While you won’t find us guzzling rum all day long, we always have a bottle of rum on hand because of its flavor and versatility! From cocktails to cooking, there’s always a reason to use rum. And one rum we particularly admire and recommend trying is Falernum.
Falernum is a Caribbean sweet rum liqueur flavored with ingredients like bitter almonds, ginger, and limes, among other spices. It’s not as popular as other rum brands and types; it’s worth having a bottle or two stocked in your pantry for tropical-style cocktails!
But what if there’s no Falernum in your liqueur store, or you need one right away? You can surely find an excellent Falernum substitute if you have a well-stocked liqueur cabinet.
Some of the best alternatives include non-alcoholic options like Orgeat, Grenadine, Horchata, and maple syrup, among others we’ll mention. Read on as we help you find the best Falernum substitute!
Manufacturers create Falernum in the Caribbean, originating in the 1700s, becoming a popular mixer for tiki cocktails in the 1930s. Sources say that Henry Parkinson invented Falernum in 1750, then his great-great-grandson, Arthur Standfield, registered and introduced the drink to the United Stated in 1934, where it became popular.
You may not know Falernum, but we bet your butt you know about Mai Tais and Zombies, which both contain Falernum as a major ingredient.
Fun fact: People sometimes refer to Falernum as a “syrup” more than a liqueur because we can find non-alcoholic syrups to flavor drinks without alcohol. Plus, Falernum has 5-11% ABV, lower than typical rums! If needed, you can find gluten-free Falernum to suit your dietary preference or needs.
This rum liqueur is translucent and straw-colored with a thick consistency, having a subtly sweet, spicy, and tart flavor. Not only can you use it with cocktails, but drink it on its own over ice or mixed with other beverages or liqueurs for a tropical vibe.
Falernum is produced and sold in Bermuda, Barbados, and the United States and distributed in the Caribbean and North America. Even then, it isn’t readily available everywhere, though we wish it were!
But there are alternatives you can easily find! Choose the best Falernum substitute below:
The 7 Best Substitutes For Falernum List
1. Orgeat Syrup
If you need a non-alcoholic Falernum substitute, then we recommend Orgeat syrup! It works as an excellent mixer for cocktails or mocktails, coming in different flavors like almond, barley, mango, banana, pistachio, or orange flower.
We recommend Orgeat syrup for tropical drinks and cocktails, mixing it with brandy if you want alcohol. While manufacturers create Orgeat in France, it’s readily available in the United States. You won’t have much trouble finding it, as they sell it in local liqueur stores and major supermarkets.
It’s one of the more similar substitutes to Falernum, having similar flavors to the rum liqueur. We recommend going for the French Garnier Orgeat syrup for a more authentic flavor.
Add these to cocktails to bring out a reddish and pink color, though some cocktails may not look attractive with the color. Despite the color, it also has a pomegranate flavor, as it consists of water, sugar, and pomegranate juice. You may also get blackcurrant options.
Since it’s non-alcoholic, you can use it on cocktails, mocktails, or other beverages like the Shirley Temple, pink lemonade, or Roy Rogers. Or you can mix Grenadine with ice and water for a refreshing summer drink.
Horchata is a plant milk beverage, perfect for the health-conscious or lactose intolerant. What’s great about this drink is its similar look and flavor to Falernum.
There’s a Spanish version of Horchata, consisting of soaking, grounding, and sweetening tiger nuts. There’s a Mexican version made from white rice!
We can enjoy Horchata, either cold or hot, added to frappe coffees, baked goods, ice creams, cocktails, and the infamous RumChata.
Fassionola is a red-colored syrup famous for its fruity flavors, mostly coming in passionfruit versions. However, you can find other fruit flavors available, too. Thanks to its fruity flavors, it’s commonly used in tropical drinks. It can also come in different colors, like gold and green!
While we love the different colors and flavors to choose from, that also means the flavor and taste would differ. Sometimes, you can use the Fassionola in fruit punch looking for Falernum. We recommend trying it in hurricane cocktails, but try it with other cocktails, too!
Pog is a passion-orange-guava beverage we consider the ultimate tropical juice! It has the perfect combination of orange, guava, and passionfruit, complementing cocktails looking for Falernum.
6. Maple Syrup
If you’re in a pinch, then you can use maple syrup. It’s an accessible ingredient you can find in supermarkets or in your fridge. This ingredient consists of xylem sap from black maple, red maple, or sugar maple trees, with different varieties like American or Canadian syrups.
We use maple syrup as a topping for pancakes, waffles, French toast, oatmeal, porridge, and other sweet breakfast dishes. It’s also a great sweetener in baking recipes and certain cocktails that need Falernum for its sweetness.
7. Make Your Own Falernum Substitute
You can always make your own Falernum if you have more time, customizing the ingredients to get your preferred flavor. Follow this simple recipe and adjust the amounts as needed!
- One bottle of white rum
- Lime zest from eight limes
- Grapefruit zest from one grapefruit
- One cup of sliced ginger
- 20 cloves
- 20 dried allspice berries
- Two cups of simple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- One cup of blanched almonds
- ½ cup of lime juice, strained
Besides the ingredients, you’ll also need tools like a funnel, cheesecloth, a medium-sized bowl, and a mason jar.
- Chop your almonds and place them on your skillet over medium heat, constantly stirring for five minutes or once aromatic. Remove the almonds from the heat.
- Pour the bottle of rum and toasted almonds into the mason jar, allowing it to sit for 24 hours.
- After waiting, add the grapefruit and lime zest, cloves, ginger, and allspice to the mason jar. Combine them well, letting it steep for 24 hours again.
- Line your funnel with cheesecloth to strain your mixture in a medium-sized bowl. Squeeze your cheesecloth to get as much liquid as possible.
- Store your mixture in a mason jar, using it in whatever recipe you need. But remember, everyone, homemade Falernum has a relatively short shelf life, so we recommend using it as soon as you can!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to learn more about Falernum, we’ve got a frequently asked questions section below, so keep on reading!
1. What cocktails use Falernum?
If you want to feel like you’re in paradise, then Falernum-based cocktails are perfect for you. You’ll find many Tiki and tropical-themed cocktails featuring Falernum, like the:
- Rum Swizzle
- Mai Tai
- Zombie cocktail
- Bermuda Punch
- The Saturn
- And more!
2. What’s the best type of Falernum?
We highly recommend using Velvet Falernum, having the thick, velvety consistency and sweet flavor. You can also taste some almonds and spice, making it fun to drink in cocktails!
Wrapping It Up
Finding a good Falernum substitute isn’t as tricky as you’d think! We do wish this rum liqueur was readily available everywhere, but there are similar liqueurs and non-alcoholic ingredients to almost match Falernum’s flavor.
Did our article on the best Falernum substitute help you find “the one?” If so, let us know what you think below and check out our other informative blogs on food, liqueurs, and other beverages!