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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food velvet falernum, where is it?
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velvet falernum, where is it?
twowheelin'tiki
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Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 712
From: santa monica
Posted: 2004-01-21 12:11 am   Permalink

I still say that velvet falernum for mixing traditional recipies SUCKS!!!!!. I have had the real deal in a shot glass from the tiki-ti, and only fees bros comes close PERIOD.I am not saying it is useless, but if you use it per old recipies, you will be bummed compared to fees bros .

 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-01-21 12:55 pm   Permalink

TWT, I got nothing against you or your personal tastes. You may like the taste of the syrup better. But, you do realize that your post makes no sense, right?

"and only fees bros comes close PERIOD"

Please explain how Fee bros. come closer to the real thing than the real thing.


"I am not saying it is useless, but if you use it per old recipies, you will be bummed compared to fees bros"

If you use it per old recipes, then you'll be making the old recipes THE RIGHT WAY.


Hey, like I said: your preference for the syrup is your preference. Far be it from me to tell you what tastes better to you. But please don't deny the reality of the situation. I'll leave it that- everthing else I was going to say is already in my rant earlier in this thread.


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-02-12 5:05 pm   Permalink

A lot closer than the recipe for Falernum I posted previously.

Having the John Taylor's around helped make this one much better.
I'll get even better on the next batch:

zest from 3 limes
juice from small lime
24 cloves
1/8 TSP almond extract
1 cup white rum

Put all of these into a container and cover and let sit for 24 hours.

Strain out the mixture and add 2 3/4 cups of Rock Candy Syrup.

Add 3 level Tablespoons of cloves and whip into mixture.

Let sit 12 hours.
Strain and enjoy.

-------------------------------

EDIT: I've been letting the cloves soak to get the closest taste to the Taylor's::EDIT OFF

STILL not as clove-y as the Taylor's.
But closer.
I think I'll try clove oil next time - a few drops or something.

Thanks again, Humuhumu, for the bottle of Velvet.





[ This Message was edited by: pablus on 2004-02-12 21:47 ]


 
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SES
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Joined: Sep 14, 2003
Posts: 992
Posted: 2004-02-12 5:21 pm   Permalink

If you heat the cloves it will release the oil in them. So maybe heat the rum with the cloves first...

Don't use the clove "essential oil" as that is often made with the leaves of the plant and in my herb book it says not to take it internally except under professional supervision.


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-02-12 5:30 pm   Permalink


Good idea.

I wondered how they got it so infused with the flavor of clove.

I'll try adding "heated clove water" to the recipe in varying strengths next try.

Wish I could just run down to the store and buy it.... stupid, lazy Spirit of Hartford distributors... mumblemumblegrumble.


 
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Humuhumu
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Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-02-22 6:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-01-09 12:28, martiki wrote:
Once again- I have been using the fee brothers stuff and it is an ok substitute in my mind. But the Velvet tastes very good. And this is the simple fact: John D Taylor has been making Falernum in Barbados for years and years. It IS the ingredient in vintage tropical drinks. It IS what Don, Vic, Ray, and everyone else used. Falernum (WITH alcohol!) IS the authentic way to make these drinks. Not syrup from the US. The liqueur from Barbados. Period. Don't believe me? Ask Jeff Berry when you see him in the Tiki Ti next time.



I was chatting with Jeff Berry last night, and the conversation turned to falernum. He was quite insistent on Fee Bros. being the closest you can come to the true old falernum. I asked about Velvet Falernum, and he says the flavor isn't as close to the real deal. I asked how he knew, and he says that he still has a small stash of the real deal from the old days, and he's taste tested against it. I pressed further, mentioning about Velvet being made from an old recipe, but he wouldn't budge -- he says that Fee Bros. is as close as you can get right now, and that it would be interesting to try mixing with Velvet Falernum, but that the flavor would definitely be off.

So there you go! I would still urge everyone to try playing with the Velvet Falernum, because whether it's a match to the old stuff or not, it's really yummy.

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twowheelin'tiki
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Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 712
From: santa monica
Posted: 2004-02-26 6:19 pm   Permalink

I TOLD YOU!!!,
jeff and I have both tasted the real deal, we know (as I beat my chest!). What you guys are missing by thinking that ol' john d taylor is the real deal is this, He/they made real "falernum" for years and it was great......"velvet falernum" is a different mixer with alcohol already in it along with god knows what to make a new product.Do ya get it ?


