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Falernum: The Topic

145 posts in this topic

There's nothing wrong with Fee Brothers Falernum syrup. In fact, it was developed by Fee Brothers in consultation with Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haig with the purpose of replicating a now-defunkt (?) Falernum produced by A.V. Stansfeld. According to Doc, this was the Falernum specified in all the Tiki drinks. His conclusion: "When I make tiki drinks, I use Fee Brothers West Indies Falernum. When I make traditional Swizzles, Slings and recipes genuinely native to the Islands, I insist on John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum."

Read the whole article here.

...That's kind of an odd Queen's Park Swizzle recipe. As far as I know, the QPS is demerara rum, lime, mint, bitters and simple (and crushed ice, of course). We've got a good thread on swizzles here.

I'd be interested to hear of your success in using the Fee Brothers Falernum in Tiki drinks.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Sam - thanks for that link. A very interesting article.

I'm in a position to have little choice, so anything I mix up with Falernum in it is going to be the Fee Brothers by default.

I tried a very slight variant on the Flaming Orange Gully tonight with the Svedka Clementine vodka. Still a very delicious drink. I'm contemplating a mimosa variant that is half Orange Gully recipe and half sparkling wine/Champagne for a brunch drink. I'll let you know how that works out. I think it might be pretty tasty sipping in the sunshine in our lovely outdoor courtyard garden once it warms up enough.

gallery_23992_3286_97244.jpg


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I've been playing around a bit over the last few months with recipes using various falernum formulations (the Latin geek in me wonders: would that be falerna?). This one is turning into the drink of the moment, probably because it's been so damn hot here in San Diego:

The Smakatoa

4 oz Pyrat XO Reserve rum (Bacardi 8 or Appleton's are also nice)

4 oz Naked mango puree

½ oz falernum

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1 oz seltzer

Mix the first four ingredients in a pint glass. Add ice cubes to within an inch of the brim, stir with a bar spoon, top with seltzer, give it a quick swirl with a spoon, and serve immediately.

As I mention in the full write-up, I’m not a big fan of seltzer in cocktails, but this helps to lighten the thick mango puree admirably, making it better suited to leisurely summertime drinking.

Note that it makes a big, tall drink. I like smaller-portioned cocktails when they are largely alcohol, but a half-sized version of this just leaves me wanting more.

gallery_19356_6072_840169.jpg

[if the image seems blurry, adjust your screen and/or squint your eyes]

[edited to fix typo]


Edited by mbrowley (log)

Matthew B. Rowley

Rowley's Whiskey Forge, a blog of drinks, food, and the making thereof

Author of Moonshine! (ISBN: 1579906486)

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I wonder what'd happen if you dripped in a few drops of that Herbsaint you've got there....

Undoubtedly, the sublimity quotient would increase. But Herbsaint is a hard sell in the Rowley household; I'm the only one who drinks it. Once I snag some more mango, I'll opine on that delicious recommendation...

I've also blown through almost all my falernum inventory. I can tell not only because there's more room in the fridge, but also because I'm hearing "What the hell is Falernum No. 4?" less often. Made a liter for a patio party of a watermelon-based drink we called the Mama Charlie that was heavy on the stuff. Our friend Mama Charlie herself is allergic to mango, so I juiced a watermelon for her, added the rum, falernum, bitters, etc. Another friend drank about half of the liter before anyone noticed. He still can't pronounce "falernum" but now we all know what kind of fancy underwear he sports.

Time to get out the zester, toast the almonds, bruise the Penzey's cloves, and rustle up some overproof rum.


Matthew B. Rowley

Rowley's Whiskey Forge, a blog of drinks, food, and the making thereof

Author of Moonshine! (ISBN: 1579906486)

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I asked because your post came just after I'd finished fiddling around with a drink that uses that Beachcomber Angostura/Herbsaint "secret ingredient" (click).

Ode to Don

2 oz pineapple-infused rum (homemade)

1 oz lime

1/2 pimento dram (homemade)

1/2 oz falernum (Taylor's)

2-3 dashes Angostura

dash Herbsaint

egg white (optional)

Shake and strain.

