Category Archives: Product of the month

Cocktails O’clock: 6 delicious drinks that use Monin’s Falernum syrup…

Recently, Monin (the syrup company) were kind enough to send me some of their products. I received a few flavours and this post will showcase one of their latest products: Falernum syrup. Now Falernum is not a new product, it’s a Caribbean spiced syrup that is often alcoholic and almost exclusively used in Tiki Style cocktails.

I’ve been trying to lay my hands on Falernum, in one form or another, for years and always failed at the last hurdle. However, thanks to the lovely PR team over at Monin (specifically Emma White – Thank you) I’ve finally got some. And boy oh boy it was worth the wait!

Monin’s falernum Syrup is everything I thought it would be. It’s sweet, fragrant, and yet it contains a gentle heat that completes the flavour profile you’d expect from a Caribbean spiced syrup. I can safely say, that I now know why it’s used so copiously across the wide variety of Tiki cocktails.

Below I try to take 6 tiki style cocktails and, with very little tweaking, create them in such a way that you’ll be making them for yourself by the end of the post…

Golden Gate

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Recipe:

2m Plantation 3-star platinum [white] Rum

1m Fresh Lemon Juice

Splash of Monin Falernum syrup

Garnish: 1 orange Peel

 

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice (around 10 seconds should be enough).
  • Strain into a chilled Coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Top Tip: Although this drink is made short, you can use a rocks glass and crushed ice to make it a longer, more palatable drink – especially if you’re not one for shorter, stronger drinks.

 

Corn & Oil

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Recipe:

2 measure El Ron Prohibido Solera Rum

1 measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

Dash Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters

Garnish: Lime Wedge, Edible Flower

Method:

  • Shake the ingredients hard, over ice.
  • Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  • Garnish and serve with a straw, or two.

 

The Zombie (Classic Recipe)

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Recipe:

1 ½ measures Jamaican Rum

1 ½ measures Puerto Rican Rum

1 measure 151-proof rum

½ measure Dons Mix*

½ measure Monin Falernum syrup

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

¼ measure Monin Grenadine syrup

2 dashes Absinthe

1 dash angostura bitters

Garnish: 2 mint sprigs

Method:

Dons Mix: combine 2 measures Grapefruit Juice with 1 measure of cinnamon simple syrup.

Cocktail:

  • Shake all of the ingredients over ice for around 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain ingredients into a Tiki Mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top up with crushed ice and garnish with a couple of mint sprigs and serve with 2 straws.

Whilst Jamaican Rum is quite easy to come by (Appleton Estate Special is available in most supermarkets) the Puerto Rican Rum might be a little harder to come by. Sainsbury’s currently stock Flor De Cana, a rum from Nicaragua, which is a decent replacement. Equally, you can experiment like I did and go for something completely different.

I used Plantation Platinum 3 stars, and a Mexican Solera Rum I picked up a little while ago and fell in love with (El Ron Prohibido).

 

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Tall)

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Recipe:

1 ½ measures El Ron Prohibido Solera Rum

½ measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¼ measure Merlet Trois Citrus (Triple Sec)

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

Top up Ginger ale

Garnish: Lime Wheel & Mint Sprig(s)

Method:

  • Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice for around 10 seconds.
  • Strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top with more crushed ice, and then the Ginger ale.
  • Garnish and serve with 2 straws.

This cocktail, originally comprised of just the first 4 ingredients. However, it came up a bit short in my mug (even when doubled). So I simply topped with the ginger ale at hand (Canada Dry) and it seemed to work brilliantly. So I hope you enjoy this lengthened version of the Yacht Club – if not, try it without the ale, serving it short in a coupe/martini glass.

 

Bronx Cheer

Recipe:

2 measures Makers Mark Kentucky Bourbon

1 measure Fresh Lime Juice

¾ measure Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Raspberry Simple Syrup

Garnish: Lime Wheel & Raspberry skewer.

Method:

  • Shake all the ingredients, over ice, for around 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain into a ceramic Tiki Mug filled with crushed ice.
  • Top up with more crushed ice and garnish, before serving with two straws.

This cocktail is the only one I do not have a picture for. My raspberries went mouldy before their BBE and no shops were open on a Sunday night – murphy’s law, right? However, I have had this cocktail recently and can attest to its rather palatable taste (and considering I’m not a fan of whisky – that’s quite the compliment).

