Mixer: How To Make Homemade Orgeat

If you’re asking yourself if that title is misspelled, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I had to double check before I moved on as well. Yes, the word is orgeat and it is an actual drink. The surprising part is that it is much more common than you may think it is.

What Is This Orgeat Drink?

Orgeat syrup is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water. It was originally made with a barley-almond blend. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails. Orgeat syrup is an important ingredient in the Mai Tai and many Tiki drinks. Not convinced? Here is a list of drink recipes that include Orgeat.

The Casper

2 oz. reposado tequila

1 oz. hazelnut orgeat

½ oz. fresh lime juice

Spritz of rose water

Tools: shaker, strainer

Glass: double Old Fashioned

Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg

Add the first 3 ingredients to a shaker with ice, then shake to combine. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Spritz with rose water and garnish.

Saturn Cocktail

1½ oz. gin

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

¼ oz. passion fruit purée

½ oz. orgeat

¼ oz. velvet falernum

Tools: blender

Glass: rocks

Garnish: lime twist wrapped around a cherry

Blend all the ingredients together with 1 cup of crushed ice until smooth. Pour the contents into a rocks glass filled with 4 oz. of fresh crushed ice. Garnish.

Surf Liner

2 oz. rye whiskey (Fonseca uses Lot 40)

1 oz. pineapple juice

¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

¾ oz. orgeat

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Tools: shaker, strainer

Glass: Double Old-Fashioned

Garnish: pineapple leaf, edible orchid, cherry  and lemon wheel

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Fill a Double Old Fashioned glass with crushed ice, then strain contents into the prepped glass. Garnish.

Mai Tai

1 1⁄2 oz White rum

3⁄4 oz Orange curaçao

3⁄4 oz Fresh lime juice

1⁄2 oz Orgeat

1⁄2 oz Dark rum

Add the white rum, curaçao, juice and orgeat into a shaker with crushed ice and shake lightly (about 3 seconds). Pour into a double Old Fashioned glass. Float the dark rum over top. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.

Trinidad Sour

1 oz. Angostura bitters

1 oz. orgeat

¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

½ oz. rye whiskey (100-proof preferred)

Tools: shaker, strainer

Glass: cocktail

Combine ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well to chill; strain into a chilled glass.

College Radio 

2 oz. bourbon

¾ oz. orgeat

¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

4 cara cara orange supremes (orange sections with the outer membrane removed)

Glass: footed beer glass

tools: blender

Garnish: dash Angostura bitters, orange moon

Combine the ingredients in a blender and add 16 oz. of crushed ice. blend to combine (about 10 seconds on low speed), then pour into a glass; dash bitters on top of the drink and garnish.

Fog Cutter

1 oz. gin

1 oz. aged rum (Lost Lake uses El Dorado 3 Year)

1 oz. Cognac

2 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. orgeat

½ oz. sherry (Lost Lake uses Lustau East India)

½ oz. curaçao (Lost Lake uses Pierre Ferrand Dry)

½ oz. simple syrup (1:1)

1 dash Angostura bitters

Tools: shaker, drink mixer (optional)

Glass: tiki mug

Garnish: tropical assortment (edible flowers, umbrellas, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, along with 2 cups of crushed ice. Buzz for three seconds with a spindled drink mixer (the bar uses a Hamilton Beach Drink Mixer), or shake really hard until the ice is broken down. Pour the contents of tin into a tiki mug and top with more crushed ice. Garnish.

Where Did Orgeat Come From?

Orgeat is the French form of the word which originated from the Italian word orzata which means barley water. This syrup is an oil-water emulsion of the oils found in almonds. This makes orgeat very similar to milk.

Milk was not as common before refrigeration, people could not store milk because it would spoil very quickly. The oils in barley and almonds are stable at room temperature, and higher temperatures, so they don’t spoil very quickly. The mixture, and similar ones were used as a milk substitute.

You would basically take almonds and crush them up with mortar and pestle. The oils would extract from the almonds when crushed. You would then mix water with crushed almonds. You would then flip the mixture over and filter it through a muslin cloth into a liquid container. This liquid could then be used as a milk substitute.

How to Make Homemade Orgeat

Here is a great recipe from artofdrink.com 

Recipe for Orgeat Syrup

Ingredients:

500 grams blanched almonds

800 ml water

700 grams table sugar

100 ml Vodka or Brandy

2 Tbls Orange or Rose Flower Water (optional)

Directions:

  • Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water and allowed them to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain and discard this water, then crush the almonds using a rolling pin, or you could use a food processor to chop them to a fine grind. If you need to, you can add some of the water to the food processor.
  • Transfer the crushed almonds to a large bowl and mix them with the water, let stand for one to two hours. Place a damp cloth or cheese cloth in a mesh filter, over another bowl, and strain the almond and water mixture squeeze the cloth to extract all the liquid. 
  • Put the chopped almonds back into the almond water, let it stand for another hour and then strain again. Repeat a third time if you wish. This will get all the oils out of the almonds.
  • Note: To speed up the process you can gently heat the almond water to 50°C (125°F). If you do this, you can cut the soak time to about 15 minutes.
  • Pour the strained liquid into a pan, discard the almond pulp, add the sugar and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat when the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then add the brandy or vodka and orange flower water. Store the orgeat in a clean glass bottle.
  • Once the orgeat has cooled down it is ready to use. Shake yourself a Mai Tai or try a Momisette. The Mai Tai called for “French Orgeat” and this orgeat recipe will work fine, if not better, than commercial orgeat products.

Notes: Using better quality products, such as quality almonds and filtered water, will make a better orgeat syrup.

So there you have it. Orgeat is used in plenty of drinks and is relatively easy to make. If you don’t have the time or maybe you just don’t want to make it yourself, then you can always take the easy way out. You can get orgeat syrup online from Amazon. Here is another option as well. As always, have fun ,stay safe, drink up! Cheers!

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