DIY Falernum

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You may not have heard of falernum, but if you love Tiki cocktails then you probably love falernum. It’s a combination of lime and spices, either as a rum liqueur or a syrup. Give it a try! This recipe brightens the sour notes of citrus and adds a hint of spice.

DIY Falernum
1/3 cup raw almonds (sliced)
30 cloves
1/2 cup light rum
8 limes
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water

Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about five minutes, until slightly darkened and fragrant. Let cool. Put almonds and cloves in a jar with the rum. Steep for two days. Zest limes and add zest to the jar. Steep for one day, then strain through cheesecloth. Juice four of the limes and strain juice into pot with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, about five minutes. Let cool. Combine with strained almond and clove infusion. Strain entire mixture through a coffee filter (optional). Let rest for 12 hours before use.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

What Bartenders Should Know About Tea

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Tea is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It’s also a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can (and should) be a part of every bartender’s arsenal, according to tea experts Robert Schinkel and Sarah Scarborough.

I talked to two tea experts who gave a Tea 101 education for bartenders, along with advice for how to incorporate tea into cocktails — at Tales of the Cocktail.

Fennel Cocktails

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Fennel gives cocktails a hint of licorice flavor. But it’s also one of those ingredients that brings the fresh farmers market feel to your glass. Here are a few fennel cocktails to try!

Cat’s Pajamas ~ Fennel-infused honey is the star of this gin and cucumber cocktail inspired by the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail.

Seven Foals Cocktail ~ This aquavit-based citrus cocktail gets creative with anise, fennel, and caraway flavors.

Rhubarb-Fennel Cocktail ~ The grassy, tart flavor of rhubarb combines with a fennel-infused vodka for a refreshing spring drink.

Fennel Fizz ~ A savory cocktail made with Green Chartreuse gets an assist from fennel and an herbal lemon syrup.

Fennel Lemon Crunch ~ Fennel syrup and basil make a great team in this vodka cocktail. (Although I’m not sure what the “crunch” refers to …)

The Tahona Society Inspires a True Connection to Tequila

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When you’re passionate about tequila, celebrating the spirit and studying it go hand in hand. That’s why Olmeca Altos founders Henry Besant and DrĂ© Masso created the Tahona Society with master distiller Jesus Hernandez in 2010. Knowing more about the ancient art and culture of tequila gives bartenders a deeper love and respect for the spirit they can pass on to guests.

Tales of the Cocktail asked me to find out more about the Tahona Society and tequila education for bartenders.