 

Juke Cup

moscow-mule

Recipe:

1 ¼ measures Monin Falernum Syrup

¾ measure Rhum Agricole (high proof)

¾ measure fresh lime juice

¼ measure Honey Simple Syrup

1 Cucumber slice

Top up – Ginger ale

Garnish: Cucumber slice & Pineapple Chunk

Method:

  • Adding the cucumber slice, lime juice and honey syrup to your glass, muddle well.
  • Then add the Falernum and Rhum Agricole and stir well.
  • Top up with ice and mix in some Ginger Ale.
  • Garnish with a cucumber slice and pineapple chunk.

Honey syrup:

Combining at a 1:1 ratio, add honey to water and simmer, mixing until the honey dissolves.

Top Tip: the original recipe called for Ginger beer, but I find it to be a tad too spicy so I stick to the gentler ginger ale. If you like your ginger soda with a kick, try using ginger beer with this cocktail!

So there you have 6 cocktails that make great use of Monin’s Falernum syrup! Monin did a fantastic job supplying me with the Falernum used in this post (you can see it in a couple of the images) and I’d like to thank them for sending me a product I’ve been desperately after for years!

Monin has a vast array of flavoured syrups at their disposal and as a cocktail imbiber, I am always interested in trying out new and novel syrups! My favourite simply has to be this Falernum, although their Hibiscus syrup is a truly inspirational. You can purchase Monin syrups from a wide variety of outlets but click here for more information!

What about you? What’s your favourite flavour Monin syrup? Do you like the cool, crisp taste of their Cucumber syrup or are you a fan of their refreshing Melon syrup? Why don’t you drop a comment below and let me know! You never know they might send me a bottle to use in future posts!

Product of the month: October 2013

Falernum (Syrup/Liqueur)

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The Caribbean is a beautiful place, and has supplied us with something just as special as rum: Falernum…

Falernum is a sweet sugary syrup originating from the Caribbean and is most often used in rum based cocktails with a tropical feel to them. This syrup can come in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, and in various brands. It’s important to look at whether or not the bottle you’re buying is alcoholic or not, as the alcoholic versions can range from 10-25% Vol. (typically speaking).

It is a thick syrupy liquid that can range from clear/white to golden and translucent and therefore the type of Falernum you use can affect the appearance of the drink you’re trying to create.

But whatever version you choose the overall flavour is almost always the same, and it’s for this reason it is so popular with bars and their cocktails (the famous OXO Tower in London uses Golden Falernum in their Dark N’ Stormy recipe).

The flavour:

Falernum typically contains a collection of ingredients, including (although not always together): Almond, Ginger, Clove, Lime, Vanilla and occasionally All Spice. As you can tell different brands can differ quite significantly in taste and whilst one version may enhance your Mai Tai, another might not. This is something to be aware of when you go shopping for a bottle…

So where can you purchase Falernum?

Well you would not be stoned for assuming supermarkets would stock this item, but here in the UK it has still to break the stranglehold Monin’s Grenadine & Simple syrups hold on the shelves. However there are some online sources where you can pop a bottle in with a delivery of other liqueurs/spirits. These websites are TheDrinkShop and TheWhiskyExchange. Failing that you can always brew up a homemade version, try your hand at Kaiser Penguins’ recipe. Those of you reading this in the USA, seeing as the Caribbean is a mere boat ride away, I’m sure you shouldn’t find it too difficult to source…

Cocktails using Falernum:

OXO Tower Dark N’ Stormy

Recipe:

2 measures Goslings Black Seal Rum

2 – 5 dashes Aromatic Bitters

½ measure Fresh Lime juice

½ measure Barbados Made Golden Falernum

Top Up Organic Ginger Beer

Dark N’ Stormies are one of my favourite cocktails, even more so when they’re a little sweeter, like this one…

Method:

–          Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker (over ice) and shake for around 10 seconds.

–          Then strain into your serving glass, over ice.

–          Top up with the ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel/wedge.

Note: I could not get the exact measurements that the staff at the OXO tower use, which is a shame, but I have perused some online recipes and compared them to come to the above recipe… I’m open for comments as to your favourite recipes…

Barbados Cocktail

Recipe:

1 measure Velvet Falernum

1.5 measures Dark Rum

¾ measures Fresh Lime Juice

A sweet rum cocktail that epitomises the Caribbean way of drinking…

Method:

–          Combine ingredients over ice and shake well (around 10-15 seconds).

–          Strain into a cocktail glass (I prefer a coupe glass).

