For last night's cocktail hour, I wanted to finally bust open the bottle of falernum I'd give A. for Christmas (I bought it for him so he could make rum swizzles, but we've yet to make any). Looking for a creative tiki cocktail using falernum and other ingredients I already had in my home bar, I came across Don the Beachcomber's recipe for a mai tai. (Side note: I really wanted a cocktail recipe generator, and I just found a great one in Cocktail Builder.)
Falernum is a simple syrup flavored with almonds, citrus, and spices like ginger, clove, and allspice (you can make your own) and is used in drinks like the zombie and the aforementioned rum swizzle.
Now, we're quite happy with our Trader Vic's mai tai, but Don's version appealed to me with the warm spicy notes of the falernum and the tart grapefruit juice. I think next time I'll up the falernum, as the drink was pretty tart and not much of the syrupy sweetness came through.
Don the Beachcomber's Mai Tai
Adapted from Post Prohibition
1 oz gold rum
1 1/2 oz Myers’s Plantation rum
1 oz grapefruit juice
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz falernum
6 drops Pernod or Herbsaint (I used Maine-made Tree Spirits absinthe)
Dash of Angostura bitters
Shake well with crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Recipe by Don the Beachcomber circa 1933.