[Photograph: Liam Boylan]
Falernum can be tricky to find commercially, but it’s easy to make at home so that you can be ready to mix up lots of classic Tiki cocktails.
I kept it pretty simple, but you could use an overproof rum or include ginger, star anise, cinnamon, or lemon zest. If you want to do it syrup style, you could skip the rum altogether and just flavor a simple syrup.
I left the ginger out, because I think it takes over the flavor. However, many consider it a part of the traditional recipe. You can add a tablespoon of grated ginger with the lime zest, if desired. Falernum is best used within a month, and does not need to be refrigerated.
Read more: DIY vs. Buy: Should I Make My Own Falernum?
- Yield:makes about 2 cups
- Total time:3 days, 12 hours
- 1/3 cup sliced, raw almonds
- 30 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup of light rum
- 8 limes
- 2/3 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F and toast the almonds on a cookie sheet until slightly darkened and fragrant, about five minutes. Be careful not to let them burn. Let cool before using.
Place the almonds and cloves in a sealable glass jar and pour in the rum. Shake and let steep 2 days. (For a less intense clove flavor, steep 1 day.)
Zest the limes, being sure no white pith is included. Set aside four of the limes for use in the rest of this recipe, and reserve the rest for another project. Add lime zest to the jar. At this point you can also add other spices, if desired. Shake and let steep for 1 day, and then strain through cheesecloth, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible.
Juice four of the limes, and strain the juice into a sauce pot. Add water and sugar, then bring to a boil on medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool, then combine with the strained almond and clove infusion. Strain mixture through a coffee filter, if desired, then let it rest for an additional 12 hours before use.