–          Garnish with a lime wedge…

A classic recipe, this cocktail is Caribbean all over, combining rum and Falernum to create a sweet and tangy masterpiece. At a glance this cocktail looks rather similar to the dark n stormy I’ve listed above, but I believe it’s most likely where the OXO Tower got their idea from. Still this is a great cocktail and should not be sniffed at (unless of course you actually want to sniff it).

Corn N’ Oil

Recipe:

1 measure Bacardi Gold Rum

¼ measure Velvet Falernum

2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Looks Like oil, but tastes like heaven…
Picture courtesy of: drinkdogma.com

Method:

–          Stir all the ingredients over ice, and strain into an ice filled old fashioned glass.

This cocktail is a mystery in that no one knows where the name came from, although there are rumours that the strangely thick (almost oily) BlackStrap rum is the reason the ‘oil’ is in the name…

Ranglum Cocktail

Recipe:

4 measures Goslings Black Seal Rum

1 measure Wray & Nephews overproof rum

1.5 measures Velvet Falernum

2 measures Fresh Lime Juice

½ measure Sugar Syrup

berlioni
Short and sweet, just how they’re liked…

Method:

–          Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into an ice-filled glass.

–          Squeeze piece of lime peel over the drink and place in the glass.

–          Serve with straws.

This drink is also very much like a Dark N’ Stormy, but with a massive smack in the face from the overproof rum.  With the addition of Ginger Beer (to top) this drink becomes a pumped up Dark N’ Stormy, but at the same times lengthens this rather tricky drink…

Frosty Dawn

Recipe:

1.5 measures Light Rum

1 measure Orange Juice

½ measure Falernum

¼ measure Maraschino Liqueur

O Sonho de Paulo, Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz
It may start getting frosty outside, but this cocktail will put the hair back on your chest…
Picture courtesy of: cocktailbuzz.blogspot.com

Method:

–          Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into an ice filled, chilled rocks glass.

–          Garnish with a lime wedge.

Key Cocktail

Recipe:

1.5 measures Gin

½ Fresh Lime Juice

¼ measure Falernum

¼ measure Dark Jamaican Rum

photo-skeleton-key
Perfect for unlocking the secret to a good night… The Key Cocktail

Method:

–          Shake the ingredients over ice and strain into a well-chilled martini cocktail glass.

–          Garnish with a pineapple stick/finger.

These cocktails all have Falernum as an ingredient, but also all taste different. This is both a testament to the Syrup/Liqueur’s depth of flavour, but also its versatility as a cocktail ingredient. It is for these reasons that it’s my product of the month… Hopefully you all enjoy it and get a chance to experience the recipes I’ve listed above!

Cocktails O’ Clock: Wild Hibiscus Royale

A Kir Royale, with a flowery twist…

Carrying on from the product of the month post about Wild Hibiscus Flowers, this cocktail is all about class.

First served in 2006 at the Dorchester hotel, London; this cocktail remains one of the most popular champagne cocktails on their menu. This cocktail mixes some bold flavours to subtly build on the quality of the champagne used.

Whilst some of the ingredients can be hard to find, they should be available in most health food shops or failing that they are all available online…

Hibiscus Royale Recipe:

7ml Natural Rose Water

20ml Wild Hibiscus Syrup

4-6 Mint leaves

Top up Champagne

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Champagne and flowers are for everyone…

Method:

1)      Muddle the mint in the glass and discard.

2)      Stand a hibiscus flower upright in the glass.

3)      Add the rose water.

4)      Top up with champagne.

5)      Finally, pour the hibiscus syrup in and let it descend through the champagne.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: Feel free to remove the rose water and add a little flavour enhancer of your own, flavoured liqueurs always work, and not to mention flavoured sugar syrups…

This cocktail is just one of many available for you to read through on the Wild Hibiscus official site. From champagne cocktails to Daiquiris they have a wide selection worth checking out, especially if you are looking for something a little different for your party…

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Perfect for that special touch on a romantic soiree…

Product of the month, September: Wild Hibiscus

Elegant and Beautiful, class in a glass...
Elegant and Beautiful, class in a glass…

Wild hibiscus, whether you’ve experienced it or not, is probably one of the most elegant additions you can supply to a cocktail…

With their vivid red/burgundy colours and stunning petal work, Hibiscus Flowers, fresh or preserved are stunning to look at and will capture the focus of any avid customer/drinker.

And the best thing about them is they can be bought by anyone. You don’t have to be a bartender at a top bar, or a scientist stuck in a mixology lab, Hibiscus flowers are a garnish/ingredient anyone can buy and use. However, and here is the catch, you have to know when to use them and with what alcohol (especially when making cocktails).

