Saturday, July 24, 2010

For Sh*ts and Giggles: Homemade Falernum

It seems as though nearly all of the mixology heavy weights have descended upon New Orleans, Louisiana (or "NoLa" as the kids are so artfully abbreviating it) for Tales of the Cocktail.  Not me.  I'm here in DC as an observer from afar.

Ah, but opportunity presents itself!  As Camper English, a San Francisco journalist, demonstrates on his blog Alcademics, there will be a significant outage in the communications from the blogger elites.  What a perfect occasion for rendition of their readership. 


Anyway, making my way through the tribulations of fresh homemade ingredients, I fell upon falernum.  Since the temperature outside is crying havoc its perfectly appropriate to get bamboo straws, little umbrellas and toss together "boat drinks."  And since falernum can be found in a number of such cocktails I took time to build this strange ingredient from scratch.

I sought guidance from RumDood's blog and his journey to make was seems to be a great homemade falernum.  Sooner or later I stumbled upon another promising recipe at Cocktail Chronicles.  I perused several other sites but relied primarily on a constituency of these two approaches. 


Stage One:
8 oz of Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
2 oz fresh shredded ginger
Zest from 8 limes (this is a pain in the trousers)
40 whole cloves
2 anise stars

Stage Two:
14 oz simple syrup (2:1 - cold processed)
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
4 oz fresh lime juice

Necessary tools: a zester, cheesecloth

Stage one: steep the shredded ginger, lime zest, cloves and anise stars in the rum for twenty-four hours.

Stage two (24 hours later): collect the resulting liquid using cheesecloth.  Add simple syrup, lime juice, and almond extract.  Mix the combination and it's ready to serve.

I'll be making Bermuda Rum Swizzles at Tonic today.  If you're hoping to slip global warming for a moment and reinvigorate yourself with a fresh boat drink, step into Tonic and put me and my homemade falernum to the task. 

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