Cocktail Challenge: falernum | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

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Cocktail Challenge: falernum

Rodan’s Eric Chaleff soothes his flu with a teacup full of rum


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Eric Chaleff, Rodan co-owner (and guitarist in Bloodiest), had a bad case of the flu when he mixed up this cocktail featuring his ingredient, falernum. Perhaps inspired by his chills, he made a warming drink with two types of tea: a rose marzipan black tea he used to infuse two kinds of rum, steeping the mixture for more than 12 hours; and a Korean grain tea made of pine nuts, walnuts, rice powder, millet, and chestnuts.

Who's Next

Chaleff opted to keep up the Asian theme, challenging Jenny Kessler, drinks master at the restaurant and tequila lounge Masa Azul, with shiitake mushrooms.

(Recipe below slideshow)

The Rum Dynasty

3 heaping bar spoons of Korean grain tea
1 oz Velvet Falernum Liqueur
1 1/2 oz tea-infused rum*
10 oz hot water
dash Chinese five-spice powder
Chilean baby pear for garnish

Spoon Korean grain tea into the bottom of a teacup. Strain the tea-infused rum into the cup and add the falernum liqueur and hot water. Stir well. Add a dash of Chinese five-spice powder and garnish with a Chilean baby pear.

*Tea-infused rum

6 oz Cana Brava rum
3 oz Zaya Gran Reserva 12-year rum
6 bar spoons of rose marzipan black tea
Combine and let steep for at least 12 hours.


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