Adam Bernbach, 2 birds 1 stone | Washington DC

Spiced with ginger and clove, lime and almond, falernum can appear either as a sweet liqueur (usually around 11 percent ABV) or a non-alcoholic syrup. It might not have the name recognition of orgeat or the leading-lady status of rum, but even a barspoon lends something intriguing and inimitable to a cocktail. This version, created by D.C. bartender Adam Bernbach for a central European-skewed drink, eschews almond altogether and calls on overproof rum for a longer shelf life.


Yield: Approximately 3 cups

  • 8 ounces rum, overproof (preferably Hart's 151)
  • 40 cloves, whole
  • 10 limes, zested
  • 3 ounces ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 nutmeg, grated
  • 1 batch rich simple syrup (see Editor's Note)

  1. Mix rum, cloves, lime zest, ginger and nutmeg together in a sealed container, and let sit for 24 hours.
  2. Strain the infusion with a fine mesh sieve and blend it with the rich simple syrup (see Editor's Note).
  3. Let the syrup and infusion marry for several hours before use.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Editor's Note

To make the syrup, add 20 ounces of granulated sugar to 10 ounces of hot water. Mix together until sugar is full dissolved, and let cool.