During tiki’s heyday, falernum, a syrup made with rum infused with clove, citrus, and nut flavors, was added to rum drinks like the Zombie. Before falernum was widely available, Cocktail Chronicles blogger Paul Clarke tinkered with making his own. After eight experiments over a year (thus #9), Clarke finally found a recipe he was happy with.
This recipe was featured as part of our DIY Home Bar project.
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 20 mins, plus infusing time
- Active: 20 mins
- 2 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
- 40 whole cloves, crushed
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) white rum
- Finely grated zest of 9 medium limes, with no traces of white pith
- 1 (3-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, strained
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Toast the almonds and cloves in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat until the almonds are golden and the cloves are aromatic, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat to cool slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Place cloves, almonds, rum, lime zest, and ginger in a 2-cup nonreactive container with a tightfitting lid. Cover, shake to combine, and let mixture sit for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Combine sugar and water in a 1-quart container with a tightfitting lid. Cover and shake until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks clear, about 5 minutes. (By not heating the sugar-water mixture, the simple syrup will be less dense and crisper than a cooked syrup.) You should have 1 3/4 cups; set aside.
- After 24 hours, strain the rum mixture through a moistened cheesecloth or several layers of paper towels set in a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Taking care not to rip the cloth or paper towels, press the solids against the strainer to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids.
- Add the strained liquid, lime juice, and almond extract to the reserved simple syrup. Shake until combined. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.