Does The Corn N' Oil Cocktail Actually Contain Corn?

The Corn N' Oil, also known as the "Corning Oil," is a must-try if you're a fan of rum-based drinks or simply enjoy the tropical flavors of Caribbean cocktails. For such a delicious drink, the recipe is surprisingly simple. It revolves around black rum (also known as "blackstrap" or "dark" rum), complemented by a handful of flavors, such as falernum (a syrupy liqueur), lime juice, and Angostura bitters. The outcome is a visually striking drink with two contrasting colors coexisting in the glass – one part a deep, inky black and the other a light golden hue.

Now, if you're wondering whether this cocktail contains any corn (or, heaven forbid, cooking oil), don't worry, you're not alone in your curiosity. Despite the name, you can rest assured that there's absolutely no corn or oil in this drink. The name doesn't refer to the drink's ingredients at all. Instead, most records suggest that "Corn N' Oil" is actually a biblical reference.

You can trace it back to a verse in the fifth book of the New Testament, Deuteronomy 7:13, which mentions blessings for "thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil." When you take a look at a glass of Corn N' Oil in real life, you'll see that the name is a perfect match for the drink's appearance: the molasses in the black rum gives it a visual resemblance to petroleum oil, while the combination of falernum, lime juice, and bitters provides a golden hue reminiscent of fresh corn cobs.

Is black rum required in a Corn N' Oil cocktail?

While black rum is the most common kind of liquor used for making a Corn N' Oil today, it's worth noting that this type of rum isn't very popular in Barbados, where the cocktail originated. If you want to stick to the traditional roots of the drink, consider using a Barbadian rum from brands like Real McCoy, Foursquare, or Plantation XO. These rums won't give you the same oily appearance as black rum, but they'll definitely boost the flavor (black rum is often considered lower-shelf liquor.) Also, steer clear of spiced rum because falernum already adds a spicy, clove-like flavor, and adding spiced rum might make the drink too intense.

But here's a twist you probably won't see coming: Bajan rum isn't your only option for making Corn N' Oil. In fact, you don't even have to use rum at all. Instead, you can switch it up a little and mix it with brandy. But regardless of whether you opt for rum or brandy, the proportion of the liquor should remain the same: 2 ounces of liquor mixed with ½ ounce of falernum.