As head bartender at Outpost in Santa Barbara and Good Bar in Goleta, California, Chris Burmeister takes inspiration from southern California’s tiki past.
Currently, he is entranced with falernum, a classic tiki syrup that combines lime, spices, and almond syrup into one irreplaceable flavor profile.
Falernum was at the center of many of Don the Beachcomber’s most popular drinks. Here is what Burmeister has to say about mixing with falernum.
What is your ingredient of the moment?
Falernum is a classic tiki or Caribbean-influenced syrup or liqueur (alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions).
What is the flavor profile?
It’s typically flavored with almond, clove and lime zest, with other possible flavors of allspice, ginger or vanilla added. I really like the extra nuance of spice and flavor it can add to a cocktail. It adds another layer of depth, putting your cocktail in that zone of balanced sweet, sour and spice that you may be looking for.
How is it best used?
Traditionally, falernum is used with rum and tiki driven or swizzle style cocktails. It adds a nice dimension of spice and texture with a snap of acidity, and some extra dryness.
What spirits and mixers does it work best with?
In addition to rum, it can be used well with other spirits, especially dark like rye, brandy, and scotch.
What are some tips for using it?
One thing to note when utilizing falernum is that using too much, or too often, can make drinks on your menu taste too similar or uniform. Falernum has recognizable notes of flavor and texture, and may need to be omitted or dialed back when mixing with other citrus or modifiers/liqueurs.
- 6 oz. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
- 2 oz. Smith & Cross Rum
- 7 Limes (Zested with Microplane)
- 40 Cloves
- 1/4 cup Toasted Almonds
- 2 oz. Ginger (Peeled and Diced)
- 1 dash Vanilla Extract
- 14 oz. 2:1 Simple Syrup
Preparation: Combine lime zest, cloves, almonds, ginger and vanilla extract in a large container. Add rums, cover with lid, and let macerate (infuse) for 24 hours. After 24 hours, strain out all solids through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Add 14 oz. of cold 2:1 simple syrup.
- 1 1/2 oz. Cynar
- 1/2 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
- 1/4 oz. House Falernum
- 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice (strained)
- Grated Cinnamon and Large Mint Sprig (for Garnish)
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, and shake well until properly chilled and diluted. 2x strain over ice into an 8 oz. short Collins glass. Use a microplane to grate fresh cinnamon stick on top, and garnish with a large mint spring.