How to Make Natural Almond Orgeat Cocktail Syrup | Orgeat Recipe + Modern Variations & History

Orgeat Syrup, how do you pronounce ‘ORGEAT’?

Orgeat (pronounced or-zha for the French pronunciation or or-zhat) is a wonderful cocktail ingredient found in many classic cocktails.

What is Orgeat Syrup?

Orgeat Syrup is traditionally an almond simple syrup. That means it is a sugar and water mixture (simple syrup) that is flavored. In this case the syrup is flavored with Almonds. There are variations and different recipes that include essence of vanilla, orange flower water (or rose water), and some have alcohol while others do not.

What does Orgeat Syrup taste like?

The flavor profile of Orgeat has a primarily element of almond flavoring. Some Orgeat recipes impart a bit of a floral flavor from either orange blossom or rose water (but usually just one of the two are used), and it’s not uncommon to find a subtle or moderate vanilla flavor in Orgeat. Modern variations and mixologists have subbed different nuts (such as hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc) in place of the almonds for a familiar yet nutty amped up alternate version of the traditional Orgeat.

Ingredients in Orgeat Syrup:

The ingredients in this Orgeat are simple and easy to find.

This recipe utilizes blanched slivered almonds which are already prepared and have the skins removed. But, you can certainly blanch your own almonds. Including Blanched and toasted almonds creates a milky color and a certain depth of flavor. The skin from almonds can create a more bitter flavor, so it is recommended to use almonds without skins for this recipe. You can also experiment using other types of nuts for your Orgeat syrup, such as: macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts.

  • 2 cups Slivered Almonds
  • 1.5 cups White Granulated Sugar (can substitute Demerara sugar if that’s your preference)
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • .5 tsp Orange Flower Water (also sometimes known as Orange Blossom Water) or Rose water
  • [Optional] 1 oz Vodka (unflavored) or some prefer brandy
  • Fine mesh sieve or double layer of cheesecloth
  • Glass bottles to store your finished Orgeat Syrup (many decorative, vintage styled, and functional syrup and bitters storage bottles can be found on ChicagoBarStore.com)

If you are in a DIY mood, you can even make your own orange flower water too!

How to make your own Orgeat Syrup at home, step by step instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, dull side facing up.

Place the almonds in a single layer on the prepared pan.

Roast the almonds for 3 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.

Process through a food processor or blender into small pieces.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and the water; bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat to fully dissolve the sugar.

Add the crushed almonds to the boiling syrup; reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover, and allow the mixture to infuse for approximately 3 hours (up to 8 hours or overnight, for a more intense flavor.)

Drain through a fine mesh sieve or two layers of cheesecloth into a bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Discard the almonds, or save for another use.

Stir in the orange blossom water (or rose water) and vodka or brandy [optional.]

Pour into jars or bottles, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

How to store Orgeat Syrup?

Store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE: the syrup will separate while it sits. Just shake the container gently before using it, in order to mix together.

Some cocktails to try with Orgeat:

The fun begins when fresh Orgeat is in the fridge waiting to be mixed into delicious cocktails! Orgeat is perhaps best known as a the creamy syrup that cuts through a tiki or tropical cocktail, but it’s use can be quite diverse.

Here are some to try:

Mai Tai. This classic tropical cocktail is most commonly associated with traveling to Hawaii. No need to board a plane. Whip this up at home for a mini vacation vibe.

Cape Cod Cooler (recipe below). This refreshing sipper combines cranberry, 2 types of gin, lime and orgeat for a perfect summer cocktail.

Scorpion. Another Tiki drink with rum, brandy, citrus juices and orgeat. Blended with crushed ice and it tastes like a tropical vacation.

Japanese Cocktail. A classic cocktail to use orgeat that is simple to make. Cognac, orgeat and bitters.

Fog Cutter. A famous Tiki drink with multiple types of liquor, orgeat, lime and more. This recipe uses simple syrup which is also very easy to make at home.

Bermuda Hundred. If a Mai Tai and a Negroni had a baby…

Planter’s Punch. Rum, orange juice, apple juice and orgeat. Yum.

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