An Oral History of the Rediscovery of Falernum

These oral histories haven’t drawn much interest on this forum so far. But I’ll post this one nonetheless, just in case.


Definitely some bits I didn’t know (remember?) about all this. Falernum wasn’t yet really on my radar back then.

I do very much remember the afternoon launch party Dale threw for Velvet Falernum on August 14, 2003, at a (Marriott?) Times Square hotel, because the Northeast blackout hit as I was departing. (Who turned off these escalators?)

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Taylor’s difficulties with its original importer were interesting. Cut by Punch for space were bits about Seale’s vehement objections to all homemade falernums, as well as Berry’s disinterest in Taylor since is was a liqueur, not a syrup.

Can you share interesting excerpts that were cut?

I’ve always been a bit baffled by Berry’s troubles with Velvet Falernum—it has always worked fine for me!

I think it’s all right, since his comment was meant for publication. He said, “Taylor is a falernum liqueur, which was useless to me because back in the day the falernum used in Polynesian-themed bars and restaurants was a nonalcoholic syrup.”


… the implication being that the additional alcohol throws off the balance of a drink.

I haven’t experienced that (the throwing off of balance), yet.

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What did Seale have to say?

He said, “The recipes on the internet are bogus, made up when Falernum was rediscovered in the classic recipes and no Falernum could be found on the shelf. I have no issue with Bartenders submitting their own preferred recipes in cocktails, just do not call it Falernum. Its troubling for me that so much product out there is labelled Falernum and its completely at odds with what you would have actually found if you visited Barbados in the 1930s.”

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