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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Falernum - Bring the tropics to your cocktails

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

This bar staple has been really popular in our online rum & cocktail tastings. I'm always asked about it so thought I'd do a really quick run down on this essential tropical ingredient.

First created in Barbados in the late 1800s this wonderful concoction has been a tiki bar staple ever since. It's a sweet, slightly alcoholic, syrupy liqueur with clear tropical spicy notes of ginger, lime, clove and almond. I believe many Bajans have their own home recipes - has anyone tried a making their own?

If your more inclined to buy a reliable ready made bottle like me, there are a few options available but you'd be hard pushed to improve on the brand leader - John D Taylor, Velvet Falernum. Made (I believe) at the awesome Foursquare distillery in Barbados. (It's about £15 and available on of offline in the usual spirit shops).

Falernum usually has a rum base (leaving it around 11%), which, along with the sugar content help to preserve it - so it lasts well behind your bar and doesn't have to be used in a rush.

So, what to do with it??

First off, take a little sip. I'd always recommend trying cocktail ingredients neat, so you can understand the flavours and know what you're aiming for when you balance your cocktail.

Next stop - cocktail time. There's a tonne of recipes where falernum is essential, or optional. Some examples are the incredible - Corn 'n Oil, Saturn (pictured below) or a Gayle Seale Daiquiri. Check out our cocktail page for these and other recipes.

So, get yourself some Falernum, make some cocktails, send us some pics and let us know what you think of this tropical treat.

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