Orgeat syrup in bottle and almonds

What is Orgeat syrup?

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 16, 2022 
Orgeat is a sweet, almond-flavored syrup that is a vital ingredient to many tiki cocktails. It's creamy and rich with an intense nutty flavor and a hint of citrus.

Many cocktail recipes have orgeat syrup in their lists of ingredients. Among them are tiki cocktails like the Mai Tai are famous orgeat drinks. But, also, more modern and experimental cocktails like the Trinidad Sour use it to balance flavors. Unfortunately, the products you'll find in your local supermarket often aren't of good quality. Instead, cheap ingredients and artificial flavors are what you get.

But making a high-quality orgeat syrup isn't that difficult. All you need is almonds, sugar, and water. To pronounce specific flavors, you can spice up your syrup with vanilla, rose water, or orange flower water. And to help you make your very first homemade orgeat, scroll down and find my easy recipe below.

What is orgeat exactly?

The non-alcoholic, white almond syrup is opalescent and slightly translucent. It has a thick and creamy consistency and usually is enhanced with additional flavors.

Traditionally made of grains, the term orgeat derives from the French word for barley - orge. And the Catalan word for a plant-based drink orxata is also closely related to the name of the syrup. Orxata, in turn, in Spanish, is horchata, as in Dirty Horchata. A drink some of you might know. But, nowadays, horchata and orgeat have nothing in common and are two completely different things. A bit confusing, right?

Orgeat or variants of it are used all across the globe. In the world of mixology, it's best-known for its use in tiki cocktails, but there are plenty of other use cases depending on the location.

For example, in Tunisia and Libya, a variation called rozata is served during weddings as a symbol of joy. And in Suriname, they even have an almost identical drink with a closely related name - orgeade- made of almonds and sugar.

And in European countries, orgeat variations are well-known, too. For instance, in Malta, Greece, and Cyprus, a closely related product is a traditional delicacy.

Different types of orgeat

Depending on the region and the brand, orgeat contains additional flavorings and ingredients. I already mentioned some common additions like vanilla, rose water, and orange flower water. But you can also find orgeat made with cinnamon, cloves, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and bananas.

Unfortunately, some brands use cheap corn syrup and artificial flavorings to cut costs. Make sure to stay away from such products by carefully checking the list of ingredients.

Is almond syrup the same as orgeat?

That's a tricky one. Orgeat contains ingredients that make it slightly different from standard almond syrup, but the base of those two products is the same.

So should you wonder if it's a good idea to substitute orgeat for almond syrup, I say, go for it. But besides almond syrup, there's no sufficient substitute. And considering that orgeat is so easy to make, you can just as well produce your own batch.

How does orgeat syrup taste?

Most syrups have a very straightforward, one-dimensional taste. Orgeat is a bit different. The slightly bitter and citrusy notes from orange flowers or rose water complement the sweet and nutty almond flavor and give it some more depth.

How to use orgeat

These days orgeat is most known for its use in cocktails. But orgeat is also a great way to bring sweetness into non-alcoholic drinks. For instance, you can pour a bit into a glass of seltzer or tangy citrus juice. The floral, nutty, and complex sweetness orgeat creates another layer of flavor in your drink.

And orgeat is not only great for drinks. You can use it as a sweetener for fresh fruits or homemade desserts, or some delicious ice cream, as well.

How to make the perfect orgeat syrup

Making your own orgeat to use in cocktails is not that hard. All you need is some almonds, sugar, water, a bit of orange flower water, plus some Vodka or Brandy to make the syrup last longer.

Buy peeled almonds and finely chop or blend them. If you can't get peeled ones, blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two before peeling.

Now add sugar and water into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil while gently stirring it. Once the mix is just starting to cook, add your almonds. Then wait until the almond-sugar mixture is about to boil again and remove it from the heat.

Before letting the mix steep for a few hours, add orange flower water and brandy to it and stir thoroughly.

Once your raw orgeat is cooled down, double strain it with the help of cheesecloth and bottle it.

Put the bottle in your fridge, where your homemade orgeat will last one to two months.

Orgeat syrup in bottle and almonds

Orgeat

A complex nutty and floral syrup commonly used in tiki cocktails.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Syrup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: almonds
Servings: 1
Cost: $2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Almonds
  • 1.25 cups Water
  • 1.25 cups Sugar
  • 0.5 tsp Orange flower water
  • 1 oz Vodka (garnish)

Instructions

  • If your almonds are unpeeled, boil them for a minute or two before removing the skins.
  • Finely chop the peeled almonds and set them aside.
  • Bring water and sugar to a boil while gently stirring. Add the almonds and wait until the mixture is just about to boil again. Take off the heat and let the mixture cool down.
  • Add orange flower water and Vodka (optional) and stir the mix thoroughly.
  • Let it steep for a few hours until the raw orgeat mix reaches room temperature.
  • Strain through cheesecloth and store in sterilized bottles inside your fridge.
  • The homemade orgeat syrup will last for 1 to 2 months when stored in a cool place.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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