Almond orgeat is a very popular mixer used with a number of well-known drinks, such as the Mai Tai and Italian soda. If you’re a fan of Tiki cocktails, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the intriguing term “orgeat.” Orgeat is a sweet, creamy, and opalescent syrup that holds a vital place in the world of mixology, particularly in Tiki classics like the Mai Tai and Scorpion. This elixir, with its alluring nutty essence, elevates cocktails to new heights, rendering it an indispensable asset for any budding mixologist.
Orgeat traditionally boasts a blend of blanched almonds, sugar, water, and orange flower water. However, a world of variations exists, incorporating different nuts like pistachios or hazelnuts. Crafting your orgeat demands time and effort, but the resulting liquid gold justifies the dedication. Almond orgeat’s versatility extends beyond Tiki drinks, harmonizing effortlessly with an array of flavors, including citrus, vanilla, and spice. This adaptability makes it an excellent enhancement for classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned or the Sidecar.
Orgeat syrup, a French almond syrup, has a long history dating back centuries. The word “orgeat” comes from the Latin word “hordeaceus” which means made with barley. Originally, orgeat was made with barley and used as a medicinal drink. However, the French later added almonds to the recipe to give it a more pleasant taste. By the 18th century, an almond version of orgeat was being used as a baking ingredient before transitioning into being a cordial that was often served alongside a light snack of biscuits or bread.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that orgeat became a popular ingredient in cocktails. One of the most famous cocktails that use orgeat is the Mai Tai, a Tiki cocktail that was invented in the 1940s. The Mai Tai was created by Victor J. Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic, who used orgeat as a key ingredient in the recipe. The Mai Tai became so popular that it helped to popularize orgeat syrup as a cocktail ingredient.
Overall, orgeat syrup has a rich history and has become a staple ingredient in many classic and modern cocktails. Its versatility and unique flavor make it a must-have ingredient for any home bartender or cocktail enthusiast.
How to Make It
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds
- 1 ½ Cups Distilled Water
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ tsp Orange Flower Water
- 1 Ounce Brandy or Vodka Optional
- ¼ tsp Citric Acid Optional
- Before you begin, find a large cheesecloth or nut milk bag
which can contain all of the almonds.
- Preheat your oven to 400 f
- Spread out all of your almonds on your baking sheet and
roast them in the oven for 4 minutes, then let them cool for 5 minutes
- Chop the almonds until they are fine, but not as sand-like
as almond flour
- Put the chopped almonds in a bowl and add the warm water
- With a fine-mesh strainer and two layers of cheesecloth,
squeeze the water from the almonds (you should end up with about one cup of liquid)
- Warm the liquid at medium heat in a saucepan
- Whisk in the sugar until it dissolves
- Strain the liquid through two layers of cheesecloth and stir
in the remaining ingredient(s)
- Let it cool, then transfer the syrup to a bottle and
Almond orgeat is a versatile syrup that can be used in a variety of drinks and desserts. Here are some variations you can try:
Instead of using almonds, you can make orgeat with pistachios for a unique flavor. Simply substitute the almonds with the same volume of pistachios in your recipe. Pistachio orgeat works well in tiki drinks, Italian sodas, and milkshakes.
Making your own orgeat is easy and allows you to customize the flavor to your liking. Simply blend blanched almonds with water, sugar, and orange blossom water, and strain through a cheesecloth. You can add other ingredients like marzipan or roasted hazelnuts to create different flavors.
Falernum is a Caribbean syrup that is similar to orgeat but has additional spices like ginger, cloves, and allspice. It is often used in tiki drinks and can be made with or without alcohol.
Orzata is an Italian almond syrup that is similar to orgeat but has a stronger almond flavor. It is often used in nonalcoholic drinks like lemonade and mixed with pastis or citrus juices for a refreshing summer drink.
Grenadine is a sweet syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar. It is often used in mixed drinks like tequila sunrise and lady liberty, but can also be used as a pie filling or in drink mixers.
Bitter almonds are a type of almond that has a stronger, more bitter flavor than sweet almonds. They are often used in orgeat and other almond-based syrups for a more complex flavor.
Orgeat can be made with or without alcohol. If you want to add alcohol, you can use brandy, whiskey, or tequila to create a boozy version of the syrup.
Orange blossom water is a common ingredient in orgeat and gives it a floral flavor. You can experiment with other floral flavors like rose water or lavender to create a unique syrup. Overall, orgeat is a versatile syrup that can be used in a variety of drinks and desserts. Whether you’re making tiki drinks, Italian sodas, or milkshakes, orgeat is a great way to add a sweet, nutty flavor to your creations.
What are some substitutes for orgeat syrup?
If you don’t have orgeat syrup on hand, there are a few substitutes you can use in cocktails. Simple syrup, honey syrup, or even amaretto can be used as a replacement for orgeat syrup. However, keep in mind that these substitutes will alter the flavor profile of the cocktail.
What are some popular cocktails made with almond orgeat?
Almond orgeat is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the Mai Tai, the Japanese Cocktail, and the Scorpion. It is also commonly used in tiki-style drinks and rum-based cocktails.
How do you make an easy almond orgeat recipe?
Making your own almond orgeat at home is easier than you might think. Simply blend together blanched almonds, water, sugar, and a flavoring agent like orange blossom water or rose water.
Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. For a more detailed recipe, check out this Quick and Easy Orgeat recipe.
Where can I find orgeat syrup near me?
Orgeat syrup can be found at most well-stocked liquor stores or specialty food stores. You can also purchase it online from retailers like Amazon or Cocktail Kingdom.
What is the difference between almond and almond orgeat?
Almond syrup and almond orgeat are not the same thing. Almond syrup is made simply by combining almonds with sugar and water, while orgeat syrup includes additional flavorings like orange blossom water or rose water. Orgeat syrup also has a thicker, creamier texture than almond syrup.
Why is orgeat sometimes made with bitter almonds?
Bitter almonds are sometimes used in orgeat syrup to give it a more complex flavor profile. However, bitter almonds contain a small amount of cyanide and can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.
Because of this, many commercial orgeat syrups are made with sweet almonds instead of bitter almonds. If you are making your own orgeat syrup, be sure to use blanched sweet almonds to avoid any potential health risks.