Sometimes it’s the funniest sounding liqueur that can make the most impact in cocktails and Falernum is just one of those liqueurs.
It’s the secret addition that takes a good spirits and juice based cocktail and gives it a wonderful depth and subtlety.
Spiced with Clove, Lime, Allspice, Ginger and Almond, it has a distinct spiced-but-sweet flavour that is found in numerous Tiki drinks but is also starting to creep into the general bar vernacular.
Originating in the Caribbean, Falernum dates back to the 19th century and has had a strong resurgence with the new tiki movement.
It comes in a non-alcoholic syrup like the Fee Brothers West Indies Style Falernum or the Crawley’s Pure Falernum Syrup or alcoholic such as the John D. Taylor Velvet Falernum.
No matter which version you use, Falernum can still sometimes be a bit hard to find, so we thought we’d provide the recipe below to show you just how easy it is to make Falenum at home.
The advantage of making it yourself is that it offers a fresher flavour and everything you need for it is easily available. The only hitch is that once you have it assembled, it has to sit for two days before you can use it.
This modified recipe was adapted from the Falernum #9 recipe in Jeff Berry’s Beach Bum Berry Remixed.
16 oz Overproof White Rum
Zest of 9 limes, no pith
Zest of 1 grapefruit, no pith
20 dried allspice berries
20 whole cloves
1.5 oz (by weight) fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 cup blanched almonds
16 oz cold-process cane syrup
.25 teaspoon almond extract
4.5 oz fresh lime juice, strained
Now you’ll need a few tools to make this work. These include a large Mason-style jar or bottle, cheesecloth, a funnel and a medium bowl.
Roughly chop almonds and place in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once they become aromatic (3-5 minutes), remove from heat.
Combine rum and toasted almonds in a large mason jar. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Add the lime zest and grapefruit zest, along with the ginger, allspice and cloves, to the almond and rum mixture. Let the mixture soak for an additional 24 hours.
Strain rum mixture through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a medium-sized bowl. When finished, squeeze the cheesecloth to extract every last drop.