Darnell Smith, the founder and CEO of MXXN, a cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic spirits brand, is on a mission to disrupt the alcohol and cannabis industry. Fifteen years of experience at global spirits companies, including Diageo, Pernod-Ricard and Bacardi, led Smith to seek out a way to partake in the social aspects of cocktail culture without the negative effects on his body. As a former athlete, Smith had been making THC tinctures in his kitchen to help with pain management for years, so he began carrying his tincture to the bar and mixing it with tonic as a replacement for gin. Years of perfecting that ratio alongside proper research and development led him to formulating innovative, THC-infused replacements for typical spirits.

A first-of-its-kind in the cannabis industry, MXXN’s three flavors are formulated to replace gin, tequila and bourbon. The Kentucky Oak Essence can be subbed for your favorite bourbon as it contains notes of charred oak, vanilla and demara sweetness which are reminiscent of Kentucky’s famous barrel aging—perfect for a new kind of old fashioned. The London Dry Essence can replace your favorite gin, thanks to refreshing floral aromas, citrus, juniper, and cucumber. As an alternative to tequila, the Jalisco Agave Essence has notes of sweet agave, oaky vanilla, and hints of flint and salt. Within fifteen to thirty minutes of sipping, the emulsion delivers 6mg of THC per serving for an enjoyable buzz. The tall, slim matte black bottles ($80 each) are meant to be chic additions to any bar cart, designed to blend in easily with cocktail culture. 

As a Black entrepreneur working in the cannabis industry, Smith is extremely passionate about being on the frontlines of creating a more equitable space. He is committed to working with a diverse set of vendors and supply partners within his companies and always looks to partner with organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion. A portion of all MXXN proceeds from sales benefit organizations working to pass federal cannabis reform and repair the disproportionate harm faced by low-income, Black and Latinx communities.

Read on for some tasty, MXXN cocktail recipes that will let you enjoy a buzz without the booze.

MXXN Margarita

MXXN Jalisco Agave Essence $80, enjoymxxn.com. Image: courtesy of MXXN.


1 oz MXXN Jalisco Agave Essence

2 oz Fresh Lime Juice

½ oz Simple Syrup

1 oz Non-Alcoholic Italian Orange (optional)

Coarse Salt (optional for rim)


-In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the MXXN Jalisco Agave, lime juice and non-alcoholic Italian orange. Shake well. 

-Wet the rim of a chilled margarita or cocktail glass with a lime wedge and dip into a tray of coarse salt.

-Strain the cocktail into a glass filled with fresh ice.

-Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.

MXXN Martini

MXXN London Dry Essence $80, enjoymxxn.com. Image: courtesy of MXXN.


1.5 oz MXXN London Dry Essence

1 oz Vermouth


-Into a shaker filled with ice, add MXXN London Dry and vermouth.

-Shake or stir vigorously for 30 seconds.

-Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with green olive.


MXXN Kentucky Oak Essence $80, enjoymxxn.com. Image: courtesy of MXXN.


1 oz  MXXN Kentucky Oak Essence

1.5 oz Espresso or Cold Brew Concentrate

¾ oz Condensed Milk (or Condensed Coconut Milk)

¼ oz Rich Simple Syrup (optional)


-In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add MXXN Kentucky Oak, espresso and condensed milk.

-Shake and strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass.

-Garnish with three coffee beans.