Falernum #1

December 17th, 2007 by Colonel Tiki

I’ve luckily had Falernum around since 2003 thanks to Martin Cate (who introduced me to John D. Taylor’s) and Blair (who bought a case way back when). I’ve compared to the Fee Brother’s version. And thanks to Paul Clarke, I’ve done home-made. The below recipe is my first attempt to tweak Paul’s recipe to my own taste. It came out quite nicely. However, I’m almost out so it will soon be time for #2.

Falernum Tincture

Falernum #1

40 cloves, crushed
5 allspice berries, crushed
½ cup blanched almonds, dry-roasted
¼ cup diced fresh ginger
6 limes, zest of
750 ml 120 clipper Cruzan rum
½ tsp almond extract
750 ml 2:1 simple
375 ml lime juice

Add almonds, Cloves, Allspice, ginger and lime zest in mason jar with the rum. Let this macerate for at least 2 days. Strain macerated mixture through flour-sack dishcloth. Be sure to squeeze all that goodness out! Add tincture to equal amount of 2:1 simple syrup and ½ amount lime juice. Add almond extract. Pour into clean, sanitized 16 oz canning jars and hot-process for 5 minutes. Makes 7 jars of completely shelf stable falernum. You should be able to store this almost indefinitely.

I know that the original recipe calls for cold-processed simple syrup, but it is the opinion of this author that the difference is completely negligible. I plan to test that hypothesis with a double blind (and scientific as possible) taste test soon to be posted to this journal. We’ll see whether or not my hunch is full of it.

The idea to can the Falernum came out of my laziness. I regularly make batches of syrups, drams and other little tinctures. More often than not they will go bad before I’ve used them up. I’d find myself at a bottleneck with that choice ingredient non-existent. Tired of not being able to quickly whip up that Navy Grog or Nui Nui without first replenishing my supply, I thought if I could make a large batch and can it, I could have a back stock of syrups and concoctions ready to go at my whim: When the backs get low, another batch goes together.

Next Falernum, I’ll up the lime a bit, hit the ginger a tad, and use J. Wray for the spirit for extraction. Look out for Falernum #2 coming soon…

4 Responses to “Falernum #1”

  1. Hmm, interesting concept in canning your falernum. Does the heat change the flavor perceptibly? If not, thats a perfect solution. Rather brilliant!

  2. Craig Hermann says:

    I didn’t notice a difference. After the simple syrup experiment, my next test will be canned and non canned falernum, double-blind.

  3. Sylvan says:

    “Next Falernum, I’ll up the lime a bit, hit the ginger a tad, and use J. Wray for the spirit for extraction. Look out for Falernum #2 coming soon…”

    Why use the Wray over the Cruzan? And when you say ‘hit the ginger’, you mean to use less, right?

  4. Craig Hermann says:

    Hm. I meant ‘up’ the ginger a bit – the #1 version’s ginger was lacking. I don’t really know at htis point why I phrased it that way — quite confusing.

    The original recipe I based mine on uses the J. Wray, which is 75.5%. The Cruzan is 60%. I’m just wondering if the extra alcohol content would pull more flavor out of the ingredients (or if there is a difference). I didn’t want to change too much at once with the recipe because I wanted to be sure the specific change I made led to the difference I would note.

    #2 was a nice success. I used the Cruzan again, did the spice changes and added a ‘mystery’ spice as well. It came out fantastic!

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