Corn 'n' Oil

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (127 ratings)

Serve in

Old-fashioned glass

Photographed in

UB Tin Can Tumbler

Garnish:

Lime wedge squeezed and dropped into cocktail

How to make:

STIR first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into glass filled with crushed ice. (Optional: FLOAT black rum on surface of the drink.)

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AKA:

Corning Oil

Review:

Rum, slightly sweetened and flavoured with the lime and clove flavours of falernum.

There is much debate over the Corn 'N' Oil, particularly the type of rum used, or even if a proportion of the base spirit should be brandy. The style of dark "black strap" rum is now often floated to give this cocktail an oil slick-like dark top, but this is not traditional in Barbados; this drink's home, but it does aid its appearance. To be authentic to its origin, you should use a Bajan rum and forego the oil slick. There does seem to be a consensus that whatever rum or combination of rums (and brandy) are used, the base spirit is usually a 60ml (2oz) measure mixed with 15ml (½oz) falernum. Once you decide on the base spirit, you have a choice of whether to add "red bitters" (aromatic bitters such as Angostura) or "green bitters" (absinthe) and how many dashes. Finally, you have a choice between cubed or crushed ice. As with all cocktails, I advise making your Corn 'N' Oils to suit your tastes or your guests.

Variant:

Served over cubed ice.

History:

The Corn 'n' Oil is a traditional Barbadian planters' drink which, like the falernum liqueur it is sweetened and flavoured with, dates from the 1700s. Its 'Corn and Oil' name is derived from the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament. Chapters 1–30 are of sermons delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land. The salient verse being, "That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil."

A recipe for falernum in Mrs. H Graham Yearwood's 1911 book [we don't have a copy to verify] is followed by with a notation on its use, "Rum and falernum constitute the drink known as Corn 'n Oil or 'Corning Oil'".

This cocktail's notoriety was helped by its appearing on the back label of John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, the best-selling brand of falernum:

Corn 'N Oil
1/2oz Velvet Falernum
2 oz R.L. Seale's 10 year or Doorly's XO Barbados Rum

Stir in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
Garnish with a lime slice.

Nutrition:

242 calories

Alcohol content:

  • 1.9 standard drinks
  • 30.69% alc./vol. (61.38° proof)
  • 26.4 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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