Last summer, I embarked on a somewhat lengthy adventure with the Barbados liqueur-slash-sweetener, falernum. Feeling my way through the flavor, playing with different recipes (some posted, some — the best ones — not), trying different drinks in order to figure out what was the best or “true” falernum flavor — the whole deal.
I should have just waited.
Today, over at Martini Republic, the good Dr. Cocktail tackles the various falernum questions and puts them to rest — where did it come from? which is better, John. D. Taylor Velvet Falernum or Fee’s West Indies Style Falernum? what the hell is the difference? which should I use? (Doc’s answer, of course: “it depends”)
I still maintain that the last batch I whipped up was fresher (if not more authentic) in flavor than either commercial brand I’ve tried, but I yield to Dr. Cocktail’s mighty, mighty research powers in explaining exactly what you should put in your drink.