There are not just flowers on the market either as you can purchase hibiscus flavoured sugar syrups, sodas and even sorbets.

These ingredients will all add a flavour enhancement to your cocktails, but the flowers are what we will be focusing on, as they are the most dramatic and stunning of garnishes you could wish for…

Most commonly used as an elegant addition to any glass of champagne, Wild Hibiscus flowers can make any champagne cocktail look that little more vivid. They’re even edible which makes them the perfect garnish in my mind.

After perusing the official website of Wild Hibiscus, the company who make and sell the flowers in syrup (the ones you’ll want for your cocktails) it is apparent that not only is this an elegant product but also the company is somewhat elegantly run. Family owned and the sole distributor of their flowers to 30 countries worldwide (including here in the UK, and over the other side of the pond in both the USA and Canada). Their brand ambassador, Canadian Mixologist Danielle Tatarin, distributes them across Canada and has helped create some of the magical cocktail found on the website I mentioned earlier.

The links I refer to in this blog can be found at the end of this blog, including a few extra links for further reading. Until then why not try out these 3 great cocktail recipes I love to use the flowers in…

1)      Adam & Eve Martini

Recipe:

2 measures Vodka

3 measures apple puree

1 measure wild hibiscus syrup

Garnish: A skewered, cherry & stuffed Hibiscus flower

Shouting class at your face with every sip...
Shouting class at your face with every sip…

Method:

1)      Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled Martini cocktail glass.

2)      Garnish with the stuffed hibiscus flower.

2)      Inaugural Cheer

Recipe:

½ measure Hibiscus Syrup

¼ measure freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 measure Hypnotiq Liqueur

Top up Champagne

Garnish: Wild Hibiscus Flower

created by Danielle Tatarin for Obama's inauguration...
created by Danielle Tatarin for Obama’s inauguration…

Method:

1)      Place the Flower upright in the bottom of a champagne flute.

2)      Mix the syrup and lemon juice together and pour over the flower.

3)      Add crushed ice on top of the flower and syrup.

4)      Gently pour in the Hypnotiq Liqueur

5)      Top up with the champagne.

3)      Wild Hibiscus Daiquiri

Recipe:

3 measures Havana Club 3yo

1 measure fresh lime juice

1 measure Wild Hibiscus Syrup

Garnish: Hibiscus Flower & lime wheel

Daiquiri: Class using Hibiscus & Rum... Shut up and take my money...
Daiquiri: Class using Hibiscus & Rum… Shut up and take my money…

Method:

1)      Place the flower upright in a martini glass.

2)      Shaker ingredients over ice vigorously for around 10 seconds.

3)      Strain into the glass and garnish further with a lime wheel on the glasses rim.

All these cocktails and further information on both the flowers and mixologist Danielle Tatarin can be found through the following links:

Wild Hibiscus Official Site

Danielle Tatarin’s Blog

Meet your Mixologist: Danielle Tatarin

Product of the month – July

True blue Canadian Maple Syrup.

This is the stuff of legends; arguably better than any honey and with the taste of treacle, this golden nectar of the maple tree is a gift from the gods. From the moment the first maple harvesters discovered its glorified existance maple syrup has been blessing lives across the globe.

But alas that all pales in comparison to its greatest use…
This one true golden cocktail:

The Angostura Treacle

2 measure Angostura 1919 Rum
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 measure Canadian Maple Syrup
1.5 measures Fresh Pressed Apple Juice

This cocktail is taken from the Angostura facebook page. It is sweet, but also quite robust. A great medium length cocktail, perfect for these hot summer evenings.

So there you go a cocktail for a summer night using my product of the month.  Enjoy 🙂

Here’s the link for a google search…
Maple Syrup Google Search

Product of the month – March – Agave Nectar

The Good Food Company Agave Nectar Mild Organic Natural Sweetener 250ml

This Agave Fruit based nectar is perfect for those of you hating the highs and lows you get from sugar. Not only that, but its perfect as a substitute for sugar/sugar syrup in any cocktail that has those ingredients. I.e. Mojito’s, Long Island Iced Tea’s etc.

This Nectar is made from the Blue Webber Agave Plant in Mexico. Which means if you use it in any mexican themed food or drink (obviously in place of any sugar in the recipe) not only do you keep the sweetness the original sugar would have supplied, but it deepens the mexican flavour a little.

Worth buying if you have a little extra to spend one week.

Why not give it a go and see what you can come up with?

Available at all good supermarkets, here’s the link for the best place locally (Thanet, Kent, UK) to get a hold of it:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1363552942803