Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

COCKTAIL: Barbados 75

I'm back, y'all. I have a new keyboard (and new keyboard protector!) and a whole shiny new topcase. Now no matter how far the beverage flies, it's not going to get my keyboard.

So as my returning post, I'm going to discuss the offending beverage that killed my "A" through "L" keys. Let this be both an inspiration and a warning to you all.

It all started when I found this intriguing bottle in the kitchen of something called "Velvet Falernum" and decided I MUST have a drink made out of it. The origin of Falernum is debatable, and I'm not even going to repeat the embarrassing story that's claimed on this particular brand's website. It seems clear, however, that falernum is a flavored syrup used in Caribbean drinks that may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. The "falernum" is derived from the name of an ancient Roman wine.

I was completely drawn to the name - Velvet Falernum. It sounds like an alchemist's potion, or something out of a fantasy novel, or perhaps lurking in the dusty cabinets of Miss Havisham.

So I forced my husband to make me a cocktail with it, since he is, as you may not yet know, a kind of modern day alchemist and I often call upon him to make drinks for my relaxing or celebratory pleasure.

The other factor in my need for this drink had to do with the temperature. This was during the recent heat wave, and it was outrageously warm. We've got no air conditioning and at one point my bedroom clock was telling me it was 93 degrees ... inside. So it was imperative each evening to sit out on the porch and have a cool drink.

Since Velvet Falernum comes from the land of rum, cane sugar, and limes as well as the land of Caribbean sun, it seemed like the perfect time to make a drink with it.

In honor of the summery weather, my mysterious and handsome alchemist made me a Barbados 75. As shotgun-celebratory as a French 75, with an exotic island twist, perfect for sweltering evenings on the porch.

Unfortunately, while one of these is a refreshing starter to your evening. A second dose has some side-effects. Most notably grand gesticulations while telling your equally grand stories, which can lead to disaster. Please drink responsibly!


  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 4 oz Sparkling wine - blanc de noirs
Shake gin, lemon juice, and Velvet Falernum with ice. Strain into a champagne flute. Fill with champagne.


sounds yummy. i wonder if it's named after a tourist t-shirt from barbados in '75. remember those? I had an oversized baseball-style t-shirt that said "Hawaii 85." My best friend, completely unprovoked, pummeled me with rotten plums while I was wearing it. He's no longer my best friend; he's my only enemy--not because he ruined my shirt, but because I dated his ex. Kinda sad.

said by dhp at 6:27 AM Delete

Hee hee! It's named after a gun.

Did everyone have one of those Hawaii 85 shirts? My brother had one too.

said by KT at 3:34 PM Delete

Lol. I must have a dirty mind. It sounds like something else entirely to me.

said by Chubbypanda at 2:49 PM Delete

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