Despite its misleading name, the Corn n’ Oil contains no corn or oil. Instead, it boasts a rich blend of blackstrap rum, falernum, and zesty lime juice, among other carefully curated ingredients. This flavorful beverage tantalizes the taste buds with a perfect balance of sweetness and tang.
The robust notes of blackstrap rum provide a deep, molasses-infused undertone, complemented by the subtle spice of falernum. The addition of fresh lime juice adds a refreshing citrusy kick, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors that lingers on the palate.
Similar to many cocktails, the Corn ‘n’ Oil does not have a clear history. But there are a few clues that we can use to understand its origins.
The most important of these clues is that this drink contains falernum. Falernum is a liqueur that is syrupy and contains spices and citrus notes. It is popular in many tropical drinks, and one of the most prominent falernum companies began in the island nation of Barbados. The cocktail is traditionally made with blackstrap rum, which is popular in the Caribbean and gives it its characteristic crude-oil complexion.
The earliest known record of the Corn ‘n’ Oil cocktail comes from the 1911 book “West Indian and Other Recipes” by Mrs. H Graham Yearwood, who called it a traditional Barbados cocktail consisting of either blackstrap or other dark rum, mixed with falernum. Falernum is a sweet syrup flavored with lime, ginger, and cloves, and is a common ingredient in Caribbean cocktails.
Today, the Corn ‘n’ Oil is still a popular drink in Barbados and other Caribbean islands. It has also gained popularity in the United States and other countries, thanks in part to the efforts of Richard Seale, master distiller at the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. Seale has been working to revive interest in traditional Barbadian rums and cocktails, including the Corn ‘n’ Oil.
How to Make It
- 2 ounces of blackstrap rum
- ½ ounce of falernum
- ½ ounce of fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Lime wedge
- Fill a rocks glass with ice.
- Add 2 ounces of blackstrap rum or aged Barbados rum.
- Pour in 1/2 ounce of velvet falernum.
- Add 1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters.
- Stir the ingredients together to combine.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
Choosing Your Rum
A blackstrap rum is the best choice for a Corn ‘n’ Oil cocktail. Blackstrap rum is a dark, molasses-based rum that has a strong, smoky flavor. It pairs well with the sweetness of the falernum and the tartness of the lime juice.
When making a Corn n Oil cocktail, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Look for dark rum, such as Mount Gay or The Real McCoy, or any other Barbadian rum. Use freshly squeezed lime juice and Angostura bitters for the best results.
The Corn n’ Oil cocktail is a versatile drink that can be customized to suit your taste. Here are some variations you can try:
Add a splash of pineapple juice to the mix for a more tropical flavor. You can also use coconut rum instead of black rum for a more exotic and lighter taste.
Add a pinch of ginger or clove to the mix for a spicy kick. This works well with black rum, which has a bold flavor that can stand up to the spices.
Infuse your black rum with allspice berries for a unique twist on the classic recipe. Simply add a handful of allspice berries to a bottle of rum and let it sit for a few days before using it in your cocktail.
Use an almond liqueur like Amaretto instead of falernum for a nutty flavor.
Ti’ Punch inspiration
Use caramel coloring instead of falernum for a more authentic Ti’ Punch-inspired cocktail. This variation is perfect for those who prefer a less sweet cocktail.