Falernum is a spiced syrup with a rum base used as a sweetener in certain tropical drinks. The precise origins of falernum are a little murky. Supposedly it originally hails from Barbados.
It is certainly relatively common in Barbados, being drunk in classic local drink the Corn’n'Oil (rum, falernum, Angostura Bitters, and a squeeze of lime). The Corn’n'Oil shows how versatile and easy to use Falernum is. You can simply splash it into rum to enhance the rum, or it can be used to create a more elaborate concoction like the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai. It is sort of like a mildly alcoholic tropical version of sweet-and-sour mix.
So far I have relied on making falernum myself. (more…)