Easy Homemade Falernum Syrup Recipe for Tiki Cocktails

Easy Homemade Falernum Syrup Recipe for Tiki Cocktails

Elevate your cocktail game with this easy-to-make, aromatic falernum syrup recipe.

Falernum, a staple in Tiki cocktails, boasts a rich history as intoxicating as its flavor. This lime and spice syrup, believed to have originated in Barbados between 1826 and 1930, adds brightness and complexity to drinks. While its exact origins remain shrouded in mystery, its key ingredients – lime zest, cloves, and sugar – are constants in most recipes.

This homemade falernum recipe is perfect for cocktail enthusiasts and Tiki aficionados alike. It’s not just a vital component in classic drinks like the Zombie Punch and Saturn; it’s also a fantastic way to experiment with flavors in your home bar.

Store-Bought vs. Homemade Falernum

While commercial options like John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum exist, homemade falernum offers unparalleled freshness and customization. Plus, it’s surprisingly simple to make with common, affordable ingredients.

Why You Should Make Falernum at Home

Creating falernum at home allows you to fine-tune the flavors to your liking. You can adjust the spice levels, experiment with different rums, or add unique ingredients like star anise or cinnamon. It’s a fun, rewarding process that results in a superior product.

Versatility in Cocktails

Once you have your homemade falernum, you’ll find countless ways to use it. Try it in a Chartreuse Swizzle, Test Pilot, or our personal favorite, the gin-based Saturn. The bright, spicy notes of falernum will elevate your cocktails to new heights.

DIY Falernum Recipe


  • 1/3 cup sliced, raw almonds
  • 30 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup light rum
  • 8 limes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Toast the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet until they’re lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning. Allow to cool before use.
  2. In a sealable glass jar, combine the toasted almonds and cloves. Pour in the rum, shake well, and let the mixture steep for 2 days. For a milder clove flavor, reduce steeping time to 1 day.
  3. Zest all 8 limes, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith. Set aside 4 limes for juicing later. Add the lime zest to the jar with the rum mixture. This is also the time to add any additional spices if desired. Shake the jar and let it steep for another day.
  4. Strain the infused rum through cheesecloth, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible.
  5. Juice the 4 reserved limes and strain the juice into a saucepan. Add water and sugar, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves completely, about 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool, then combine it with the strained rum infusion. For an extra-smooth falernum, strain the mixture through a coffee filter. Let the falernum rest for 12 hours before using to allow the flavors to meld.


This recipe omits ginger, which some consider traditional, to prevent it from overpowering the other flavors. If you prefer, add a tablespoon of grated ginger with the lime zest.

Your homemade falernum will stay fresh for up to a month and doesn’t require refrigeration. Enjoy it in your favorite Tiki cocktails or experiment with new creations!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
47 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 47
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 29mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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