Classic Recipe No. 137 —

Corn ‘n Oil

corn n oil

Through all of my research I haven’t been able to identify the origin of this fantastically simple cocktail. If you do your own digging you’ll find a few informative articles out there and most of them will list Cruzan Blackstraps Rum as the base liquor. It’s this rum that gives the cocktail it’s crude oil complexion and it’s fitting name. However, I find that the Cruzan Blackstrap Rum over powers the subtleties of the falernum, the real star of this recipe. I like to use the big, round and mellow El Dorado 12 year. It’s not nearly as sticky sweet and lets the falernum speak it’s mind. If you prefer Jamaican Rum give Blackwell Rum a try. Since I’m altering this recipe I also took the liberty to create a twist on the falernum. After a handful of experiments I discovered that an Aperol falernum plays very nicely in this recipe.


  • 2 1/2 oz El Dorado Rum
  • 1/2 oz Aperol falernum
  • 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 lime wedges

This cocktail recipe is so simple I like to build it directly in a double old fashioned rocks glass. Add your rum, falernum, bitters, and then squeeze one lime wedge into the rocks glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with the other lime wedge.

7 Notes on Corn ‘n Oil

  1. Just found your blog, 110% AWESOME! Do you think you could do a piece on christmas gift ideas for budding mixologists?

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Sir, you state that “Cruzan Blackstrap Rum over powers the subtleties of the falernum, the real star of this recipe.” That could be due to choice of Falernum. Commercially available falernums (like Taylor’s) tend to be sweet and syrupy and very thin on bold rich flavors. May I suggest trying this recipe with home-made Falernum #8 as published by Kaiser Penguin? A recipe for Falernum #9 is out there, but I personally have tested and found that #9 is an incremental upgrade not necessarily worth the extra effort. Thank you for your blog! –Ace

    • I am a fan of Lemonhart Demerara, but I agree that homemade falernum is superior. Extra effort or not, I go with Falernum #9. Great little drink.

  3. Ahem.
    This is not a corn and oil. This is a daquiri with falernum.
    Which is a fine thing, mind you.

    The right way to think of corn and oil is as a member
    of the Manhattan family, subbing dark rum as the brown
    liquor and falernum as the sweet weirdness.

    Roll back to the blackstrap rum and enjoy it as a celebration
    of that particular rum, is my advice. Eldorado 12 is a party
    in a glass all by itself, so I call foul subbing it into a classic
    like this, bringing along friends (lime and bitters) and keeping
    the original drink name.

    • Blackstrap Rum tastes like pancakes and is too syrupy for my tastes. I’ve found the doubling down of the syrup of Blackstrap and the syrup of falernum to be too sweet. But to each their own. I prefer my Corn ‘n Oil like this.

  4. Hello! I just wanted to resurrect this thread and say I’m right there with you — blackstrap rum is lame. I don’t use it in my Jungle Bird either. Cruzan is flavored rum that tastes like fake maple ‘pancake syrup’ — and the term ‘blackstrap’ means nothing among most rum producers, only marketers. I’ve read that the Corn n Oil is Bajan in origin, but I haven’t been able to find much history either. Like you, I’ve had good luck with guyanese rums — Hamilton 86 — or a blend of 86 and a Bajan rum like Plantation 5 year or Mount Gay. I’m using Taylor’s falernum. These rums are very much in the spirit of the drink, and should definitely still be called a Corn n Oil. Comparing this build to a daiquiri is very reductionist — as a stirred drink its closer to a Ti’punch or Caipirinha — but the depth of the rum and the falernum make it all its own.

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