You’ve probably never heard of falernum. I’ve only encountered in lately in cocktail books where it appears as the third or fourth ingredient.

Pronounced “fah-learn-um”, falernum is not something you find in the lab scene a of Harry Potter movie. Although, there is mystery to it. Falernum is a West Indies sweet syrup used in, well, cocktails. Different versions come with and without rum, are nearly clear to amber, and contain a bevy of secret herbs and spices. You’ll taste ginger, almond, lime, cloves and perhaps mace. In the bottle I bought, there has to be cinnamon. The scent is powerful, so you’ll be adding only a touch to any single drink.

My bottle of falernum came with a recipe for the cocktail below. It’s a “wake you up” concoction where the falernum scents dominate, but do not overpower, the rum. I actually added just a bit of sugar syrup to tone the whole

I’m intrigued by the potential for this syrup. I can imagine using it in a baked apple recipe. We’ll test and report. In the meantime, here’s the cocktail recipe. Try a small bottle of falernum and think about other uses, too.

Mei Deh Yah

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces dark rum
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce falernum
  • Dash bitters

Preparation:

Shake with ice. Pour into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice. Adorn with an allspice berry.

Source: The Back of the Bottle of Trader Tiki’s Falernum [seriously!]