York fashion brand Alice + Olivia partnered with luxury cannabis brand Kush Queen to debut a CBD wellness line earlier this year—bath bomb, body lotion, bubble bath with lavender. Alice + Olivia packaging features CEO Stacey Bendet’s signature “StaceFace” motif, with big sunglasses and a bold red lip. A timeless statement-making style that trendsetters of every era make their own while trendy types try to emulate the overall aesthetic. That’s just the way things work. To be fair, luxury doesn’t have to mean $$$$. What it must indicate, however, is quality. “Luxury is an assigned

label. It is typically assigned by marketers,” Le Coq says. “So, what do you want cannabis to be? As a consumer, how do you perceive luxury? The concept is really defined differently by every person. We want people to experience something that is luxurious. Not only the packaging is beautiful, the taste is beautiful, the place you are put into mentally is a nice, beautiful place.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Tobias is a lifelong journalist based on the Oregon Coast, where she lives with her husband, Chan, and two rescue pups, Luna and Monkey.

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KUSH QUEEN

Products are available in stores and online. kushqueen.shop @kushqueen

THE

Fit for a

Queen

You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy the finest cannabis.

The sweet aroma of essential oils filled the air around me. It was a relaxing mix of lavender and sage that paired beautifully with the stylish and contemporary ambiance of the all-new 6,300-square-foot Anaheim headquarters of Kush Queen. Everything about this sophisticated office is polished, professional, and on-brand for a female-led business. Its 32-product line includes CBD- and THC-infused bath bombs, lotion, body wash, ingestibles, and topicals. All products are infused with essential oils and align cannabis with the health and wellness industry. Founder Olivia Alexander and I got cozy on a pink suede couch, where she opened up about her entrepreneurial journey. Her childhood was spent in a part of Louisiana between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as “Cancer Alley.” These River Parishes contain numerous industrial plants, making the area notorious for clusters of cancer patients, as well as people battling mental illness, alcoholism, and other health problems. 32 LOS A N G E LES

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PHOTO BY DAVID MULLER

TEXT RACHEL SVOBODA


inside the human body. Endocannabinoid receptors are present in our skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. The versatile line of Kush Queen products ranges from topicals to ingestibles, which allow for absorption through different endocannabinoid receptors in the body. “I use Kush Queen products as part of my daily routine. That’s how we came up with the company tagline, ‘Elevating you daily,’” Alexander says. “Now that I have a platform, I want to use my voice to talk about these things.” And she has done so with rousing success. Her four-year-old company is projected to reach $4 million in sales by the end of 2019. “I certainly never imagined that cannabis would take me here,” she says. “I wanted to be a small-town girl who made it and have always wanted to see my name in lights. I’m so honored that it’s with cannabis and on my own terms.” Maintaining a balance The secret lies within of ambition and modesty, The journey for natural Kush Queen is still a famhealth and wellness with Kush Queen is through en- ily-run business that indocannabinoids. Research cludes Alexander’s fiancé, mother, brother, cousin, shows that cannabis exand other extended famierts its effects, in part, by ly, who all work in the daymimicking the endocannabinoids already present to-day operations. “This

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KUSH QUEEN

Alexander’s parents moved her and her brother to Santa Clarita, California, when she was 13, leaving extended family behind. With that experience behind them, Alexander’s parents were leery of alcohol consumption and allowed the usage of cannabis for health-related purposes. “I was the cool kid because my parents allowed us to ‘get high’ at the house,” Alexander says. This open approach normalized consumption and removed the negative social stigma. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder early in life, Alexander is transparent about her journey with prescription antidepressants and antianxiety meds. “I was taught that I wouldn’t be functional or I’d be on the ‘crazy train’ [without medication],” she says. “However, I’m a true believer that cannabis is a legitimate tool for wellness, and I eventually learned that successful people can do drugs in the morning—because it’s a healthier choice.”

