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Falernum is a vital component of any tiki bar. The sugar, spice and citrus-infused rum-based syrup can inject a tremendous amount of flavor (or subtly add spice) to any cocktail. We’ve made our own falernum and tried both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. There aren’t all that many options out there to choose from when restocking your bar and Velvet Falernum is our default. It’s sweet, has a good combination of lime and spices with a pleasing sweetness. We do make our own blends on occasion and have tried most of the falernums we have been able to get our hands on. When perusing the shelves of a favorite liquor store the other day, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a brand we weren’t previously familiar with: Lucky Falernum.
Lucky Falernum is made by Brovo Spirits and comes in at a much higher proof than other falernums that we’ve tried at 35% ABV (Velvet Falernum is 15% for comparison). This higher alcohol gives the liqueur a hotter quality and more vibrant spice that reminded us of amaro. As you might guess, it is also less overtly sweet than some other falernums, though it still has a very pleasant sweetness to it. The falernum is infused with ginger, lime, pineapple and star anise, per the producers, and you can taste lots of complex spices with each sip. It is potent and a winner for us.
The only thing to keep in mind with this falernum is that it might not work as a direct substitute in a recipe that was designed for a sweeter falernum, as most recipes that call for falernum are. It will likely still produce a tasty cocktail, of course, but it is likely you will need to experiment with the ratios a bit to make your favorite falernum recipes work with this liqueur. We found that in some drinks, a touch of simple syrup was sometimes required. That said, this liqueur can be used in a wide variety of ways or enjoyed neat. It’s more versatile than any other falernum out there and you’ll get a lot of use out of this bottle if you add it to your bar.
Liqueur Rating: 5/5
Liqueur Rating Scale:
0/5 – What is this?
1/5 – Bad. Not worth buying and not worth drinking
2/5 – Not very good, but ok in a pinch.
3/5 – Good and a very good choice for cocktails.
4/5 – Very tasty liqueur, with complex flavors that is very good on its own or in cocktails.
5/5 – Absolutely delicious, high quality liqueur. Must buy