Revised Falernum Recipe – Cocktail Wonk

Small confession time — I not too long ago realized Minimalist Tiki‘s falernum recipe could possibly be improved. The lime dominated, and I barely seen the opposite components: toasted almonds, cloves, and ginger. With the final of my present batch consumed, I got down to rebalance the recipe.

Anticipating the standard commentary with reference to falernum, I distinguish the normal falernum of the West Indies (notably from Barbados) from what I name “trendy falernum.” The previous is almost clear, comparatively mild in taste, low in alcoholic power, and accessible in most well-stocked liquor shops. The latter took place in the course of the cocktail renaissance of the final 20 years and is rather more intensely flavored. Amongst a number of recipes shared on-line circa 2007, Paul Clarke’s Falernum #9 gained a following inside the burgeoning tiki revival second. Many bars began making falernum tuned to their specific taste preferences. Others caught to the business Barbados-made model because it’s much less work and constant from bottle to bottle.

Placing apart any worth judgment about which falernum is healthier, extra genuine, or ought to be named in a different way, the trendy, flavor-packed falernum has discovered a house in lots of cocktails. Bitter Reality’s Golden Falernum is a well-respected “trendy falernum” — or no matter you assume it ought to be referred to as.

As a quick historic notice, the frequent thread within the late 1800s/early 1900s descriptions of falernum is rum, lime juice, and sugar. The 1922 Crimson E-book of the West Indies notes:

Thus the connoisseur in alcoholic liquors is supplied with a splendid choice in wines, spirits, and malt brews, together with the well-known Falernum of Barbados. That wonderful beverage is made by Messrs. Johnson and Redman from pure native lime-juice, sugar, and rum, and accommodates no chemical substances, nor components injurious to the system. It’s scrumptious as a liqueur, or combined with aerated water, or swizzled with a teaspoonful of “ Caribbee Bitters ” —one other speciality bought by the agency.

Some period’s descriptions additionally point out almonds and, in some instances, egg white.

Revised Recipe

The recipe I included in Minimalist Tiki is my adaption of falernum #9 and represents my pondering circa 2018. My revision right here makes strategic tweaks to the core construction. In essence, you make an infused rum to mix with wealthy easy syrup. Easy, no? Let’s get began!


  • 1 cup unaged rum (ideally 50 – 65% ABV)
  • 40 entire cloves
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 oz ginger
  • 2 contemporary limes
  • 2 cups white desk sugar
  • 1 cup water

Day 1

Warmth a forged iron skillet to medium-high warmth.

Add cloves and sliced almonds. Stir each 5-10 seconds to make sure either side of the almonds are toasted. You need the almonds browned to a medium-dark tone with out burning them. It took me about 5 minutes however use your greatest judgment.

Spoon the cloves and almonds right into a clear 1-quart mason jar. Add the rum and canopy with lid. Let stand in a single day, gently agitating each few hours.

Relating to the rum: I’ve used Wray & Nephew Jamaican Overproof previously. I used 6 oz of Cockspur 130 and a couple of oz of Rum Bar Silver this time. Be at liberty to experiment with the rum(s) you employ whereas conserving the goal ABV of fifty% – 65% in thoughts.

Initial infusion of toasted almonds and cloves
Preliminary infusion of toasted almonds and cloves

Day 2

Skinny slice the ginger. I used a vegetable peeler after which switched to a knife when the piece was too small for the peeler.

Peel two limes, specializing in eradicating simply the outer layer with as little pith as fairly doable.

Add ginger and lime to the rum/almond/clove combination within the mason jar. Stir/agitate with a spoon to totally submerge all the things.

Let sit in a single day, agitating each few hours.

Ginger added, next step: lime peels!
Ginger added, subsequent step: lime peels!

Day 3

Sterilize a separate quart mason jar. Wetting the within and 60 seconds within the microwave works properly.

Make chilly course of easy syrup. Add one cup of water, then two cups of white desk sugar. Shut with lid and sometimes shake till the sugar is gone and the liquid is evident.

Now we’re prepared to mix the infused rum and wealthy easy syrup.

Pressure the infused rum into the mason jar containing the easy syrup. I used a effective mesh strainer (chinois) and a funnel. I let the infusion solids fill the strainer basket and gently press with a spatula to squeeze out as a lot infused rum as doable.

Cowl and shake to mix. Strive a small pattern and see what you assume.

Infusion solids after draining
Infusion solids after draining

Last Ideas

Having laboriously grated two limes on a really effective grater, and after a number of hours of infusion, the lime taste simply wasn’t there. I made a decision that a bit care with a vegetable peeler would yield extra per lime with much less effort.

Looking back, I ought to have first filtered the infused rum by way of a steel espresso filter first to take away extra solids. Lesson for subsequent time.

With this recipe, the toasted almond taste is notable whereas the lime hangs within the background. The ginger and cloves are a bit more durable to pick. Subsequent time I could barely bump up their amount. I may additionally experiment with a 1.5/1 sugar/water ratio for the easy syrup.

Let me know your ideas and leads to the feedback!

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