“I’m a true believer that cannabis is a legitimate tool for wellness, and I eventually learned that successful people can do drugs in the morning— because it’s a healthier choice.” —Olivia Alexander, Founder, Kush Queen

is just the beginning,” Alexander says. “I compare myself to the biggest brands in the world, and I won’t feel accomplished until I have a company with 100-plus people.” More than skin-deep In the wake of Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis sales in California in 2018, CBD brands flooded the wellness market, trying to capture the sizable opportunity presented by mostly female customers willing to spend money on self-care. By this time, Kush Queen already had a jump-start on the competition, and Alexander had a clear vision of how to expand into the beauty industry while staying true to the Kush Queen promise that all products will be “handmade with love, transparency, and you in mind.” DECEM BER 2019

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THE LIFE

Alexander trusts her gut and looks for synergy as partnerships develop with brands such as Alice + Olivia and retailers such as Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Uncommon Goods, and Neiman Marcus. Last year, Kush Queen participated in New York Fashion Week. Alexander isn’t afraid of taking risks. “Earlier this year, we went to Beautycon, which was a ballsy move because CBD was allowed at the last moment and a majority of the 5,000 people in attendance were new to CBD.”

“People buy beauty products to feel something… I want to push that boundary.” —Olivia Alexander, Founder, Kush Queen

The beauty industry is a significant next step. “People buy beauty products to feel something (usually pretty), but they don’t make us actually feel anything. I want to push that boundary,” Alexander says. “Under our makeup, we’re covering inflammation and redness. The idea is that in wearing CBD or THC in a makeup primer or foundation, we’re putting powerful anti-inflammatory and endocannabinoids onto the skin, which are being absorbed into the bloodstream.”

“The business is all-consuming, and this year I got a life coach to help find some balance,” Alexander shares. “As a start-up, working seven days per week in survival mode to the point of exhaustion is unsustainable.” Now is the time for Kush Queen to solidify its position in the health and wellness market and achieve sustainable growth through online sales, local dispensaries, and mainstream retailers. And they are. DECEM BER 2019

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THE LIFE HOTSPOTS

Winter Brunching Linger over sticky buns, Lavazza lattes, and kombucha cocktails at these LA hotspots. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

Welcome to the Neighborhood This fall, Echo Park welcomes a brand-new restaurant concept and wine bar, Revelator: Bar Avalon. Named partly for the specialty Revelator coffee and partly to represent a sense of wandering, the restaurant is authentic. Serving fare that is coined as New American, the cuisine spearheaded by Chef Josh Guarneri takes diners on a journey through the Americas with a repeated theme of flavors that have Moroccan and Californian undertones. The space itself has some local history dating back to the heyday of Hollywood, cleverly incorporated in the varying design

elements found during its build-out. The exposed brick walls reveal elements of time, including the original paint colors of sage green and white. Guarneri and Nathanial Muñoz, Bar Avalon’s beverage director and a master sommelier candidate, have designed the restaurant to match. Throughout the space, tones of sage and tangerine are mixed in rich textures in the bar, the chef’s table, the ample seating, and the charming outdoor courtyard. Bar Avalon is a welcome addition to the expansive culinary terrain in Los Angeles, with a menu that pays respect to the global traveler with an open-minded

BAR AVALON: A quaint exterior with the menu to match

palate. Dishes such as the deviled eggs, watermelon cucumber salad, peas and radish salad, lamb shank, duck pâté, and homemade crème brûlée ice cream are among their flavorful offerings. Two elements set the restaurant apart from other places in town. The first being that every single bottle of wine on its wine list and in-store is available by the glass. Muñoz put together an exceptional and extensive wine list using longitude and latitude as an identifier rather than the traditional reds, whites, and bubbles classification. The second unique thing about Bar Avalon is that they serve brunch daily. The brunch menu includes sticky buns, stone fruit grain salad, overnight oats, crab cake with avocado Benedict, beef tongue Rueben sandwich, and a BLT with PGT (pickled green tomatoes). It’s a perfect place to slip away to midmorning for coffee, a bite, and a comfy place to sit and work for a few hours as an appealing alternative to Starbucks. “More than just a wine bar or just a coffee spot, our aim is to create a casual, affordable neighborhood location where people DECEM BER 2019

