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falernum

Type

Non-alcoholic additives, juices & mixers

Description

Generic for a flavored sugar syrup, non-or-lightly alcoholic (5 to 11%), used almost exclusively in rum-based tropical drinks. Thick, transluscent and straw-colored, it has a subtle sweet/tart/spicy character. There is some question as to when it was created - some sources suggesting as long ago as the 1700s, others pinpointing it in the 1890s or 1930s. Two companies have asserted themselves to be successors to the inventor of falernum. Velvet Falernum, produced by R.L. Seale, Ltd. said to have been invented by John D. Taylor in 1890, and Stansfeld-Scott, Inc., successors to A.V. Stansfeld in said to have been invented by A.V. Stansfeld in 1935. A Bajan brand, Stansfeld Falernum is no longer produced. No independent corroboration has yet been established for either claim. The Velvet Falernum bottle shows a depiction of a gold medal said to have been won in 1923 at a Bajan agricultural exhibition. There too, the depiction is generic and no specific information has been presented regarding the exhibition. Even its general citation is vague. That said, the 45 year earlier claim is persuasive. Our research has turned up no written reference previous to the 1930s. While the product may be proprietary insofar as ownership of the Falernum name in certain geographic regions is concerned, multiple companies produce it in its native Barbados, Bermuda, and in the United States. Examples are John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum (Barbados,) Hanschell Innis Falernum (Barbados,) Gosling's Falernum (Bermuda,) Da Vinci Caribbean Falernum (United States,) and Fee Brothers West Indies Style Falernum (United States.)

Flavor

almond, vanilla, lime, allspice, clove and ginger

Availability

Limited availability. Produced and sold in Barbados, Bermuda and United States. Known to be distributed in parts of North America and Caribbean. Export and/or distribution unreliable. Regional. Available for on-line ordering in some markets.

Substitute

Though there are several brands, there is no other commercial substitute of falernum's flavor characteristics. Combine orgeat syrup with vanilla. allspice, clove, ginger, Angostura bitters & lime juice to approximate it.

Usage examples

This ingredient appears in 22 recipes in CocktailDB.
picturePort Maria Cocktail
pictureWhite Lion
pictureRum Swizzle
pictureGeorgia Rum Cooler
pictureFloridian Cocktail
pictureKey Cocktail

Museum of the American Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail 2006
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