It works without the egg white, but with makes a supple, beautiful drink with a massive, meringue-like head. If you go with the white, be sure to do a strong dry shake before adding lots of ice for the second shake.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The Solera as mentioned in this SF Gate article is a terrific drink. The best prominent use of both Velvet Falernum and sherry that I've tried:

Solera

Makes 1 drink

Adapted from a recipe by Dominic Venegas.

2 ounces Santa Teresa 1796 rum or other aged dark rum, preferably Venezuelan

1 ounce Lustau Palo Cortado sherry

3/4 ounce velvet falernum (John Taylor)

2 dashes Regans' Orange Bitters

-- Orange peel for garnish

Instructions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the rum, sherry, velvet falernum and bitters. Stir, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a ribbon of orange peel.

Unfortunately I found out a few months ago from Spec's that Velvet Falernum is no longer being distributed in Texas and they've sold out of their stock. Looks like I'll be ordering online.

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The Solera as mentioned in this SF Gate article is a terrific drink. The best prominent use of both Velvet Falernum and sherry that I've tried:
Solera

Makes 1 drink

Adapted from a recipe by Dominic Venegas.

2 ounces Santa Teresa 1796 rum or other aged dark rum, preferably Venezuelan

1 ounce Lustau Palo Cortado sherry

3/4 ounce velvet falernum (John Taylor)

2 dashes Regans' Orange Bitters

-- Orange peel for garnish

Instructions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the rum, sherry, velvet falernum and bitters. Stir, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a ribbon of orange peel.

Unfortunately I found out a few months ago from Spec's that Velvet Falernum is no longer being distributed in Texas and they've sold out of their stock. Looks like I'll be ordering online.

Kent, hang tight, I think it's on the way back in with a distributor set to start selling our favorite importer's portfolio in-state pretty soon.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Just found it back on the shelves at Spec's. Looks like Haus Alpenz is importing it now.

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"Another drink made with rum was called falurnum, perhaps in honour of the ancient

Falernian. It was always served cold..."

Wikipedia has an interesting article about falernian and asserts that falernum is indeed named after it.

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For people who are searching for Fee Brothers falernum in NYC, I found it at Kalustyan's.

And Astor Wines stocks the John D. Taylor Velvet Falernum.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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Thought I'd share this with you folks, beats any of the pre-bottled stuff I've tried.

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Falernum

Makes approximately 650-700ml falernum;

-----

200ml Wray & Nephew Overproof (or alternative white overproof rum - 63%ABV)

50ml Havana Club Especial (or alternative aged rum - 40%ABV)

Zest of 10 medium-sized limes (no pith)

40 Whole cloves (fresh)

90 grams fresh ginger (peeled and sliced thinly - julienne style)

25g Sliced almonds (lightly toast by dry-frying)

8 Whole black peppercorns (crushed)

2 Whole star anise (crushed)

1 Teaspoon spice mix (equal parts ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and ground allspice)

1/4 Vanilla pod (scored)

Combine all ingredients in a jar, seal, then macerate for 24 hours. Strain through moistened muslin cloth, ensuring you squeeze the solids to extract all liquid. Strain again through coffee filter paper to extract all sediment.

Once clarity has been obtained, add;

50ml Dr Adam Elmegirab's Roasted Almond Orgeat

350ml Sugar syrup (two parts unrefined sugar dissolved in one part water without heating)

Shake everything together and bottle in clean glass bottles (700ml maximum).

-----

Tips;

- Do not macerate in anything under 50%ABV (100 proof) or over 75%ABV (150proof).

- Remove lime zest with a grater. I recommend using a wasabi/ginger grater.

- Use fresh products in every possible instance.

- Use a potato peeler to quickly peel ginger.

- Crush/grind all spices using a pestle & mortar prior to maceration.

- Before straining ensure you moisten both the muslin cloth and filter paper. I recommend moistening with the liquid you are about to filter.

- Do not use heated sugar syrup.

- Do not add fresh lime juice.

- If using used bottles allow to soak in soapy water and then boiling water to avoid contamination.

