Tiki Triangle: Falernum

Tiki Triangle: Falernum

One of the secret ingredients in many original Polynesian cocktails is Falernum which is very difficult to find today.  For that reason there are many recipes online for how to make it at home using common ingredients.  Unfortunately these recipes so wildly vary from 10 cloves to 50.  Some say overproof rum, others say plain white blanco rum.  So what is it? I guess it all depends on your personal tastes.  Here is the formula I came up with.  I made a small batch because each cocktail only requires 1/4 ounce or 10ml.

  • Zest or rind of 1 lime
  • Lightly aged rum
  • Sugar
  • 10 Cloves
  • 10 Allspice berries
  • Finely grated Ginger
  • Star Anis

You can adjust this recipe for your own personal tastes.  Again, I just wanted to make a small batch of this that would yield about 10 drinks.

Quite honestly, while some may boast online that their homemade is better, for me it definitely was not. The only commercial brand I tried is also the most recommended and one of the originals, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum.  Its got the sweetness and the punch of the lime. I would not try to mess with the original ingredient to cocktails originally created with this, and for $30 its worth the price without all the effort.


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