The story goes, ‘if you want to make Falernum, you haf a learn um’. And to know Falernum is to make a cocktail called a Corn N’ Oil. This infusion even has it’s own wiki page LINK!. Ratios vary but the two key ingredients are [a large slug of] Black Strap rum [an article for another day] and a small amount of Falernum. A nice variation includes a splash of angostura bitters.
Facts about Falernum
- It’s a sweet sugar-cane syrup [non-alcoholic by Fee Brothers – right] or a liqueur/cordial [alcoholic by John D Taylor’s – above & below]
- Its fairly clear and fairly thick.
- Geographically, Falernum’s roots are linked to Bridgetown, Barbados
- Time wise, Falernum was widely established by the 1930’s, the origins of which however stretch further back to the 1800’s.
- Charles Dickens [All year round, 1892] described Falernum as “a curious liqueur composed from rum and lime-juice”.
- It’s a staple of many tiki drinks/cocktails like the Zombie or Mai Tai for example.
- The syrup is infused with flavour combinations of sugar [for the syrup] or rum [for the liqueur], lime, almond and cloves – amongst other discretionary extras including ginger. Countless articles contradict or differ regarding what exactly the key ingredients of Falernum are. Best ask John D Taylor.
- Taylor’s Velvet Falernum was first created by John D Taylor in 1890. The Taylor’s liqueur you can buy today is made with sugar cane [rum], lime, almond and cloves with an abv of 11%. There’s also a Christmas edition that’s bottled at 14%.
- R.L Seale Ltd (founded in 1926] currently produces John D Taylor’s, a company which in turn is owned by Marussia. Who owns them?
Velvet Falernum Liqueur 11%
- N: Sugar almonds, herbs? and [clove] spices
T: Sweet with minimal medicinal=herbal. It’s like child’s medicine [Tixylix?], but not as sickly sweet.
- F: Sweet almond solution
- C: Lovely. £12-13 [Oct ’16]
And if you want to make it yourself, here’s a recipe from Marcia Simmons .http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/02/homemade-falernum-for-tiki-drinks-almond-clove-lime-syrup-recipe.html