The Riff

The Riff: Corn n’ Oil | Video

By: Amber Chase

Christian Favier, bar manager at The Ordinary in Charleston, shares his riff on the traditional Caribbean cocktail, the Corn n’ Oil. The bar program at The Ordinary is heavily influenced by the food menu, strategizing for prime seafood pairings and unexpected twists, but another key factor is their distinctive rum program. 

For Favier, rum signifies the spirit of the sea. Wherever you can find high-quality sugarcane, the primary ingredient for rum, you can also find an abundant seafood culture. Keeping rum origins and flavor profiles top of mind, Favier grounds their rum program in classic Caribbean cocktails, historically created in the Caribbean by Caribbean bartenders. 

The Corn n’ Oil is regaining popularity, but the concept is over three hundred years old. It’s a classic drink from Barbados in the 1700s that features Bajun rum, Falernum (a spiced liqueur from Barbados), angostura bitters, and lime. The name “Corn n’ Oil” is hotly contested, with some claiming its inspiration is derived from a verse in Deuteronomy, and others speculating the float of bitters atop the cocktail resembles an oil slick. 

Wanting to maintain the historical integrity of the drink, Favier preserves the overall silhouette of the drink, keeping it recognizable to seasoned cocktail patrons. This said, he also strategized small twists on the classic to ensure it aligns with the vibrant, engaging cocktail culture at The Ordinary. This resulted in an angostura jelly-filled lime as the starring garnish of the cocktail, paying homage to the traditional floating bitters and the essence of lime that permeated the classic cocktail.

Corn n' Oil cocktail with a jelly lime wedge

recipe heading-plus-icon


Makes 1 cocktail

  • 3 dashes angostura bitters, additional 1 dash to float on top
  • 1.5 ounces Velvet Falernum liqueur
  • 1.5 ounces clarified lime juice
  • 1.5 ounces The Real McCoy Barbados Rum
  • Garnish: lime wedge
  1. Add the bitters, falernum, lime juice, and rum to a lowball glass. Top with a handful of ice and stir with a cocktail spoon.
  2. Top with a floating dash of bitters, and garnish with a lime wedge.
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