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Falernum: The Topic

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We had asked for this update, because the difficult-to-obtain Velvet Falernum is a key ingredient in our Flaming Orange Gully cocktail.

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:smile: It does look yummy. Heck DeGroff was promoting the stuff -- gotta be good!

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He created the stuff.

He didn't actually create Velvet Falernum, but he's been a big booster and cross promoter, and quite obviously the lead in figuring out how to use it in drinks. Including of course... our lovely drink.

BTW: Apparently the drink has two names. Usually we've just seen it as "The Flaming Orange Gully", but here our convention of calling it "the Fog" has seemingly caught on, since its "VELVET FOG COCKTAIL" there. But we are still mentioned, even if the "FOG" designation disconnects it a bit from us.

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. . .  Apparently the drink has two names.  Usually we've just seen it as "The Flaming Orange Gully", but here our convention of calling it "the Fog" has seemingly caught on, since its "VELVET FOG COCKTAIL" there.  But we are still mentioned, even if the "FOG" designation disconnects it a bit from us.

The Velvet Falernum site has the same recipe under both names. :unsure::unsure:

What I want to know is: does Mel Torme's estate get a cut (along with all those gd roasting chestnuts)? :raz:

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The "Rum Swizzle" was recently brought to my attention as a contender to the Dark and Stormy.

I looked into making one of thease drinks and lo and behold there is some crazy ingrediant that is hard to find......Falernum.

Does anyone know if this stuff is available and has anyone had any luck with

a homemade version.?

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And best to mkae your own. Oddly enough, some drink recipes I've seen call for either orgeat syrup or falernum as if they were interchangeable. There is an almond component in both but orgeat is predominately and almond flavored syrup whereas falernum is not.

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There is a Velvet Falernum website. Unfortunately there aren't any links to distributors at this time.

In Barbados, Falernum is mixed with an equal amount of rum to make what is locally known as corn 'n oil. A pretty sweet drink.

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My favorite spirits store carries it, so I've been on a Falernum kick. My typical use for it is in a drink I call the Velvet Daiquiri: 2 oz. white rum, 1/2 oz. Falernum, 1/2 oz. lime juice and a shake or two of peach bitters.

I also had a drink at the Starlight Room with Chartreuse, Falernum and pineapple juice that was good -- and I'm not really a pineapple fan.

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The first time I heard of Velvet Falernum was when Dale DeGroff came up with the Flaming Orange Gully. Quite a while afterward, I came upon it in my favorite spirits shop and bought a bottle.

I'm curious about it. From various posts here on eGullet and on DrinkBoy's site, I take it that there are different brands of this liqueur, though -- is that true? The bottle I have is John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, with an alcohol volume of 11%.

What other brands (if any) exist? Are they demonstrably better or different than the one I have? Higher proof?

Also, has anyone made their own (following the recipe in the Flaming Orange Gully thread)? How does that compare?

Also, what sort of recipes are out there that call for it? I use it in place of simple syrup in Daquairis with a dash of peach bitters and have had it with Chartreuse and pineapple juice at a bar here in San Francisco. Both good, by the way.

(Dr. Cocktail, my apologies in advance if you cover it in your book. My copy hasn't yet arrived.)

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John D. Taylor imported by Spirit of Hartford is the only one that I know of, Janet. And yes, its possible to synthesize your own, and I actually prefer the flavor of the homemade one.

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There is the John D. Taylor "Velvet Falernum" bottling to which Jason refers at 11% alcohol. Fee Brothers also makes a "West Indies Style Falernum" which is nonalcoholic. Da Vinci Gourmet makes a "Caribbean Falernum Classic Syrup" that is also nonalcoholic. The Sazerac company used to import a falernum from Barbados, and I think Goslings makes a falernum -- neither one of which seems to be available in the US. Since falernum is typically used in very small amounts, it shouldn't make any difference which one is used.

I, too, would like to experiment with falernum. Most of the recipes one sees that include falernum are rum-based drinks. I like rum as much as the next guy, but it would be interesting to use it with other base spirits.

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I have a bottle of Hanschell's Old Time Recipe Falernum (11%), which I imported from Barbados in my hand luggage. It's made by Hanschell Inniss, the folks who make Cockspur rum. Not bad at all.

--DW

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Fee Brothers also has a Falernum (0% alc) that they came out with just a few months ago. It and the Da Vinci product are pretty much interchangeable flavor wise, but the same cannot be said of Velvet Falernum. To the best of my knowledge, those three products (Fee, Da Vinci, Velvet) are the only Falernum's currently being sold in the US. If you can get Velvet Falernum, then that is the better of the three, but also harder to find (I can't get it here in WA, has anybody seen it being sold online yet?).