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I needed falernum in a hurry so I made up a batch of rich falernum syrup from the Kaiser Penguin blog. I'm not sure what the fridge life is going to be but I haven't made much of a dent in it in almost two weeks. Would heating it again buy some time? Maybe tossing it in the the freezer? I'm happy with the flavor so I don't really want to end up tossing it if I can avoid it.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I needed falernum in a hurry so I made up a batch of rich falernum syrup from the Kaiser Penguin blog. I'm not sure what the fridge life is going to be but I haven't made much of a dent in it in almost two weeks. Would heating it again buy some time? Maybe tossing it in the the freezer? I'm happy with the flavor so I don't really want to end up tossing it if I can avoid it.

With that much sugar it should be pretty stable in the refrigerator. If you add a couple of oz of overproof rum or everclear it should last indefinitely in the refrigerator.


Edited by Keith Orr (log)

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Thought I'd share this with you folks, beats any of the pre-bottled stuff I've tried.

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Falernum

Makes approximately 650-700ml falernum;

-----

200ml Wray & Nephew Overproof (or alternative white overproof rum - 63%ABV)

50ml Havana Club Especial (or alternative aged rum - 40%ABV)

Zest of 10 medium-sized limes (no pith)

40 Whole cloves (fresh)

90 grams fresh ginger (peeled and sliced thinly - julienne style)

25g Sliced almonds (lightly toast by dry-frying)

8 Whole black peppercorns (crushed)

2 Whole star anise (crushed)

1 Teaspoon spice mix (equal parts ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and ground allspice)

1/4 Vanilla pod (scored)

Combine all ingredients in a jar, seal, then macerate for 24 hours. Strain through moistened muslin cloth, ensuring you squeeze the solids to extract all liquid. Strain again through coffee filter paper to extract all sediment.

Once clarity has been obtained, add;

50ml Dr Adam Elmegirab's Roasted Almond Orgeat

350ml Sugar syrup (two parts unrefined sugar dissolved in one part water without heating)

Shake everything together and bottle in clean glass bottles (700ml maximum).

-----

Tips;

- Do not macerate in anything under 50%ABV (100 proof) or over 75%ABV (150proof).

- Remove lime zest with a grater. I recommend using a wasabi/ginger grater.

- Use fresh products in every possible instance.

- Use a potato peeler to quickly peel ginger.

- Crush/grind all spices using a pestle & mortar prior to maceration.

- Before straining ensure you moisten both the muslin cloth and filter paper. I recommend moistening with the liquid you are about to filter.

- Do not use heated sugar syrup.

- Do not add fresh lime juice.

- If using used bottles allow to soak in soapy water and then boiling water to avoid contamination.

My results, omitting the orgeat:

546409_777150472431_37003198_35973257_1583434518_n.jpg

Never having tried falernum before, I don't know what to judge it against, but it's quite deliciously funky (I made mine with W&N Overproof).

Two questions:

1. Where the hell do you get 700ish ml size bottles? All I found in shops were 500 (shown) and 1 L, which was too much. I made about 600 ML of the stuff, and didn't manage to bottle all of it.

2. How is Taylor's Velvet Falernum clear? Are they using extracts?

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The standard liquor bottle in the US is 750ml. Go drink up something.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Haha, I know, nothing I have is that close to empty, sadly!

Slacker.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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This may be a dumb question but is it possible to over-flavor falernum? Can it be too strong? The reason I'm asking is, I have a batch of the Kaiser Penguin's rich falernum syrup in the fridge and I'm currently steeping a batch of rum-based falernum in the more traditional manner. Would (or could) using the rich falernum syrup as the sugar syrup added to the infused rum be overkill and result in something over-flavored to the point of being unpleasant? Could it possibly result in something nice with the combination of alcohol and water extractions of the aromatics? I don't mind occasional loss in the name of learning but I'd rather not mess up my falernum if somebody already knows or strongly suspects this is a bad idea.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm curious how the Taylor's stuff is almost clear, whereas mine is a very rich brownish-green

I don't think it is cold-compounded, though that is a possibility. More likely it is fined before bottling.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Cold compounding is more or less adding extracts and essential oils to spirits. Grain alcohol + essential oil of juniper + essential oil of lemon (or whatever) = cold compounded gin.

Fining is clarification using proteins like egg whites or isinglass. This is a common practice in spirits. If there's no sediment in the bottom of your bottle of bourbon, chances are it was fined before bottling.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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