Jolly Roger Cocktail

The flavor of molasses balances well with the ginger notes from the falernum. Falernum is an ingredient sometimes found in the tiki era drinks of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, and it works specifically well in rum based drinks. It however had been unavailable for a while in the US. Recently it came back, and so I was playing around one day to try to come up with a drink that would make use of it, as well as pay a little homage to rum and it’s roots upon the often treacherous seas.


  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz falernum
  • dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Instructions

  • shake with ice, strain into ice filled rocks glass
  • garnish with an orange twist

  • Comments

    Brandon 23 Feb 2009
    5:40 am


    Sounds like a pretty killer drink!  I’ve got a bottle of John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum sitting @ home, and while I don’t have the Cruzan blackstrap, I’ve got a couple of other selections for Light and Dark Rums…  I’m glad to see some more exciting Falernum drinks! 


    - Brandon

    Robert Hess 23 Feb 2009
    6:20 am

    Brandon, Cruzan Blackstrap is very robust and flavorful, which is why I cut it in this recipe with some light rum. If you are using a different dark rum, you might need to play around a little to find the right balance.

    ole 23 Feb 2009
    8:54 am

    how about the velvet falernum liqueur vs fee’s falernum syrup, do they compare? is the syrup just a non-alcohol version of the liqueur?

    ps i’ve enjoyed the voyager cocktial numerous times and look forward to trying this drink in the future when i can find blackstrap.

    Robert Hess 23 Feb 2009
    11:59 am

    Ole, the Velvet Falernum product is slightly different from the Fee’s Falernum product, but both work well in this, and as far as I know all other drinks that call for falernum. Jeff Berry, who’s advice on all things Tiki I always listen to, has told me that he personally prefers the Fee’s Falernum.

    Nestor Paonessa 23 Feb 2009
    5:19 pm

    You KNOW I was excited when I watched this episode!  ;-)  If I may suggest another rum option, Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum is more flavorful and aromatic than the standard Cruzan Dark, but not as robust as Blackstrap, and as such you may not have to cut it as much, if at all.  All excellent rums in my opinion, and your Jolly Roger cocktail sounds very enticing - I’ll definitely be making an orange run tomorrow evening!  If you’re ever in the area, there is actually a charter boat company on St. Croix called Jolly Roger that offers snorkeling tours and watersports…  ;-)
    As a side note, being a “Cruzan” myself (or as it is more correctly-spelled, “Crucian”), I feel obligated to correct you on its pronunciation:  “KROO-zhan” (emphasis on the first syllable - not sure why everyone I talk to here in the states interprets it as “kroo-ZAN”...)
    Thanks for another great episode, keep ‘em coming!  A little more Cruzan Rum wouldn’t hurt either… ;-)
    Take care,

    Robert Hess 24 Feb 2009
    7:10 am

    Nestor… Thanks for the correction in pronouciation! I often stumble over how to properly pronounce some of the various products correctly when all you see is a spelling… “orgeat” anybody? :->

    I am familiar with Cruzan Single Barrel Estate… I wasn’t able to find it in any of my local liquor stores :-<... for this drink however, it isn’t “quite” robust enough. It might end up with a fine cocktail, but not quite what I was after. But perhaps using a combination of Estate and Blackstrap would work well, using 3 parts Estate, and 1 part Blackstrap.


    Harry W. Reineke IV 25 Feb 2009
    1:30 am

    Are there going to be any direct links posted.  I can hear the audio, but see no video.

    Robert Hess 25 Feb 2009
    3:53 am

    Harry, The audio is working fine for me. “Direct” access to the video files are via the “Alternate Formats” section you see to the right of the video.

    Lawrence Spies 27 Aug 2009
    6:17 pm

    Drink sounds great Robert! I will have to try this one for sure. In fact I just brought a bottle of Light Cruzan and Gosling Black Seal for Mai Tais, (I already have a bottle of Mount Gay Extra Old) Specs was out of Cruzan Black Strap:( So, for now, I will sub the Black Seal for the Black Strap and see how that taste.

    BTW…Trader Vics website sells Orgeat as well…don’t know how good it is, but its another source for Orgeat…

    Robert Hess 28 Aug 2009
    4:38 am

    Gosling Black Seal works well in this drink too.

    The Trader Vic orgeat is pretty good. Chopsticks, the Chinese restaurant up here in Edmonds WA where I am a “Mai Tai Regular”, uses it exclusively.

    Lawrence Spies 31 Aug 2009
    7:11 am

    YumO! Great drink! Just made one with Gosling Black Seal, can’t to try it with the Black Strap!

    Philip Heesen, III 8 Dec 2011
    2:38 pm

    Definitely a great drink even using Gosling Black Seal!

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