MxMo from Scratch! Dark Falernum

Posted by TraderTiki on November 10th, 2008 — Posted in Concoctioneering, MxMo, Recipes, Rum, Tiki Drinks

Like some sort of vicious cycle, Mixology Monday rears its lovely head again, this time hosted (for Murder!) by Doug over at the Pegu Blog, where he makes a killing… at your cocktail parties!  Seriously, watch the commercial, it’s great.

Of course Doug, being used to the murder game, decided to make all us wacky cocktail connoisseurs hit our kitchens for MxMo: made from scratch!  Whipping together your own ingredients, because cheap labor and High Fructose Corn Syrup just don’t taste like they used to.

As you may know, I make a thing or two here and there.  Let’s do down the list of what’s home made in the larder:

  • 10-month Aged Egg Nog
  • Falernum Bitters
  • Bridgetown Bitters Batch 2
  • Dry Fly Bitters
  • About 8 jars of tinctures ready to make more bitters
  • Allspice Syrup
  • Cinnamon Syrup
  • Orgeat
  • Vanilla Cane Orgeat
  • Extra Thick Orgeat
  • Falernum #9
  • Falernum #10
  • Coffee Syrup
  • Passion Fruit Syrup
  • Five Spice Syrup
  • Ginger Syrup
  • Dark Ginger Syrup (don’t check e-mail with a pot on the stove)
  • Grenadine
  • Lime Cordial
  • Don’s Spices #2
  • Pimento Dram
  • Amer Picon
  • Apple-Infused Bourbon
  • Lavender/Vanilla Infused Vodka
  • Kola Tonic
  • and a partridge in a pear tincture

Okay, that last one, while a joke, sounds both disgusting, and accomplishable.  But as you can see from the above, I do things.  Perhaps too many things, and go through more sugar in this house than I really should afford to, health or otherwise.  For Doug’s MxMo, I’m reaching down into the dark recesses of my brain to put together something really special.  Trader Tiki’s Dark Falernum.

The idea for this Dark Falernum came around after trying a friend’s Jet Pilot and finding it… lacking.  Almost everything else that went into it was from the manufacturer’s bottle, and the cinnamon syrup was alright, but something wasn’t quite there for the Falernum.  The homemade Falernum was complex and interesting, but not quite ready to match with all the flavors in the Jet Pilot.  So, I set out to make something a little more complimentary to the drink.  My regular Falernum would suit fine, but I needed something EXTRA special.  So, here are the results of my quest for Dark Falernum.

Trader Tiki’s Dark Falernum

  • zest of 12 limes
  • 1/4 lb. chopped ginger
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Allspice Berries
  • 4 leaves Star Anise
  • 1 5″ Ceylon Cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup lightly toasted almonds
  • 8 oz. J.Wray Overproof
  • 8 oz. Lemon Hart 151
  • 16 oz. Cruzan white
Lime Zest for Falernum Falernum dry ingredients Filtering Falernum

Zest the limes, chop whole ginger, and use a mortar and pestle to grind the Cloves, Allspice, Star Anise and Ceylon Stick.  Roughly chop whole, blanched almonds, and toast in a pan until lightly browned and strong smelling.  Sit ingredients with Rum mixture in a glass jug to age for 3 days to 1 week.  After time is up, strain solids (Several runs through a Brita or coffee filters highly recommended) and set aside. In a pot over medium heat (no boiling!), mix the liquid 2:1 by volume with white sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Makes just over 3/4 gallon.

This makes for a very sweet, extremely spicy Falernum that goes pretty damned well in a Jet Pilot, or just about any other drink calling for Falernum.  It’s a little tougher to work with for new drink development, as its flavors can overpower quickly, but I’m finding I love the damned stuff.  Hell, with good Falernum and a nice selection of rums, it’s hard to get past a Corn ‘n Oil most days.  I think you’ll find the stuff above just dandy in the drink below.

Jet Pilot, featuring Dark Falernum

Jet Pilot (from Jeff Berry’s Sippin’ Safari)

  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Cinnamon syrup
  • ½ oz Falernum
  • 1 oz Coruba
  • ¾ oz Cruzan Dark
  • ¾ oz Lemon Hart 151
  • dash Angostura Bitters
  • 6 drops Herbsaint

Mix in a top-down mixer with 1 cup cracked ice, pour into Double Old Fashioned glass. Add crushed ice to fill.

Spicy, sweet, complex and simply out of this damned world.  For more blabbity-blab on the drink, check these posts at DrinkDogma, KaiserPenguin, and Dr. Bamboo and his damned adorable illustration.

Enjoy the rest of your MxMo, just keep your dishwasher handy, because it’s going to get messy.

FI Runner up, Corpse Canonizer

Posted by TraderTiki on October 2nd, 2008 — Posted in Drinks, Events, Gin, Recipes

This is the first of the four runners up of the Forbidden Island Cocktail Contest, Corpse Canonizer, by Kevin aka Paranoid123! This drink is on the specials menu at Forbidden Island from now through November! This one’s a real lipsmacker.  It starts off spicy, then moves into the florals of the gin and St. Germain. I’m wide awake after this one, and will certainly be back for another. Cheers to the runner up!

Corpse Canonizer

Corpse Canonizer

  • 3/4 oz Martin Miller Westbourne Strength Gin
  • 3/4 oz Orange Curacao
  • 3/4 oz St Germain
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • dash Herbsaint
  • dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon twist

Test Pilot

Posted by TraderTiki on March 1st, 2008 — Posted in Don the Beachcomber, Drinks, Grog Log, Recipes, Rum, Teardrop Tiki Menu, Tiki Drinks

When celebrating Don the Beachcomber’s legacy, or his recent birthday (Feb. 22d), what better way to remember the man than through his signature 1-2 punch of Bitters and Pastis (Herbsaint preferred, Pernod in a pinch), and the drink I think really brings it out best, the Test Pilot.

The bitters/pastis combination adds a lot of complexity and roundedness to the drink. Pastis, Herbsaint in particular (drop the R, rearrange the letters to find the origin), in small amounts, adds the strange sweetness of anise, while extending the life of the flavor. For my palate, it’s almost like an envelope, wrapping a bit around the rest of the flavors, keeping them together. The bitters, in this case Angostura, gives a nice spicy start and clove and sarsaparilla-like depth to the drink. Combined, the two are a bit of a circle and spike to the drink, if I can be allowed to make such a visual example of the taste.

The Test Pilot, according to the Grog Log, is by Don the Beachcomber circa 1941, and for my money, is one of the top examples of Don’s mastery of mixology.

Test Pilot

Test Pilot (source Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log)

  • 1/2 ounce Lime
  • 1/2 ounce Falernum
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (3 tsp in Grog Log, same measurement)
  • 3/4 ounce Light Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal recommended)
  • 1 1/2 ounce Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba recommended)
  • dash Bitters
  • dash Herbsaint

Mix/Blend with 1 cup crushed ice, pour into Double Rocks glass. Add crushed ice to fill.

One thing I notice while making this drink is that it really makes the falernum shine. Using more of a sweetening falernum, like Velvet Falernum, makes a very good drink, but using a spicy homemade, like Paul’s Falernum #8 really brings out all the spice and complexity the drink has to offer. My last batch of Falernum, similar to Paul’s but double the spice, and adding one whole star anise, comes heavily and heartily recommended.

And of course, this will be on the menu for the March 18th Tiki Third Tuesday at Teardrop Lounge! Shameless self-promotion? You got it!

Of course, I’m not the first cocktail blogger to put up my take on this drink. Enjoy Rick and Paul’s takes on this delicious drink!