Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Orgeat


  • Please log in to reply
307 replies to this topic

#1 Rien

Rien
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 06 October 2004 - 09:46 AM

I've been experimenting with many different additives for pastis ... a spash of creme de cassis, creme de menthe, framboise, triple sec, and grenadine. One I've wanted to try is orgeat. However, looking at the ingredients listed on the common brands available at my local liquor store - Trader Vics and Collins - did not inspire confidence in their quality: mostly chemicals, sugars, and artificiality. It is my understanding that true orgeat should be predominantly almond flavored but have an orange flower water component Do any available brands stand above these low rent stalwarts? Are they all just sugary, fake almond flavoring without a bit of the orange complexity? Would adding a dash of orange flower water to almond syrup produce the desired result?

I've seen that Fee Brothers makes an orgeat, but I haven't seen it at local stores. What about the "coffee syrup" brands? Some, such as Torani, actually label the product as orgeat while others label it as almond syrup. Are they higher quality or just higher priced?

Many thanks,

Rien

#2 trillium

trillium
  • participating member
  • 1,515 posts

Posted 06 October 2004 - 10:07 AM

I feel your pain. I'm not so crazy about the Torani orgeat, it just tastes like almond extract to me. I've been very happy with the Sicilian orzata I bought from A.G. Ferrari. It has a nice natural bitter almond flavor and the orange flower component is present but not overwhelmong. Their lemon syrup is damn good too.

regards,
trillium

#3 MiguelCardoso

MiguelCardoso
  • participating member
  • 275 posts
  • Location:Lisbon, Portugal.

Posted 07 October 2004 - 05:22 AM

I too would like to make a proper Mai-Tai before Ai Dai.

I found this recipe for almond orchata (please scroll down a bit) and I'll give it a try, if you will.

I wonder whether it would benefit from adding some bitter almonds, though fresh whole bitter almonds are getting harder and harder to find. But how many?

Here in Portugal we use a bitter almond liqueur, around 45 proof, for cocktails requiring orgeat syrup. The most popular brand is "Amarguinha" and it's not at all bad.

#4 ThinkingBartender

ThinkingBartender
  • participating member
  • 426 posts
  • Location:London, England

Posted 07 October 2004 - 06:13 AM

what about Falernum syrup?

It's not the same as orgeat, but it sounds more interesting.

Although it is not working Here is the main website!!! maybe it will be working again in the future.

There is some information here on Dale DeGroff's website!!!


Cheers!

George

#5 Rien

Rien
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 07 October 2004 - 10:04 AM

The syrup from A.G. Ferrari looks the closest to an "artisanal" - or just original/authentic - orgeat. I was assuming there would be something from France since, I believe, the word is French (though I've seen etymology tracing some drifting relationship with Italy).


The almond orchata sounds interesting, but it seems like it is a drink on its own ... without the density one wants from a syrup.

I'm interested in trying Falernum as well. I often see it recommended as a substitute, but it is my understanding that almond is part of its flavor but by no means the dominant flavor. I've seen it described variously as containing a lot of lime, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, etc. A great partner for rum, but I'm not certain how lime will mesh with pastis. Only one way to find out, right? Anyone care to comment on how the non-alcoholic versions of falernum (Fee Brothers, for example) compare to this slightly alcoholic version (Velvet Falernum)?

Anyway, I want that to try the almond laced with orange flower water taste.

Thanks for all the feedback.

rien

#6 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,843 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:58 PM

I'm bumping this thread because I recently picked up a bottle of Marie Brizard orgeat. The only ingredients listed are cane sugar, water and flavouring. Of course, I didn't realize until I had already opened it that this means it needs to be stored in the fridge, since there are no preservatives. I'm a little worried that, even chilled, it's going to go bad relatively quickly, so I'd love to hear some ideas for drinks that incorporate it. I've already made some Mai Tais and Japanese cocktails, and am familiar with the Mauresque, but the only other thing I know to put it in is caffe latte! Any suggestions?
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#7 scratchline

scratchline
  • participating member
  • 90 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 12 August 2007 - 06:22 PM

Have yet to crack the bottle but I have some Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Almond Infused Simple Syrup. It's sub-titled "All natural 'orgeat'". Ingredients are: cane sugar, water, vanilla extract, natural almond extract, orange flower water, citric acid. If it's anywhere near as good as their Lemon Sugar Syrup, it will be very good indeed.

