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Falernum: The Topic

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lesliec   

I started my first batch of the Elmegirab this morning - I'll report tomorrow on how it turned out.  It calls for 10 limes rather than KP's eight, and I wonder, with the 90 grams of fresh ginger as well, whether there's more solids than really necessary - the rum doesn't cover them by any means.

 

I'm using 200ml of W&N and 50ml of Gunpowder rum.  Should be interesting, with all the other spices!

 

KP's recipes - the 24 hour and five minute - are the only ones I've made previously, so they're my reference (I find them very similar to each other).  Have you got a friendly bar that would give you a tiny taste of Velvet?  My favourite did and it's scarred me for life.

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lesliec   

'Tomorrow' (see previous post) turns out to be a moveable feast.  However, the Elmegirab falernum came out very well.  It's (understandably, with the extra stuff in it) a bit more complex than Kaiser Penguin's, and I think a little smoother (but I don't know why it would be).

 

This may now have to be my default recipe.  It will be interesting to see how it goes with the five-minute treatment in an iSi.  Next time.

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I made Adam's version too over the last couple of days.  Noticed there seemed to be a whole lot of good smell left in the botanicals after the 24 hour extraction so I mixed up 250 ml more rum and did a second extraction.  Just filtering it now - will be interested to see how it compares.

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Hassouni   

You can also boil the remaining spices, etc and then use the water to make your syrup

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pto   

Not ready to jump into making my own falernum yet, had never even tasted the stuff. I bought a bottle of The Bitter Truth Golden Falernum, having been very impressed with their bitters. As I said, this is the first falernum I've ever had, so nothing to compare to, but to me it seems excellent. Great spicy, soapy(?), intense aroma. Taste is nice and spicy, strong clove and ginger, not overly syrupy/sweet.

 

Tried 2 Corn & Oils after looking through many recipes online. The winner was:

 

2 lime wedges

1/3 oz Falernum

2 dashes Angostura

muddle above ingredients

1 oz Mt. Gay Eclipse

ice, stir

Float 1 ounce Gosling's Black seal

 

What a great drink, very tasty, complex and not sweet. It reminded me of a Dark and Stormy with the soda element taken out, which is perfect for me, I always like the general taste of D&S, but too much soda and too sweet. Love this drink.

 

I got this recipe from here:

just changed the rums to suit what I I have on hand.

 

The other recipe I tried was not muddled, used 2 oz of just one rum (the Eclipse), and 1/2 oz falernum. It was just kind of meh.

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ananth   

hello everyone,
a french bartender told me that he makes his own falernum with white rhum agricole in order to emphasise the cane side of the sugar. I tasted it and it was pretty good actually.
WHat do you think of this idea?

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Craig E   

If you had these rum options for a homemade falernum base, which would you use? 

  • Plantation 3 Stars
  • Ed Hamilton 151
  • Sagatiba cachaca
  • Rhum J.M. blanc
  • Smith & Cross

Recipe calls for white rum, so Plantation seems like the obvious choice. I thought the higher-proof options might be good at sucking out flavor from the zests etc., but are they all (in their own ways) too funky? Opinions?


Edited by Craig E (log)

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ananth   

Plantation would probably be to weak to let infuse all the different spices. Maybe you can try using your JM Blanc (rhum agricole) like I suggested a few post before yours. I believe it is 100 proof.

As for me, I made my first falernum (with W&N) a few weeks ago using Paul Clarke's #10 recipe.
http://looka.gumbopages.com/2009/02/16/mixology-monday-xxxvi-hard-drinks-for-hard-times/
 
I tasted it neat and was a little bit disappointed ; in cocktail, it was ok I guess. Even if there was something wrong (probably my fault), I'm not sure what was the main problem. Maybe I didn't managed to limit white pit of lime zests (using a grater)? However, I felt that cloves was the first obvious flavour to be noticed, I would probably use a little bit less next time.

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Craig E   

You don't have W&N?

I don't, and I'm desperately trying to gain some traction on this slippery slope of rum collection!

Thanks for your input, Ananth and FrogPrincesse! Think I'll try 2:1 or 3:1 agricole & Hamilton.

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I don't, and I'm desperately trying to gain some traction on this slippery slope of rum collection!

Thanks for your input, Ananth and FrogPrincesse! Think I'll try 2:1 or 3:1 agricole & Hamilton.