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menu offers seven drinks, ranging from mild to bursting-with-flavor in terms of composition and ingredients. The cocktail names are perhaps the most fun. Playing to the global travelers who often frequent Sofitel, Demarest put some thought into names such as Tolum Bounceback, Yoga Deck, The Enlightenment, or The Puff Down. Ingredients include holistic and herbal SOFITEL BEVERLY HILLS: Mocktails and cocktails geared toward wellness remedies like habanero and kombucha, turmeric and ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice. Demarest had a clear vision for can enjoy quality food and wine this menu. “My intention with this backed by some serious local cunew cocktail collection was to pair linary and beverage talent, drink specialty coffee, and feel comfort- our mixology experience with our viable spending time and socializing brant eclectic world music program in the space, any time of day,” says while keeping it clean and sexy,” he Joshua Owen, Revelator cofound- says. “Using fall-inspired earthly ingredients in light and fresh recipes, er. “This location in Echo Park is I created these cocktails to end the the perfect fit for this concept.” summer season and embrace fall on “Chef Josh and I look forward a health-conscious note.” to welcoming everyone through our doors at Bar Avalon. We can’t Riviera 31 / Los Angeles wait to pour wine for, laugh with, Cocktails are priced $15–$20 and offer savory satisfying dishes esterelrestaurant.com/riviera-31 to this community,” said NathanThat’s Amore! iel Muñoz. Italians are known for their grand Bar Avalon / Los Angeles gestures, friendly nature, and baravalon.com more importantly, their food. And if every movie in history is an Drinking Smartly indicator, eating encompasses the Sofitel is a hotel known for its very heart of Italian culture. cosmopolitan approach to luxury Recently, Executive Chef Antonio and hospitality, and this month Giordano (from restaurants Gjusta it showcases cocktails at its hotel Bakery and Terroni) launched a restaurant Esterel and bar Riviera brunch restaurant called L’Antica 31 that exemplify that. Curated Pizzeria da Michele. It’s the first by the hotel’s director of nightlife, US location of the historic pizzeAidan Demarest, the cocktail line- ria featured in the beautiful film, up ensures that the health-conEat, Pray, Love. In Los Angeles, it’s scious guest can sip with serenity. in the space that was once home to The cocktail menu, entitled “In- the adored Café Des Artistes. dian Summer,” has both nonalcoAt the restaurant, guests are holic and alcoholic cocktails. The seated in il cortile (Italian for

“courtyard”), surrounded by lush greenery, making the atmosphere reminiscent of old classic films such as Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Featuring simple décor, Da Michele is a warm, inviting space incorporating natural woods and Baltic stone. With offerings such as housemade pastries, risotto, porchetta and egg pizza, veggie omelet, Crostone de Campione, fresh pressed juices, espresso, and gorgeous fresh salads locally sourced from neighboring farms, this new brunch spot is the talk of the town. The small eatery will be open daily with all-day hours. It offers WiFi, a fireplace with sofa seating, a covered outdoor patio, and TVs, making Da Michele much like a private club without the inflated prices. The restaurant team created Da Michele to be a place where community comes together, friends and family gather, and sitting outside with a warm Lavazza latte is exactly where you want to be. The restaurant is dog-friendly and open most days from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele / Los Angeles damicheleusa.com

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LʼANTICA PIZZERIA DA MICHELE: The outdoor patio is ideal for brunch.

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THE

From ice skating downtown to neighborhood light displays to New Year’s soirées, there are plenty of ways to cap the decade. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

When the promise of winter reminds you of that under-the-bed sweater box, the festive lights, and the holiday cheer, and the scent of apple-spiced lattes wafts through the less than 60-degree air, you know it’s December in Los Angeles.

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Through Jan. 6 Pershing Square, Los Angeles holidayicerinkdowntownla.com

some ice disco dancing are encouraged.

ART + CULTURE

This is when Los Angeles gets a dose Music & Art Exhibit by of what ice skating Woven Colors in Times Square is Dec. 7, 6:30–9:30 p.m. like. The outdoor Hot and Cool Cafe, Los Angeles ice skating rink is hotandcoolcafe.com officially open, and hand-holding, laugh- Join for an evening ing, and perhaps of creativity, live COURTESY OF TERRY ALEX / CAAMUSEUM.ORG

On the Calendar

Bai Holiday Ice Rink


PHOTOS: COURTESY DESCANSO GARDENS (TOP) / COURTESY BROADWAY IN HOLLLYWOOD (BOTTOM)

BELOW LEFT: MAKING MAMMY BELOW: FROZEN THE MUSICAL RIGHT: DESCANSO GARDENS

musical performance, spoken word, art, and community.

