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Falernum: The Topic

145 posts in this topic

It can do both, filtration can also remove the fine particulate that make cloudy infusions. Most spirits and wines are both fined and filtered.

Somewhere on the board I think there's a thread on buchner funnel use, which is a way to remove very fine particles such as you are experiencing. The gear is not cheap though.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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After using a commercial product for a while I think that I am ready to tackle homemade falernum. It would be great to hear what everyone's current favorite recipe is.

So far I found the following recipes (listed by publication date):

  • The recipe by Dale DeGroff and its scaled-down version (2003): white rum, lime zest, cloves, almond extract + simple syrup.
  • Falernum #8 by Paul Clarke (2006) where he adds ginger and lime juice to Dale DeGroff's recipe and uses Wray & Nephew overproof rum.
  • Jeffrey Morgenthalers' variation on Paul Clarke's falernum #8 (2007) where he recommends soaking the cloves in rum for a few days prior to adding the lime zest and ginger.
  • Paul Clarke's falernum #9 (2007) - similar to the #8 formula with the addition of toasted almonds. This was the version published in Imbibe magazine and Beachbum Berry Remixed.
  • Paul Clarke's falernum #10 (2008): similar to #9 but no lime juice and the cloves are toasted.
  • Chris Hannah's recipe (2008) is also based on Paul Clarke's falernum #8 and was posted by Jeff Berry on his site: amber rum (Old New Orleans 3-year) with lime zest, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, coffee beans, toasted pecans + lime juice, simple syrup, almond extract.
  • Rumdood's falernum #2 (2009) which is another variation on Paul Clarke's falernum #8 with W&N + 151 overproof rums, lime zest, cloves, ginger, star anise + simple syrup, lime juice, lemon juice and almond extract.
  • The recipe by Kaiser Penguin (2009) uses lime zest, cloves, ginger, allspice, nutmeg + simple syrup and almond extract. No lime juice because it "just [keeps] on fermenting and getting nasty".
  • Kaiser Penguin's 5-minute falernum recipe (2010) - same as above without the almond extract and made in an iSi whipper.
  • Dr. Adam Elmegirab's falernum (2010) with a mixture of overproof and aged rums, lime zest, cloves, ginger, star anise, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, black peppercorns, toasted almonds, vanilla bean + simple syrup and orgeat.
  • Marcia Simmons' recipe on Serious Eats (2012): white rum, lime zest, cloves, toasted almonds, lime juice and simple syrup (no ginger).

Any tips before I make my first batch? I would prefer a recipe with a decent shelf-life so I am leaning toward the versions that don't include lime juice. Adam already included a lot of useful tips in his post that I've copied below.

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.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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I am VERY happy with the Elmegirab recipe - but as I said I didn't add orgeat as I already have some of that

Thanks Hassouni. His recipe does look nice. I don't have any overproof rum though, I was hoping I could just use a bottle of Bacardi that does not have much use otherwise (even if that goes against his very first tip!).

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Thanks Hassouni. His recipe does look nice. I don't have any overproof rum though, I was hoping I could just use a bottle of Bacardi that does not have much use otherwise (even if that goes against his very first tip!).

I'm sure there are probably quality differences related to using overproof spirits for jobs like this but it's never been an option where I live and my falernum, pimento dram and limoncello all turned out perfectly tasty. I think maybe the benefits of using overproofs is only going to become relevant if you get the chance to compare, otherwise you will only know, and be quite happy with, what you have to work with.


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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Royal Bermuda Yacht Clubs

2oz Mount Gay Eclipse

1oz lime juice

0.5oz Cointreau

0.5oz Velvet Falernum

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Royal Bermuda Yacht Clubs

2oz Mount Gay Eclipse

1oz lime juice

0.5oz Cointreau

0.5oz Velvet Falernum

attachicon.gif002 (640x480).jpg

Anybody think it's odd that something with such a name uses Bajan rum? Why not Gosling's gold, for example?

