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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Falernum with a plastic after taste?
Falernum with a plastic after taste?
Ryan Partridge
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 22, 2010
Posts: 32
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2018-04-09 5:28 pm   Permalink

The wife and I recently purchased some Orgeat Works Falernum from Amazon. After testing out a Viscous Virgin and QB Cooler we noticed a strange plastic-y after taste.
Anyone else experience this? Can falernum go bad?
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PalmtreePat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 07, 2014
Posts: 264
From: Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 2018-04-09 7:52 pm   Permalink

Falernum can indeed go bad (even with booze in it, learned that the hard way from my first attempt at doing it homemade), but I've never encountered one that got plasticy. Usually they just get microbe-y. If it's taken on a weird flavor but looks normal, maybe it was exposed to the air for too long somehow? Or maybe that's just the way the brand tastes? I've never had that particular product myself.

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2018-04-10 07:19 am   Permalink

That's very strange. I don't think we should be too broad and say "falernum" and thereby include all falernums out there - including home made. There are huge differences in how these are all made, how they taste, how they are preserved, and how they are stored. Low-grade preservatives in the store-bought stuff can cause freshness and shelf-life issues. Same is true for how home-made is preserved and stored. It might be helpful for me to repeat some things I have said in the past:

- As a preservative, I add pure grain alcohol to mine. I use either EverClear brand, or the other generic brand from Total Wine, and it works great. (1.5 oz to every 12 oz of falernum)
- As additional preservation, I keep my falernum in my freezer. It remains fluid at zero degrees.
- I prefer home-made over any store-bought. Period. It has been documented that The Bum together with someone else (Martin Cate, I believe?) tested a real vintage falernum and concluded that falernum recipes #8 and #9 were super-super-close facsimiles of the original vintage stuff as you can reasonably get. This is one reason I make it at home. The other is that Taylor's is a super-weak tasting falernum and I am never confident that works in vintage tiki cocktails. From my tests, home-made always makes a nice subtle background appearance in the classics. Taylor's does not. While Fee's is MUCH better, it is still not like home-made in drinks. You can test this assertion with a Zombie, QB Cooler, Saturn, Rum Barrel and more.

My shelf life is superb as a result of the above.

We've discussed preservation of stuff in other threads, including in the other falernum thread(s). Sorry about the anti-Taylor's pro-home-made rant. Good falernum is one of my secrets to success, so I like to encourage others to spend time in the kitchen and make their own.


 
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Ryan Partridge
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 22, 2010
Posts: 32
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2018-04-10 08:38 am   Permalink

Thanks for the tips!
This stuff came in a plastic bottle...plus we got it from Amazon. I don't know exactly how that works but maybe the plastic bottle, coupled with the fact that Amazon may not have had the "freshest" batch, could have something to do with it?

We typically make our own simple syrups and honey mix but buy pre-made orgeat and falernum. I may try purchasing a different brand to see how that goes before we jump into homemade falernum.
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2018-04-10 09:05 am   Permalink

Glad to help! Plastic bottles could indicate "profit maximization" and may signal you're not near the upper end of the quality scale.

Good falernum is an important part of a good cocktail. Continue the quest. Would love to read your findings and what you discover.

Home-made falernum is labor intensive. Note that it's much easier to make the lime zest with a Microplane grater. It takes overnight for the infusion of flavors to occur. But it is very worth the effort for home bars. Where most have trouble is making and keeping it available for bar patrons because it is so labor and time intensive to make. That's why so many buy it. But it's great fun to make, especially when you taste the result. Frankie's Tiki Room, the last time I was there 4 or 5 years ago, was using home-made falernum. My bartender was very proud of this and gave me a nice taste in a shot glass.


 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1196
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2018-04-10 10:33 am   Permalink

Interesting that it came in a plastic bottle. That must be new. Or maybe only for Amazon?
I have only ever seen Orgeat Works in glass & the Orgeat is very nice.

As discussed above, I make my own Falernum, as I have not found any commercial ones available today to my liking/with enough spice flavor. And the bonus is that when you make it yourself, the longer to steep it (to a point...), the more the spice flavor develops, so you can make it to your own tastes. I do like mine spicy!

[ This Message was edited by: croe67 2018-04-10 10:33 ]


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2018-04-10 11:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-04-10 10:33, croe67 wrote:
And the bonus is that when you make it yourself, the longer to steep it (to a point...), the more the spice flavor develops, so you can make it to your own tastes. I do like mine spicy!



The very first time I made falernum I thought I'd be smart and use a grater for the ginger instead of slivering it. Wow - that grated ginger REALLY amped up the ginger flavor in the batch! I never made it that way again, and I learned from it.


 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1196
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2018-04-10 1:02 pm   Permalink

Oh yes! There's definitely a learning curve involved in prep as well as steeping time

 
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Bumboo
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 16, 2015
Posts: 22
From: Pasadena, CA
Posted: 2018-04-10 7:48 pm   Permalink

The falernum from Orgeat Works is actually the Jeff Berry/Latitude 29 Formula Falernum. And it's incredibly good. The plastic bottle is an Amazon requirement and the stuff is made in such small batches, by the time I see a few bottles pop up on Amazon, they are gone two days later. I've ordered directly from Orgeat Works and gotten glass bottles, so if the plastic bothers you, there's that option. The Latitude 29 Orgeat is delicious too. Enjoy.

 
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Ryan Partridge
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 22, 2010
Posts: 32
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2018-04-10 9:34 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-04-10 19:48, Bumboo wrote:
The falernum from Orgeat Works is actually the Jeff Berry/Latitude 29 Formula Falernum. And it's incredibly good. The plastic bottle is an Amazon requirement and the stuff is made in such small batches, by the time I see a few bottles pop up on Amazon, they are gone two days later. I've ordered directly from Orgeat Works and gotten glass bottles, so if the plastic bothers you, there's that option. The Latitude 29 Orgeat is delicious too. Enjoy.



Interesting! Maybe that's the reason for the plastic flavor. We'll try a glass bottle next time or possibly another brand. I've been impressed with the BG Reynolds stuff lately...
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