-Robert

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Spec's out of Houston, TX sells both Fee Brothers Falernum ($2.39 for 4 oz) and Taylor Velvet Falernum ($13.67 for 750 ml).

Spec's is actually one of the best liquor stores in the country. Whenever I'm in Houston I always stock up on booze I can't get easily (or inexpensively) in NYC.

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I, too, would like to experiment with falernum.  Most of the recipes one sees that include falernum are rum-based drinks.  I like rum as much as the next guy, but it would be interesting to use it with other base spirits.

The other evening I inadvertently added gin instead of white rum to the falernum and lime that was already in the cocktail shaker. Not being one to waste gin, I went ahead and gave it a try. I usually add peach bitters to my "velvet daiquiris" (the rum, falernum and lime drink I make), but tried orange bitters with the gin just to see.

I thought it would be just okay, but it actually was quite good, sort of a relative of the Gimlet. I'll make it again, probably experimenting with different bitters.

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Helpfully, there's a recipe for Velvet Falernum in RecipeGullet. But how is white falernum made?

White falernum was supposedly the stuff that generally made it into most of those old American tropical drinks, so I was curious about any differences.

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As far as I have been able to learn, falernum was invented by John D. Taylor in the late 19th century. The original name was "velvet falernum." Later, in the 1920s, the John D. Taylor company produced a variant called "white falernum" that was lighter and less distinctively flavored. As far as I know, it is no longer produced. Both contain alcohol.

I would think that the original velvet falernum (which is anyway a clear "white" liqueur) would be the one to use in tropical drinks.

There is also no need to make your own falernum. The original John D. Taylor velvet falernum is available for sale in the States (I have a bottle), and Fee Brothers makes a nonalcoholic "falernum syrup."

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There is also no need to make your own falernum.  The original John D. Taylor velvet falernum is available for sale in the States (I have a bottle), and Fee Brothers makes a nonalcoholic "falernum syrup."

Depends on the state. Here in Washington, where the state has a liquor monopoly, Velvet Falernum can't be found, and shipping in from out of state can be a pain (I'm not sure if it's completely illegal, but it sure is a hassle finding a place that will do it). Fee's falernum is also pretty tough to find (in Seattle, anyway), and trust me, I've looked. (There's always mail order, but from what I've read about Fee's falernum, I might be better off with the homemade.)

I did mix up a batch a couple of weeks back, using the eGullet recipe. It's pretty sweet, much sweeter than I'd anticipated, though I've never tried the commercial stuff that's available, so maybe that's par for the course. I chronicled my experiences on my web log, along with a few drinks I've made with it.

Slakethirst also detailed recent homemade falernum experiments, complete with taste comparisons with Velvet Falernum (and check out the bottle design!). A previous post on that site also compares VF to Fee's, with more praise being given to the former.

I'm supposed to try some real Caribbean falernum later this week, thanks to a kind visitor to my web site, so I'll better be able to compare my homemade stuff with a more authentic version.

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Falernum is a real word? I've been listening to Irish folk music with the word falernum in it since I was, well, a wee lass, and I just thought it was a made up word! :laugh: Maybe it still was in the context, I don't know. Or maybe it's an old nonsense word that they used to name the concoction.

The song I'm thinking of is a bawdy warning young maids not to marry old men, and the chorus goes:

"Because he's got no falernum

Fie-iddle-i-urum!

He's got no falernum

Fie-iddle-i-ay!

He's got no falernum

He's lost his ding-durum

So maids when you're young never wed an old man."

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Falernum is a real word?

It's real for varying definitions of "real," I suppose.

It's certainly the proper name of a product, but for all its reputed 100+ year history, it doesn't appear in the OED 2nd ed., in which the only faler- words are Falern and Falernian, both referring to a much-appreciated wine from the Campania region of Italy.

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Admin: threads merged.

I have Fee bros. falernum at the bar. Some customer recently told me that that was a "fake" falernum, due to the lack of alchohol. In NY I picked up a bottle of velvet falernum, which is about 11%. Is it purley a preservative, or it is supposed to be a liquor? I don't know enough about them, and I haven't tasted my velvet yet.

edit to add:I have john taylors. Is Velvet a style or a brand? I noticed Dale Degroff also has a velvet falernum...

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Taylor's Velvet Falernum is, as far as I can tell, the original. So if you have that, you're fine.

...not that I think there's anything wrong with using the Fee Brothers syrup.

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