So, maybe you never made the tonic, or perhaps limoncello isn't your thing. Did you at least make simple syrup? Here's a recipe for something that's really easy. It's a delicious ingredient for tropical cocktails that you can buy, but it's hard to find and making it only takes minutes. Chances are, the flavor will be better and you'll have fun doing it.
Falernum is an exotic rum-based liqueur from Barbados that is infused with flavors of lime and spices. The simplest recipe comes from Rick at Kaiser Penguin, but we added some toasted almonds to the mix. He breaks it down into two basic steps. First, you prepare the rum infusion that sits overnight. Then, you prepare a rich simple syrup. Strained and combined, your falernum is ready to use.
8 oz overproof rum (or any rum you like)
8 limes, zest only
1 tablespoon allspice berries
.5 cup of chopped ginger
.25 cup chopped almonds
1 whole nutmeg
Place the rum, lime zest and ginger into a jar. Toast the cloves, allspice and nutmeg until aromatic. Add these to the jar and seal. You can even toast the almonds if you like, just don't burn them. Add all of this to the jar and seal. Agitate the jar a few times over the next 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth or a filter and discard the solids.
2 cups raw, turbinado or demerera sugar
1 cup water
10 drops almond extract
Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until dissolved. Allow to cool, then add almond extract.
Combine filtered rum infusion and cool syrup. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Most falernum recipes also include lime juice, but this version skips it. According to Rick, the lime juice has a tendency to turn bad, and leaving it out seems to solve the problem. He may be right because ours is very stable. One bottle is over a year old now and it's still just as good as the day it was made. Besides, this stuff is already pretty strong in the lime department, and you can always add it fresh when needed.
Falernum is sweet, so it often gets used in small quantities. It will be an essential ingredient in the upcoming Drink of the Week with a nod to the Minnesota State Fair, but until then, here's a delicious and simple treat that showcases the flavors of your falernum by combining it with dark rum. It's a sweet cocktail, but if you like rum and coke, this really takes it up a notch!
Corn & Oil
2 oz Cruzan Blackstrap rum
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz homemade falernum
Build over ice in a rocks glass. Stir thoroughly to chill, adding more ice if needed. Garnish with a lime wedge