I think I remember seeing the Fee Bros. orgeat and passing on it since it contained a lot of artificial stuff, but I might be confusing it with their falernum.

-Mike

#8 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 12 August 2007 - 06:25 PM

I've already made some Mai Tais and Japanese cocktails, and am familiar with the Mauresque, but the only other thing I know to put it in is caffe latte! Any suggestions?


How about a Fog Cutter?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#9 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 12 August 2007 - 06:43 PM

Does anyone else have the Fee Brother's orgeat? And, if so, where do you keep it?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#10 stickyii

stickyii
  • participating member
  • 41 posts

Posted 12 August 2007 - 07:01 PM

Marie Brizard Orgeat!?!

Oh, the excitement. Please detail. Has anyone made their owN/
Rick
Pennsylvania

Kaiser Penguin

#11 KatieLoeb

KatieLoeb
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,156 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 12 August 2007 - 10:37 PM

Does anyone else have the Fee Brother's orgeat? And, if so, where do you keep it?

View Post


I have a small sample sized bottle of Fee Bros. Orgeat that I keep in my bar at room temperature. It doesn't seem any worse for wear because of it.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#12 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,843 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 13 August 2007 - 05:09 AM

Does anyone else have the Fee Brother's orgeat? And, if so, where do you keep it?

View Post

I also have a small bottle of the Fee Brothers and keep it at room temperature. Haven't noticed any problems with it.

Marie Brizard Orgeat!?!

Oh, the excitement.  Please detail.  Has anyone made their owN/

View Post

I found it in an Italian grocery store in Montreal. Apparently, Marie Brizard makes a whole line of non-alcoholic syrups: this store (Milano's) had the orgeat, cane syrup, hazelnut syrup, strawberry syrup and some other kind of berry syrup as well. I also saw a mint syrup in a local ice cream store. The orgeat is really nice, sweet but not cloying, and with a rather soft flavour.

I've also thought about making my own, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe once I use up this bottle! :blink:
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#13 Lan4Dawg

Lan4Dawg
  • participating member
  • 527 posts
  • Location:Larry Town in GA

Posted 13 August 2007 - 05:58 PM

Does anyone else have the Fee Brother's orgeat? And, if so, where do you keep it?

View Post

it sits on the bottom shelf of the fridge door between the Fee Brothers Rock Candy Syrup and the Fee Brothers "American Beauty" Grenadine. I have no idea why I ordered them (& the liter size at that) b/c I seldomly use them. I suppose it seemed like a good idea when I was ordering orange bitters.

Edited by Lan4Dawg, 13 August 2007 - 05:59 PM.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#14 David Santucci

David Santucci
  • participating member
  • 178 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:28 PM

I have made my own, using the recipe at The Art of Drink. It is delicious! It does tend to separate though, but this is easily solved by shaking the $@#& out of it. I keep it in the fridge, but then again I keep all my homemade syrups in the fridge.

#15 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 14 August 2007 - 05:00 PM

Been fiddling around with the Fee orgeat (which is sitting in the liquor cabinet -- thanks all), and amidst the tiki drinks I've been enjoying the rather innocent, if stupidly named, Puerto Apple from cocktaildb:

1 1/4 applejack (Laird's)
3/4 light rum (Flor de Caña)
1/2 lime
1/4 orgeat
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#16 Ajl92

Ajl92
  • participating member
  • 43 posts

Posted 15 August 2007 - 04:52 PM

If you are looking for a French brand, try Tesseire. I enjoyed it in France and was pleasantly surprised to find it available online here in the states from "The Frenchy Bee" -- they have an amazon store, an ebay store and a stand-alone website. I have tried the Orgeat which is good, but really enjoy the Peche sirop with soda water.

#17 feste

feste
  • participating member
  • 56 posts

Posted 20 October 2007 - 01:22 AM

I've been making orgeat for the bar I work at for some time now. I've made the recipe from The Art of Drink, and one from The Bon Vivant's Companion (even clarifying raw sugar with egg white- totally unnecessary, but interesting) and now use one which draws on both. I use apricot kernels (in a smaller proportion than BVC) to give it that marzipan flavor, and I boil it to a syrup for stability and viscosity, rather than just heating it enough to dissolve the sugar, like AofD. I do add cognac and orange-flower water at the end, although I find the amount of orange-flower water in the AofD recipe to be too overpowering. I keep it in the fridge and it lasts for weeks.