You are very welcome. :)

 

Out of curiosity, what is the alcohol content of the white JM that you have? It comes in 40%, 50%, and even 55% if I remember correctly.

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I don't, and I'm desperately trying to gain some traction on this slippery slope of rum collection!

 

I know what you mean. I am not a huge rum drinker, yet rum is the most abundant spirit in my collection! I somehow managed to amass more than 30 bottles. Oops. I try to use the tail end of bottles in punch or falernum etc.

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Craig E   

You are very welcome. :)

 

Out of curiosity, what is the alcohol content of the white JM that you have? It comes in 40%, 50%, and even 55% if I remember correctly.

Now that I look at it, it's 40%! I had it in my head that it was 50. Maybe I'll swing my ratio a little further towards the 151.

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Tri2Cook   

Opened a bottle of falernum I made just over a year ago. I finish my homemade falernum and allspice dram with a higher alcohol content than standard just to be safe with the shelf life thing. Very possibly unnecessary, I'm not an expert, but it's what I do. There was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle so I siphoned everything out of the bottle down to just above the sediment and re-bottled. The aging seems to have done some good things and some possibly less good things. It's lost it's rough edges, it's silky smooth. But the lime has faded to the background, comes in more behind the spice than forward on the sip. And the almond has become more of a vague nuttiness. I've never tasted a commercial falernum and this is the first time I've made a large enough amount in one batch that I could keep some around for a while. When I use it fresh fairly soon after making it, the lime is more up front but the spice is much more harsh. I actually like this aged stuff better but I'm not sure if it will do what falernum is supposed to do in drinks that call for it with the subtle lime. I guess my question is... what exactly should my falernum taste like?

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On ‎3‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 5:24 PM, Tri2Cook said:

Opened a bottle of falernum I made just over a year ago. I finish my homemade falernum and allspice dram with a higher alcohol content than standard just to be safe with the shelf life thing. Very possibly unnecessary, I'm not an expert, but it's what I do. There was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle so I siphoned everything out of the bottle down to just above the sediment and re-bottled. The aging seems to have done some good things and some possibly less good things. It's lost it's rough edges, it's silky smooth. But the lime has faded to the background, comes in more behind the spice than forward on the sip. And the almond has become more of a vague nuttiness. I've never tasted a commercial falernum and this is the first time I've made a large enough amount in one batch that I could keep some around for a while. When I use it fresh fairly soon after making it, the lime is more up front but the spice is much more harsh. I actually like this aged stuff better but I'm not sure if it will do what falernum is supposed to do in drinks that call for it with the subtle lime. I guess my question is... what exactly should my falernum taste like?

 

When you make your own it kind of should taste they way you want it to! :D

 

Don't know how much his helps answer your question but it was interesting from an historical perspective. I am lazy and usually opt for the standard Velvet Falernum.

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Tri2Cook   
27 minutes ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

When you make your own it kind of should taste they way you want it to! :D

 

I am lazy and usually opt for the standard Velvet Falernum.


While true that it probably should taste the way you want it to, I was leaning more towards wanting to know how it would be expected to taste to the people who created all of those tiki drinks that use it. I've always just used what I make and not thought about how close it is (or isn't) to what it should be but recently I've started wondering if it actually tastes like what the people who created the drinks intended. Velvet Falernum isn't an option from the LCBO but I've read others tasting notes on it and based on that, I think mine may be a little lacking in the lime and almond departments. Maybe I'll order a bottle of the BG Reynolds just to have something to compare to.

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mukki   

Any opinions on the BG Reynold's falernum syrup? I've only used the John Taylor Velvet Falernum and am not quite up to making my own yet. Hi Times carries Tippleman's Falernum, but haven't seen that mentioned anywhere either.

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He has good products so I am sure it's fine! I've had his other syrups (cinnamon, vanilla, passion fruit, ginger) but not the falernum since I make my own. It's not very difficult to make if you are so inclined!

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Tri2Cook   

I like the BG Reynold's falernum. I have a batch of homemade I'm using right now that I guess I didn't do a good job with because I don't find it enough better than the BG Reynolds to be worth all the ingredients, time and effort. But I'm not dedicated enough to the cocktail to be the one giving recommendations, the only things I make myself are the ones I can't get any other way.

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mukki   

Thanks for the replies! Off to order some cinnamon syrup, too.... 

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