Rolling Loud Festival Dec. 14–15 Banc of California Stadium Grounds, Los Angeles Two-Day Pass, $250 rollingloud.com

Making Mammy: A Caricature of Black Womanhood Through March 1 California African American Museum, Los Angeles caamuseum.org

Curated by Tyree Boyd-Pates, Taylor Bythewood-Porter, and Brenda Stevenson, this exhibition explores the portrayal of black womanhood and exposes the misrepresentation of African American women in film and literature from 1840 to 1940.

Frozen the Musical Dec. 4–Feb. 2 Hollywood Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles $69–$295 hollywoodpantages.com

Gabriel Iglesias Dec. 27 Staples Center, Los Angeles $50–$80 staplescenter.com

HOLIDAY LIGHTS is back. Stroll through the San Marino is known luminous gardens for having the oldest, through January. tallest pine trees in Lights go on at LA. For the holidays, sunset. they are strung with lights. Candy Cane

St. Alban’s Road

San Marino

Lane Enchanted Forest of Light Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge, $30 descansogardens.org

The Enchanted Forest of Light

Woodland Hills

The entire neighborhood joins in for impressive light displays at this local holiday decoration hotspot.

Festival of Lights snow, gourmet cup-

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside Rooms $290–$1,430 missioninn.com

Celebrating the holidays, the 27th annual Festival of Lights kicked off on November 29. Highlights are fireworks, carolers, special Santa Claus appearances, horsedrawn carriage rides, freshly fallen

cakes, and several brightly decorated Christmas trees. There will also be a New Year’s celebration.

NEW YEAR’S EVE Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood $60–$2,000 newyearsla.com

Yamashiro Nye 2020 Yamashiro, Hollywood $109 yamashirohollywood.com

Roarin’ 2020 New Year’s Party Frank Sinatra Woodland Hills Mansion $200–$500 roarin2020.com

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LOREM IPSUM

THE SCENE

Bus prempor dit quunto tem ipis alit aut exped quia cum eliciet audam renit, eaquat ute

RECIPES

Let Us Toast Cocktails made locally with timeless appeal.

TEXT DAWN GARCIA AND CAROLYN WHITE

December is a signifier of fireplaces, toasty blankets, and celebration. This month, we’re featuring San Diego local home mixologist, The Social Sipper, a.k.a. Carolyn White, who started the company with her husband, Travis. Crafting a beautiful drink is their game, and drinking libations that expand your imagination is their aim. @thesocialsipper / thesocialsipper.com

Espresso Old Fashioned Recipe by The Social Sipper / Makes one cocktail

I N G R E D I E N TS

1 brown sugar cube 2 dashes orange bitters 2 ounces bourbon 1 ounce chilled espresso Orange peel for garnish

IN STRUCTION S

• Add the sugar cube to a mixing glass. Wet it down with orange bitters and gently muddle until the sugar cube is broken down. Add the chilled espresso and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the bourbon and

ice to the mixing glass and stir to chill. Strain into a glass over fresh ice. Add orange peel for garnish. • Note: This drink can be built directly in a double old-fashioned glass as well.

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LOREM IPSUM

THE SCENE

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RECIPES

This spiced mimosa is a fall take on a classic cocktail. Opting for apple cider instead of orange juice, this drink is warm and cozy. Amping up its “fall-ness” is Malabar Spiced Liqueur, which lends a punch of flavor from spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

MEET THE MIXOLOGIST Carolyn White is a San Diego–based home mixologist and content strategist sharing simple everyday recipes and creating Insta-worthy cocktails. She and her husband, Travis, created The Social Sipper as a way to share their creations using ingredients that can be found at your local grocer.

Spiced Apple Cider Mimosa Recipe by The Social Sipper / Makes one cocktail

INGREDIENTS

INST RUCT I O N S

Water for rim 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1⁄3 cup 100 percent apple cider 1⁄2 ounce Malabar Spiced Liqueur 2⁄3 cup dry champagne or sparkling wine Apple slice and cinnamon stick for garnish

• Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Rim a champagne glass with cinnamon sugar by coating the rim with water then dipping it in the cinnamonsugar mixture. Add apple cider, Malabar Spiced Liqueur, and champagne to the glass. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.