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-02-26 6:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-02-26 18:19, twowheelin'tiki wrote:He/they made real "falernum" for years and it was great......"velvet falernum" is a different mixer with alcohol already in it along with god knows what to make a new product.Do ya get it ?



Not quite. The Velvet Falernum has been made for many years, as has the non-Velvet Falernum. It's only been recently reimported into the U.S.

Despite this, and the fact that I've tried Velvet in drinks and thought it was perfectly fine, I agree that if Jeff Berry and Mike Buhen say that Fee Bros. is the stuff than I gotta get me some!
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-02-26 8:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-02-26 18:19, twowheelin'tiki wrote:
I TOLD YOU!!!,
jeff and I have both tasted the real deal, we know (as I beat my chest!). What you guys are missing by thinking that ol' john d taylor is the real deal is this, He/they made real "falernum" for years and it was great......"velvet falernum" is a different mixer with alcohol already in it along with god knows what to make a new product.Do ya get it ?



Yeah, well, I noticed that you didn't say a word until Humu piped up.

*sigh*

Let's go through this again:

1. John D. Taylor INVENTED Falernum. Fact. In 1890. Look it up.

2. "....velvet falernum is a different mixer with alcohol already in it along with god knows what...." Falernum has ALWAYS had alcohol in it. It is a liqueur. Other brands of real Barbados Falernum are out there, too. Here's one, made by the people who make Cockspur's Rum:

http://www.rum.cz/galery/cam/bb/inniss/img/bb83.jpg

Notice how it says "11% alc./vol." on the label? Guess what that means.

3. Regarding the difference between velvet/"real" falernum: As near as I can tell, Velvet Falernum was the ORIGINAL name of Falernum. Velvet Falernum is NOT "a new product" as you say. Over time, other varieties were developed, including John D. Taylor's White Falernum in 1923. White Falernum is lighter, with a less pronounced (though still strong) clove flavor and only 8% alc/vol. Basically the cheaper stuff. In all likelyhood, this is what came to the states back in the day. It's quite good. How do I know? Because I have a bottle of it in front of me right now. Brought back from Barbados by a friend a few years ago. The "real deal", as it were. Although I think it's still a cheaper version of Velvet Falernum. Which they never stopped making.

At some point, John D. Taylor's stopped coming to the states. In it's place, the Sazerac & Co. version of Falernum was available (as mentioned in Intoxica- and you'll note that Intoxica mentions JD Taylor's as well). I don't know if it was a syrup only or a liqueur, or if it was imported from Barbados or made stateside. Eventually it stopped being made as well. In it's place are the syrups (again- not real Falernum, but Falernum-flavored syrup) from Fee Brothers and Da Vinci. Now, the original is back in the states, and people don't want it? I find this incredible. From, the Drink Boy Webite: "Just recently, a brand of Falernum from Barbados is being distributed through "Spirit of Hartford", and comes highly recommended by Dale DeGroff." Read about him here:

http://www.kingcocktail.com/bio2003.htm

http://www.kingcocktail.com/Falenm-release.htm

Yeah, sure, I suspect he's a paid endorser for the importer, but he's also a former Rainbow Room bartender and author.

So, yes, it pains me to say this, but I must repectfully disagree with Jeff Berry. Obviously, he's the king of tropical drink history, but I think he's wrong here. I may have to go it alone on this one, but I'm OK with that.

I am drinking White Falernum, Velvet Falernum, and Fee Brothers right now. The white as I mentioned is slightly tart with lime and has a strong clove flavor. The Velvet has much more pronounced clove notes, and you can taste more of the rum. The Fee brothers tastes like tart syrup with almost no discernable spice character.

Any one who ever comes over to the Grotto is welcome to taste all three and decide for themselves. Blindfolded if you like. Judge for yourselves. I'll crack my last bottle of White when you come.

And as for your statement about "god knows what" being in Velvet Falernum, TWT? Here's what the labels say:

Velvet Falernum: Lime Juice, Sugar, Almond and Clove essence, Water, White Rum.

Fee Brothers: Corn Sweeteners, Sugar, Lime Juice, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Benzoate of Soda as a preservative.

I know what I want in my drink.



Article from the spirits columnist for the SF Chronicle, also a published cocktail author (includes a tasty recipe):

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/09/18/WIGMF1OATF1.DTL

From the website of a rum distillery in Barbados:

JOHN D. TAYLOR'S VELVET FALERNUM
This famous Bajan "Gold Medal" beverage and mixer with a uniquely refreshing flavour was developed by John D. Taylor of Bridgetown in 1890. A delicious drink on its own or on the rocks, it is also an excellent base for exciting rum mixes such as "Corn 'n Oil". Add a dash of Bitters, crushed ice and shake or stir, then drink with pleasure.