A recipe I like:

1 oz cognac
3/4 oz orgeat
1/4 oz pastis (I like Ricard)

Stir together in a collins glass. Add ice, fill with seltzer, and stir once.

It's kind of an extension of a momisette, but in proportions that allow the orgeat to shine and not be overpowered by the pastis.
Small Hand Foods
classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

#18 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:32 AM

Welcome, feste! Can we convince you to post your recipe in Recipe Gullet for us all to appreciate?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#19 johnder

johnder
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY

Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:30 AM

I just had some house-made oregat at the Slanted door. Their version is a modified one from the Art of drink. It was by far the best oregat I have tasted. Blows the doors off the commercial stuff.

The stabilize it by adding a bit of cognac to it.
John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2
--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#20 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:31 PM

One of the more interesting Orgeat/Horchata type things I've had recently was a house made red rice horchata at the Teardrop Lounge in Portland.

Really cool color and interesting taste.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#21 feste

feste
  • participating member
  • 56 posts

Posted 20 October 2007 - 02:58 PM

Hi Johnder,

We met last night, and yes, the orgeat was mine. For everyone else, I'm sorry that I don't have an exact recipe. I make small adjustments every time I make a batch. Right now, I'd say that this would give you something delicious and along the lines of what I've been doing:

[This is drawn from both The Art of Drink and The Bon-Vivant's Companion]

1 lb blanched almonds
1 oz blanched apricot kernels (you'll probably have to blanch them yourself)
3 cups water
about 1 1/2 lbs organic unrefined sugar
1/2 cup Cognac
2 tsp orange flower water

Place the almonds and apricot kernels in a bowl, rinse, then cover with cold water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and discard this water, then grind in a food processor until fine. Stop and stir occasionally so the pieces on the bottom don't turn to butter. Transfer to a large bowl and add the water; let stand for one to two hours. Press through a chinois, extracting as much liquid as you can from the pulp.

Put the nut meat back into the almond water, let it stand for another hour and then strain again. Repeat a third time. This time, press scoops of pulp through a moistened cloth to extract fully as much liquid as you can. Discard the solids.

Pour the strained liquid into a pan and add the sugar. You want a little less sugar by volume than the amount of liquid, so judge how much you add based on how much liquid you ultimately end up with. Place over medium heat, and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Boil without stirring (swirling is okay) until the liquid reaches the "syrup" stage, 230°–235°F. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the cognac and orange flower water. Store the orgeat in a clean glass bottle in the refrigerator.


Enjoy!
Small Hand Foods
classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

#22 mbrowley

mbrowley
  • participating member
  • 78 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:16 PM

After having successfully managed to drink down the liquor cabinet(s) for the move to Southern California, I still find that after more than a year in the new digs, I'm occasionally missing particular spirits. The new liquor cabinet is filled with the usual suspects, but an increasing array of those hard-to-find things are filling jars and bottles — enhooched cherries (for Christmas bounce and surreptitious Manhattans), cherry gin, house-made bitters of various provenance, falerna experimentations ~ and orgeat.

Here's another recipe that's worked well. It's certainly worth tweaking to your own tastes. The rose water, in particular, is worth doling out with a light touch. I've never met François-Xavier, but I do like his site. It's worth checking out the link not only for directions, but for the handsome photography as well...


François-Xavier's Orgeat

300gr blanched whole almonds
100gr white almond powder
2 liters mineral water
About 3kg white sugar
Rose water to taste
Orange flower water
Bitter almond extract

Cognac is a nice stabilizer to round out the flavor. Otherwise, a dose of less expensive vodka helps to extend the shelf life.
Matthew B. Rowley
Rowley's Whiskey Forge, a blog of drinks, food, and the making thereof

Author of Moonshine! (ISBN: 1579906486)

#23 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:06 AM

Is there something special about Almonds in Orgeat?

Or could one really use any nut?

I mean, I know ultimately Orgeat is part of a continuum of grain or nut based beverages that stretch across the span of human history from Horchata to Barley Water to Odwalla's "Superfood".

However, what about a filbert/hazlenut based "orgeat"? Or black walnut?