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P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E RED ROCK FERTILITY

talented, educated, and devoted medical team can thrive no matter what obstacles are present. Littman’s staff includes Physician’s Assistant Amity Herrera, who has 10 years of experience in infertility, as well as nurses, medical assistants, and laboratory personnel, all of whom each have more than 15 years of field experience in infertility. Red Rock Fertility has a very high first-cycle success rate. “I love taking cases that have failed, or those where other doctors have told someone they have minimal to no chance of succeeding—and making it happen for them,” Littman says. It’s her caring nature that acts as the basis for Red Rock Fertility’s success. Additionally, Littman and Red Rock Fertility are selective and unselfish in their recommendations. Rather than seeking potentially lucrative affiliate relationships with financial benefit, Littman says, “I advise patients of brands or products that I think are helpful, but I don’t benefit in alternative avenues in the field, with any way from those. Putting the patient maximum benefit to patients in mind. first and producing a healthy pregnancy is According to a 2017 report by the at the heart of Red Rock Fertility.” CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Littman continues, “I have always Prevention) on fertility clinic success rates, liked the quote ‘The light on a candle is “There were 284,385 assisted reproducalways brighter when it’s first lit.’ How tive technology (ART) cycles performed at we relate that here at Red Rock Fertility 448 reporting clinics in the United States Center is that we strive to accomplish during 2017, resulting in 68,908 live births successful pregnancies the first time (deliveries of one or more living infants) around to keep our patients’ hopes high and 78,052 live born infants.” and their stress levels low. By having this Littman was adamant about being a philosophy, we have been able to create part of those success ART fertility rates, close to a thousand pregnancies on the though she admits beginning her journey first attempt, in turn helping our patients in 2008 in Las Vegas—at one of the grow their families.” most difficult times in recent economic SOURCES: cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html history—was less than ideal. ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate “In 2008, I was fortunate to receive a business loan from Bank of America to start my clinic, and we have grown ever since then,” Littman explains. Defying Red Rock Fertility the odds, consistent growth in challeng- A personalized fertility clinic ing economic times became proof that a redrockfertility.com

Let There Be Life Dr. Eva Littman of Red Rock Fertility thrives on turning challenging and unpromising circumstances into happy families.

I

n today’s world, modern women defy notions of the past in terms of how many children they want to have, when they want to have them, and how they will become pregnant. Gone are the days of American households having an average of five children. Today, according to ourworldindata.org, the fertility rate is 2.5 children per household, halving the data from the 1950s. Some women are incredibly fortunate to have successful pregnancies without medical intervention, but there is a growing number of women who use alternative methods of fertility. That’s where Dr. Eva Littman of Red Rock Fertility comes in. During her OB/GYN residency at Duke University between 1998 and 2002, Littman fell in love with bringing life into the world. Her least favorite aspects of her residency were the challenging hours coupled with having very little time with patients. This inspired Littman to pursue

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THE END

Escape the Holiday Woes The stress of this time of year can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

As the pressure of the holidays mounts, depression, anxiety, and stress rear their ugly heads. It’s important to remember there is no need to strive for perfection or even the appearance of perfection. That’s too much pressure for anyone to endure. Instead, let us focus on a sense of calm to ward off the less jovial feelings that can accompany this time of year. According to an article by healthstatus.com, changing your approach to the holidays is a great start to lowering the risk of sadness. “There is nothing 50 LOS A N G E LES

wrong with you when you feel depressed during the holidays. All that celebration, joy, and good will can actually get to be a little much,” the article says. “You might believe that you are out of step with the rest of the world, but statistics say that over 40 percent of the population just feels exhausted and inadequate.” Journalist John Riddle looked into holiday stress and depression for psycom.net. “[People often] suffer from what I call HAT days—long periods of feeling Horrible, Awful, Terrible

DEC EMBER 2019

from November 1 through early January,” he says. Riddle talked to Julie Potiker, mindfulness expert and author; Bradley Nelson, holistic physician and author; and Sherry Amatenstein, psycom.net contributing editor, therapist, and social worker, to formulate a list of ways to avoid excessive holiday spending and other stress triggers. Their topline expert advice: “Shift your perspective; make a list [of gifts to purchase and decorating tasks] to put your mind at ease; bury the past; make time to move [exercise];

discover and release emotional baggage; be flexible; don’t sweat the small stuff; find humor in the madness; and experience the spirituality of the season in whatever way it resonates with you.” Following that advice can make all the difference. “Embrace the many positive aspects of the season,” says Riddle. “The simple act of making someone else happy… is just about the best way I know of to make yourself feel better, too.” No matter what you do this time of year, be kind to yourself.


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