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Central coast couple makes waves in mocktail industry

Flour House bartender pours a mocktail with To Be Honest's CBD-infused spirit.
Emily Schiffenhaus
Flour House bartender pours a mocktail with To Be Honest's CBD-infused spirit.

While the central coast is known for wine, the rise of non alcoholic drinks is becoming more popular. A local couple is making waves in the mock-tail space.

Founder of the company, To Be Honest Beverage Company, Michelle Houston, formulated a CBD infused product with her husband during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We started drinking more and staying at home more, and we were probably spending more time in front of screens than we would have liked. It just kind of all hit me a couple of years in that this wasn't the lifestyle I wanted to be leading,” Houston said.

She said she was tired of drinking spirits that made her feel sick. That's why she began to develop the CBD infused product.

“We just want to mix it up. We just want other options,” she said.

Aside from CBD, the product contains gin-centric botanicals such as juniper, lavender and citrus.

Houston stressed that the mocktail does not contain THC, which is the compound of the cannabis plant that can produce a high, but the CBD component may induce a variety of subtle side effects.

“And for that it looks like or may feel like relaxation, stress relief, easing of tension. For some, that's pain mitigation, aiding in sleep and giving you that overall sense of calm,” she said.

According to Harvard Health, CBD products are seen as a promising way to treat pain, inflammation, seizures and anxiety.

Meanwhile, alcoholic beverages are known to give people fatigue, anxiety and long lasting health effects.

Houston said she's not trying to deny people the culture of drinking, she just wants to provide an alternative to it.

KCBX intern, Emily Schiffenhaus started at the station in January 2024. She is currently a student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo working to earn her degree in Journalism. When she’s not at the station, she’s taking classes or serving coffee at her other job. In her free time, Emily likes to go to yoga, hike, surf, listen to music and take photos.
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