If not, why not?
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#24 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,843 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:17 AM

FWIW, hazelnut syrup is a pretty common coffee bar ingredient. :biggrin:

...and now I think I have to go and buy some. I wonder what a Japanese would taste like with hazelnut syrup instead of orgeat?
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#25 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:38 AM

For me the distinctive thing about good quality Orgeat is not it's subtle nuttiness, but the lovely perfumed notes it contributes, as well as the silky mouthfeel (in a good quality bottling; I swear by the 1883 line). I don't think Hazelnut would work the same way, though it'd probbaly still be tasty.

-Andy
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#26 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 14 January 2008 - 01:36 PM

Hi Johnder,

We met last night, and yes, the orgeat was mine.  For everyone else, I'm sorry that I don't have an exact recipe.  I make small adjustments every time I make a batch.  Right now, I'd say that this would give you something delicious and along the lines of what I've been doing:

[This is drawn from both The Art of Drink and The Bon-Vivant's Companion]
[...]

View Post

Orgeat has always struck me as an inordinate amount of work for what I thought, not having tasted the homemade stuff, was a small return.

The other night I had the opportunity to the the orgeat they are making at the Slanted Door and have revised my opinion. Amazingly rich, sweet and complex, it blows the doors off of whatever insipid, watery substance it is that Torani and Monin are placing in their bottles.

Two questions:

What is the shelf life of homemade orgeat?
Can I keep it in the freezer to extend its shelf life?
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#27 feste

feste
  • participating member
  • 56 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 12:35 PM

The other day I opened a half-full bottle of an earlier batch of my orgeat that had been in my fridge for months. There was some gas build-up and it smelled like it had begun to re-ferment. I think it stayed good for at least 4 months, though. Especially if there was little headspace in the bottle, my guess is it would keep refrigerated for quite a while.

I'm not really familiar with why this re-fermentation occurs. Can anyone explain it?
Small Hand Foods
classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

#28 bostonapothecary

bostonapothecary
  • participating member
  • 1,260 posts
  • Location:have shaker will travel

Posted 18 January 2008 - 12:39 PM

The other day I opened a half-full bottle of an earlier batch of my orgeat that had been in my fridge for months.  There was some gas build-up and it smelled like it had begun to re-ferment.  I think it stayed good for at least 4 months, though.  Especially if there was little headspace in the bottle, my guess is it would keep refrigerated for quite a while.

I'm not really familiar with why this re-fermentation occurs.  Can anyone explain it?

View Post



sugar and yeasts...

why don't you can it in the smallest jelly jars you can find...
abstract expressionist beverage compounder
creator of acquired tastes
bostonapothecary.com

#29 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:46 PM

Over here I mentioned that I was making some orgeat:

I think I'll be making my own using a tweak of the Art of Drink recipe. Most of the almond powders I'm finding have additional flavors added, and I'd rather not get 5 kg of the stuff just yet.

View Post


Just finished a batch tonight and made a Japanese Cocktail #1 -- and, if I may channel Jasmine for a moment, it's a whole new world: the texture, flavor... it's amazing. Tossed the Fee's I hunted down for months a moment afterward.

A few notes on that Art of Drink recipe.

I used a very old, very powerful stainless Waring blender for the grinding of the soaked almonds, and that worked like a charm. I dunno if a newer, less brutal machine would work, though; if you'd end up with chunks, it wouldn't work.

The sugar dissolves oddly quickly with little heat. I actually thought I'd heat only half of the liquid with the sugar, and indeed after only a couple of minutes and some brisk whisking I had dissolved everything in the almond liquid. Then I added the (unheated) rest of the liquid.

I had rose and orange flower water on hand, so I added a smidge of both, and I used inexpensive but solid cognac (Baron D’yllac Cognac VSOP) instead of vodka. The resulting flavor is very complex, and because of the almond oils it travels across the tongue in a manner radically different than I expected.

Seriously. A whole new world. A dazzling place I never knew. Every turn a surprise, with new horizons to pursue.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#30 Scott S

Scott S
  • participating member
  • 54 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:56 AM

Tossed the Fee's I hunted down for months a moment afterward.
...
Seriously. A whole new world. A dazzling place I never knew. Every turn a surprise, with new horizons to pursue.

I also tossed my Fee's once I made my own.
The homemade stuff really opens one's eyes.