There is a local wine store here in Maryland that has been holding spirits tastings over the past few months, letting people try different vodkas, gins, rums, etc. In a recent tasting I was introduced to a new liqueur called Velvet Falernum – a rum based liqueur from Barbados. It is sweet but has a unique spice flavor to it, apparently from cloves and other herbs. It is a unique and very good taste that I really like.
I have developed a winter-time taste for rum based Manhattans using a dark rum, a good sweet vermouth (such as Dolin) and old fashioned bitters. So I decided to try my favorite Manhattan with Velvet Falernum to see what would happen. Ummmm! It was a great change of pace.
The Velvet Falernum was sweeter than the vermouth I usually use, so I had to dial back the amount. And since the Velvet Falernum had some spice flavors, I also cut back on the amount of bitters used. Here is the recipe I used:
- 1.5 ounces of dark rum (I used Blackwell Jamaican Black Gold Special Reserve)
- 1 to .75 ounces of Velvet Falernum liqueur (use 1 oz if you like sweet drinks, if you like less, go with the .75)
- 7 dashes old fashioned bitters (I used The Bitter Truth Old Fashioned Bitters, my favorite)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake
- Pour into a martini glass and enjoy!
I have been trying to come up with other uses for the Velvet Falernum and found several on the Internet that look promising. I think it would also be a good addition to a Mojito, used in place of the sugar syrup. I plan to try that as soon as the fresh mint is available.