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How about Bitter Truth Golden Falernum Liqueur, Intense Falernum, and Cocktail Kingdom Falernum Bitters?

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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 FalernumMakes 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 Orgeat350ml 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.

I made this when it was posted with lemon instead of lime. We tasted it for thanksgiving and it was outstanding .


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I bought some really nice ginger and started my first batch of falernum last night. I used Adam E's recipe. I could not justify buying more bottles of rum (cabinets are already overflowing) so I went with Bacardi for the white, in an attempt to finish a Costco-size bottle which I inherited and has been collecting dust for years, and Whaler's for the dark. We will see how it goes.

What does everyone use to filter? I was going to use a fine metal strainer followed by a nylon mesh, similar to what I've been doing for orgeat.

11989914085_01e0771c40_z.jpg

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A few layers of cheesecloth work fine. I usually find coffee filters just too painfully slow. But if your nylon mesh is something like a Superbag, that's what I use.

And I can thoroughly recommend Kaiser Penguin's falernum recipes. Makes Velvet taste bleeding awful in comparison.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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After the fine metal strainer and nylon mesh filtration, there was a little bit of sediment left (not much) so I also filtered with a coffee filter. It took a long while and removed a fraction of the sediment. The resulting falernum is not clear which is fine with me. It's dark brown. I think I will skip the coffee filter step next time.

Taste-wise, it's an explosion of flavor compared to the commercial stuff I was using (the commercial product is essentially like a simple syrup lightly flavored with clove and rum). Clove and other spices, lime, and, surprisingly for me, a rich caramel flavor. Very intense. It seems to have a tinge of bitterness/bite in cocktails, maybe from the lime zest or ginger (although I used a microplane to avoid pith, and peeled the ginger). I can't really taste it when I try it neat but noticed it in a few cocktails. I think my taste buds are just getting accustomed to this because it's so intensely flavorful.

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So, how do we get clear infusions? I would have thought the coffee filter would have done it (it worked for my homemade coffee liqueur)

Filter again with a finer filter paper for example, or centrifuge if you want to get fancy. Not sure it is worth the effort though. Since it's dark brown already, the fact that it's slightly turbid does not bother me.

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Hassouni et al.-

Favored ratios for a Corn and Oil? I just had the misfortune of witnessing a friend order one with 3:1 specs (John D. Taylor falernum to rum - a sweet sugary mess as expected... ). I tend to do mine more old fashioned style with just a barspoon or two of falernum.

Thanks!

Here is the article from Jason Wilson that recommends this very poor recipe. It's the recipe that is printed on the back of the bottle of John D. Taylor.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/spirits/cocktails-that-complete-me-1.html


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I don't think I've mentioned it before, but Kaiser Penguin's 5-Minute Falernum works really well.

It's very close to his 'normal' falernum recipe (and tastes pretty much identical - this is a good thing), but it's made very quickly using nitrogen cavitation in an iSi siphon. You still need to zest eight limes, which is at best tedious, but it does mean that that's the longest part of the process; actually making the final product is real fast. And delicious, particularly with W&N as the base.

But then, anything's better than the commercial muck I've had. Fortunately I started making my own before feeling any need to buy some.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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Hassouni et al.-

Favored ratios for a Corn and Oil? I just had the misfortune of witnessing a friend order one with 3:1 specs (John D. Taylor falernum to rum - a sweet sugary mess as expected... ). I tend to do mine more old fashioned style with just a barspoon or two of falernum.

Thanks!

Here is the article from Jason Wilson that recommends this very poor recipe. It's the recipe that is printed on the back of the bottle of John D. Taylor.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/spirits/cocktails-that-complete-me-1.html

High on the rum, and not bloody blackstrap. It's a Bajan drink anyway, right?

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Yes, though the homemade falernum is a weird brown color....so instead of corn (dark brown/black) and oil (very light yellow to clear), you get brown and brown, using homemade falernum and better rum :laugh:

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