A homemade falernum syrup is a great little addition in your drinks cabinet, adding a real taste of home to any cocktail. This unique syrup is common place in the tropical classics, great for any multi-spirited cocktail. 

Learn our simple falernum recipe below and discover everything about this syrup including definitions, cocktails and best brands...

Easy falernum recipe

Bottle of Falernum

For those who like to get stuck into bartending, this homemade falernum recipe is sure to entice you in. Take a look at our simple 6 step method for falernum syrup for 1 bottle of falernum...


  • 1 tbsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp allspice 
  • 4 star anise pods 
  • 1 lime (used for the lime zest and lime juice) 
  • 200g almonds 
  • 64g grated fresh ginger
  • 950g sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • Overproof light rum (measures dependent on syrup batch) 

Method: 6 steps

The method is pretty simple. By no means is this a quick falernum recipe, because that's simply not possible. With a squeeze of lime juice here and a grate of lime zest there, your very own syrup will be all yours. 

Step 1 - Soaking almonds

Coarsely chop 200g of almonds to soak overnight in a jar of 1 litre of water. At this point you should zest the lime for use later. Using slivered almonds may be much easier here, as they're already peeled and cut, perfect for soaking! 

Step 2 - Cook the ingredients 

Add the cloves, allspice and the star anise pods into a saucepan to warm a little. After, add the coarsely chopped almonds and water into the pan, as well as the fresh ginger, sugar and lime juice. Bring the mixture to the boil. 

Step 3 - Leave to simmer 

Lower to a medium heat once it reaches boiling point and stir for 15 minutes. 

Step 4 - Cool the mixture

Remove the mixture from the heat fully and let it cool. Add the lime zest and stir once more. This will now be left overnight in the jar. 

Step 5 - Strain thoroughly 

Strain the mixture through a cloth into the container. Make sure none of the lime zest, ginger or spices fall through. For every 150ml of syrup, add 30ml of overproof light rum. 

Step 6 - Store the syrup 

Finally, stir the mixture thoroughly and transfer it into clean bottles. You can store this in the fridge from now on for up to 2 weeks. 

NOTE: Feel free to experiment around with spices to truly put your unique stamp onto your falernum syrup. Or even add different fruits like grapefruit zest or lemon? 

Almond extract can also be used in replacement for almond nuts. The rum can also be excluded from the recipe to make a non-alcoholic syrup. 

What is falernum syrup?

Falernum syrup is a sweet, lime and sugar-based liqueur flavoured with ginger, almonds and cloves, among other spices too. It's made through a method of steeping, cooking and resting, produces fantastic flavours.

Falernum explodes with sweet, tropical notes, absolutely classic of the Caribbean cocktail culture. It's origins hail from Barbados around the nineteenth century, when Punches were all the rage. The name is thought to be derived from either an ancient Roman wine, or ‘you have to learn it’ in a West Indian accent. Either way, we’re just glad it’s here and being used to spice up amazing tiki cocktails!

Falernum cocktails

Fog Cutter tiki cocktail with garnish

So, now you know how to make falernum, how do you use it and what are the best drinks with falernum? There are so many great tasting cocktails with falernum out there, many of which are classic tiki cocktails! Falernum syrup works best in cocktails with strong alcoholic flavours. It can help to dull the sharp alcoholic notes a little, providing an easier drinking experience. Taste the sweet, spicy notes of the Caribbean with these top falernum cocktails...

Best falernum syrups

Falernum rum mixture

If you’re feeling a little lazy about making some falernum syrup (which is totally fine!), here are our top recommendations. They should be readily available on online stores, like The Whiskey Exchange.

1. John T. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum – Hailing from Barbados, this falernum is an award-winner! It dates back to 1890, using sugar cane, lime peel, cloves and almonds. Beautiful! Get blown away by its amazing zingy notes of lime and spicy bursts of cloves.

2. Monin Falernum Syrup – This falernum is the mot widely available to buy and well-marketed in the tiki world. It’s a supplement and not a liqueur (like the previous suggestion) and a bit less delicate in taste. It will still ‘do the job’ and is very popular, nonetheless.

3. Hanschell’s Old Time Recipe Falernum – Heading back to the Caribbean, this falernum is from Barbados. This falernum liqueur has been around since 1884, with some incredible tastes. With a thick syrupy consistency, the lime dances on your tongue, whilst spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves tickle is after. A great choice behind the bar.

If it's alcoholic drinks you're in search of then we've got a great falernum liqueur! The golden falernum spiced rum liqueur by The Bitter Truth is a nice addition to any drinks cabinet. Let the symphony of spices and flavours take you away to white sand beaches in the Caribbean, as you sip your cocktail! 

Falernum FAQs

Homemade falernum in a bottle

What does falernum taste like? 

Falernum syrup has a spicy and citrusy taste. Due to the multitude of spices and citrus fruit used, it offers a unique flavour to be used in bartending, especially tiki drinks. 

Is Velvet Falernum the same as falernum? 

Yes. The ingredients are the same but measurements are different. The Velvet Falernum recipe is much thicker in consistency due to there being more sugar in the recipe, compared to a homemade falernum. 

What's the difference between falernum syrup and Oleo Saccharum? 

The difference between falernum syrup and Oleo Saccharum is the recipe and method. Falernum requires more steps and techniques to make the syrup, whereas Oleo Saccharum doesn't require any cooking (or cooking experience). In terms of ingredients, falernum can have over 10 ingredients but the Oleo Saccharum recipe only has around 2-3 ingredients. Falernum syrup is also alcoholic, containing a bit of light rum. Just a touch! 

Master this falernum recipe and start your bartending adventure in one of our bartending schools located worldwide! We'll be happy to help you kickstart your amazing bartending career...