From Yahoo's Barbados Travel Guide:

Typical Bajan drinks, besides Banks beer and Mount Gay rum, are falernum (a liqueur concocted of rum, sugar, lime juice, and almond essence) and mauby (a nonalcoholic drink made by boiling bitter bark and spices, straining the mixture, and sweetening it).



[ This Message was edited by: martiki on 2004-02-26 20:55 ]


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Humuhumu
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Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-02-26 9:14 pm   Permalink

Everyone should give it a try. Whether or not it is appropriate for using for traditional recipes is obviously up for debate, but regardless, it's very good stuff, and worthy of a place in your bar.


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[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu on 2004-02-26 21:16 ]


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twowheelin'tiki
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Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 712
From: santa monica
Posted: 2004-02-27 08:09 am   Permalink

I stand corrected on everything except the taste in mixed drinks with proper vintage recipes. Mike B is my mentor on all things drink related, and his drinks are the best....period, so if he says fees bros is the closest to the real falernum of 1950's vintage that his pop used, thats all I need to know.
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-02-27 10:27 am   Permalink

martiki wrote:
Quote:
At some point, John D. Taylor's stopped coming to the states. In it's place, the Sazerac & Co. version of Falernum was available (as mentioned in Intoxica- and you'll note that Intoxica mentions JD Taylor's as well). I don't know if it was a syrup only or a liqueur, or if it was imported from Barbados or made stateside.



I still have a bit of the Sazerac brand stuff left. Yes, it is a syrup w/out alchohol and it was made in the U.S.

Perhaps they use Fee Bros. at the Tiki Ti because it costs much less than Velvet Falernum but it still has enough flavor for their drinks. If they only used the absolute best rums and the most expensive imported liqueurs then they would have to charge $20 a drink instead of $10.
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-02-27 11:52 am   Permalink

Well, that's a good point Jab- the ingedients do get costly. That's why even the Tiki-Ti uses some cut rate rums, among the good stuff. Look, I love the Tiki-Ti. Dearly. I have had some of the best drinks of my life there. Hell, I opened it and closed it on the same barstool a few Wednesdays ago. And Mike is certainly a pro and a legend. But, (and I know I'm REALLY playing with fire now) you know, the dark secret that no one really wants to talk about, is that they also use frozen lime juice. Shhh! The ugly truth that dare not speak it's name! Now, I've never been able to make drinks that good with frozen stuff myself, so they definitely have some kind of killer "cheap ingredient mojo" working for them. But just imagine if you took their legendary mixology skills & menu, and then added fresh lime, premium rums, top shelf liqueurs and mixers, and (may I humbly suggest) real falernum...you'd have drinks that no Vic's, Mai Kai, or any mortal human could touch. But, of course, we would all experience that uncomfortable burning sensation in our wallets as the damn drinks would be $20 bucks a pop! You know that sensation- you get it after a trip to a Vic's. As it stands, I'll happily belly up to the Tiki Ti bar any time just to watch them work and sip in silent reverence.

Since I'm up north, I'll just have to settle for as good as a human can get: I'll go home tonight, make the Puka Punch recipe from the Tiki Ti in Intoxica with all top shelf ingredients and fresh juice, and touch the hand of God.

Old Tiki-Ti favorite: Ooga Booga

New Tiki-Ti favorite: 151 Rum Swizzle (Thanks Iuka for the tip!)

Here's hoping the plumbing gets fixed soon!

[ This Message was edited by: martiki on 2004-02-27 11:54 ]


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-02-27 12:15 pm   Permalink

Jeff Berry's books are the best tropical drink books out there, and started me into making real topical drinks at home, but even some of those recipes can be improved. Berry says it's fine to use frozen OJ but I always use fresh because here in California oranges are cheap and plentiful and the frozen stuff tastes nasty to me. I'm sure if I lived in colder climates I would use the frozen. The same can be said for fresh grapefruit juice. I even tried to squeeze pineapple juice by hand once! It didn't work too well so I still use canned.

At the Mai Kai they still use excusively fresh juices (including pineapple) and import special limes. How they do it and keep the price around $10 is beyond me.
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-02-27 12:20 pm   Permalink

Unga Bunga like Ooga Booga too!

 
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