Friday Liquor Spotlight #1: Falernum!



Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to the first weekend in April, and we here at The Woman At The Bar hope that, wherever you may be, you can celebrate the unrelenting march of time with some nice spring weather!

Every Friday we will be shining a spotlight on a specific liquor that we believe you should try, and there could be no better way to start this series off than with one of our favorites: Falernum!

Oh Falernum, how we love thee. You are always so sweet, a little spicy, and oh so complex–we just want to take you out to a beachside picnic and watch the sun go down while reading you Shakespearean sonnets. You have changed our lives, and we are ready to say those seven little words we know you have been waiting to hear: we want to make drinks with you.

But really now, folks. All kidding aside, as soon as we here at The Woman At The Bar discovered Falernum our drink making game shot through the roof. It is fair to say that this liqueur is magic, and it is essential to say that you, dear readers, must own it.

Never heard of Falernum, you say? We are not surprised. It’s not your fault — It is not something you often see advertised on drink menues, or prominently displayed at liquor stores. For what reason, we will never know.

Falernum is a sweet, syrupy liqueur originally used in Caribbean and tropical drinks. The name comes from an ancient Roman wine, and Charles Dickens was a fan — so you know it has to be good! The flavor is fairly complex, with notes of almond, ginger, cloves, and citrus. If you have ever had real orgeat syrup, the tastes are fairly similar.

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Barbados! How exotic!

As you can see in the photo above, it is very low in alcohol content (you can actually find non-alcoholic versions, but really, WHY?), and it serves as an amazing accent in drinks that use other hard liquors as a base. Although it is most commonly found in fruit juice-heavy drinks, we here at The Woman At The Bar recognize that this delicious nectar can pop up just about any drink (take a look at the recipe for our very own concoction If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Falernum for a great simple idea).

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If you are able to find recipes that use it, the drinks will most often be rum-based (falernum liqueur is derived from rum itself), but we find that the more interesting, tasty, and memorable drinks happen when you mix things up and add it in with different flavors — keep an eye out for a recipe of ours coming soon that uses Falernum, gin, and tequila!

All of this is to say that this stuff really is delicious, and keeping a bottle on hand is an easy way to take simple drinks up a notch, especially when you are entertaining.

Important Tip: You should never use more than 3/4 of an ounce of it in a drink. The stuff is sweet and using too much can throw off the balance of your cocktail. tossing in 1/2 an ounce is usually the perfect amount to add some depth without too much sugar. 

Our preferred brand is John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum. A bottle will usually cost you between $16-$20, and although it may look exotic and hard to find you can actually pick it up at most large liquor stores and chains (BevMo is always a good option).

We encourage you to grab some and experiment! Leave a comment down below or tweet at us (@womanatthebar) if you discover a great new recipe, we would love to hear from you! Who knows, maybe we will even feature you on the site!

Have a great weekend everyone — and keep an eye out for some extra special secret posts on Saturday and Sunday!

Until next time!


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