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Orgeat


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319 replies to this topic

#31 eje

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:08 AM

Yeah, boy, since I tried feste's Orgeat at Slanted Door, it's been on my short list of things to do.

Hmmm...

Maybe, if I'm lucky, all the hard work will kill my hated Kitchen Aid Blender, and I can get a real one to replace it.
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#32 slkinsey

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:02 PM

Just made a recipe of orgeat using marcona almonds and the Art of Drink recipe previously linked. Easy to do in one evening, and as others have observed the difference is huge. What a silky mouthfeel!

Even better, though, was the recipe I made up alongside it using pistachios instead of almonds. Pistacheat? Pistacchiata?
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#33 bostonapothecary

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:52 PM

Even better, though, was the recipe I made up alongside it using pistachios instead of almonds.  Pistacheat? Pistacchiata?

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that sounds like my style... what recipe did your "pistacheat" work best in?
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#34 KatieLoeb

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:49 PM

Would sliced blanched almonds work just as well as whole ones? Anyone ever tried this? It just happens to be what I have available to me at work without having to request a special purchase or running around to buy my own almonds.

I'd love to try my hand at this and have some homemade orgeat at my bar. I'm very into making my own mixers/condiments and am interested to attempt this.

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#35 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 04:22 AM

That pistachio version sounds luscious.

Since you're soaking and then grinding them, whole/sliced/blanched probably wouldn't matter. However, I think that whole almonds would probably be better quality, if only because it's hard to hide the imperfections.

I made a Mai Tai last night and the orgeat was overpowering. I think you have to cut back on the stuff a bit if you use this recipe because it's so much better than the bottled stuff....
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#36 Scott S

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:46 AM

Would sliced blanched almonds work just as well as whole ones?

Will they work to make a good orgeat? Yes, certainly.
Will they work as well as whole almonds? No.
Would those work as well as whole unblanched, unskinned almonds? No.
Would those work as well as fresh almonds? No.

Basically what I'm saying is that the sliced blanched ones are another step further from fresh, so they won't be "as good" and any other option which is closer to fresh. The slicing would dry them out a bit, and they won't be as fresh as whole ones.

But the sliced ones are certainly easier to use, and will still make an orgeat that will beat Fee's into oblivion.



One tip that I found if you get into making more than one batch of orgeat... When it comes time to squeeze the almond "mash" most recipes call for cheesecloth, which is a mess and a pain and expensive IMHO. Instead, use a nylon straining bag which can be found at any wine-making supply store. Basically this is cheesecloth made from nylon - they're re-usable, and you can squeeze the heck out of them to get every possible drop. And once you're done, just throw it in the washing machine to clean it.

#37 bostonapothecary

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 09:00 AM

One tip that I found if you get into making more than one batch of orgeat... When it comes time to squeeze the almond "mash" most recipes call for cheesecloth, which is a mess and a pain and expensive IMHO. Instead, use a nylon straining bag which can be found at any wine-making supply store. Basically this is cheesecloth made from nylon - they're re-usable, and you can squeeze the heck out of them to get every possible drop. And once you're done, just throw it in the washing machine to clean it.


i also endorse those nylon strainin bags... they are the closest thing to the flannel bags that old liqueur recipes refer to when they strain and squeeze...
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#38 slkinsey

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 09:10 AM

I just did the same thing I do to get the excess moisture out of blanched greens I'm going to saute: I put a thin tea-towel into a strainer, dumped the nut and nut-milk into the tea towel, then gathered up the ends and twisted while squeezing out the rest of the liquid. No need for a special bag.
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#39 Scott S

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:21 AM

One thing that I like about the nylon, versus cheesecloth or towels, is that the nylon doesn't absorb any of the liquid. But this is kinda cutting hairs...

#40 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:54 AM

One quick point about this homemade orgeat revealed when I kept my Mai Tai in crushed ice. As the ice melts, the nut oils (I assume) prevent the water from combining easily, and the drink gets sort of a weird mottled look. Not a problem with strained drinks, of course -- I didn't see any separating out with that Japanese #1 -- but with rocks drinks it's a little off-putting.
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#41 JerseyRED

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:12 PM

Okay, now I'm sucked in too.

Where does one purchase whole, fresh, blanched, almonds?

Or must I buy almonds, shell them and blanch* them myself?

Thanks, Rich

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#42 mkayahara

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:20 PM

Okay, now I'm sucked in too.

Where does one purchase whole, fresh, blanched, almonds?

Or must I buy almonds, shell them and blanch* them myself?

Thanks, Rich

(*Not that I know how to do that...)

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I'd think pretty much any bulk food store would carry the blanched ones, but if not you can blanch them pretty easily: just take whole, shelled almonds, toss them into boiling water for a minute, drain them and cool them in an ice bath or under cold running water. Then peel off the skins.
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#43 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:20 PM

I got mine at Whole Foods.
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#44 JerseyRED

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:32 PM

THANKS for the info!

I'm off to Whole Foods. Wanted try Q Tonic and I understand they carry it as well.
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#45 slkinsey

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:46 PM

I suppose one should point out that orgeat can be made fairly inexpensively. The Art of Drink formula most of us seem to be basing our methods around results in something like a liter of orgeat! This is a lot of orgeat unless you are a professional bartender or a major tiki fanatic. I would suggest that a decent amount for a home user would be something like this:

Ingredients
150 grams blanched almonds [or other nut]
1 blanched apricot kernel (optional)
250 ml water
200 grams table sugar
30 ml brandy
1-5 drops of orange flower water or rose flower water to taste (optional)

Process
  • Soak solids in ample water for 30 minutes
  • Discard water and grind nuts in food processor to a medium-fine paste. Add water to processor towards the end
  • Let mixture steep 1-2 hours
  • Place a thin tea towel or several layers of cheese into a strainer and pour mixture through cloth, reserving liquid. Twist and squeeze solids in cloth to extract maximum liquid.
  • (Optional) Return solids to liquids for an additional hour and repeat straining and squeezing.
  • (Optional) Repeat one additional time.
  • Add strained nut milk to saucepan with sugar and heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is disolved. Optionally, dissolve sugar in some percentage of the strained nut milk and then combine after the heated mixture has cooled sufficiently.
  • Once sweetened nut milk has cooled sufficiently, add optional orange flower water, rose flower water or other flavoring; add brandy for stabilization and bottle.
  • Keep under refrigeration
This makes a much more managable amount of orgeat, and if you decide to skip one or two of the extra squeezing steps, the whole thing could be ready to go in around an hour and a half.
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#46 lperry

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:00 PM

Has anyone tried this with ready-made almond milk? I've never bought it, but I've seen it at Whole Paycheck and other places like that. It comes in large containers, but also in little boxes like kids' juice boxes.

#47 slkinsey

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:10 PM

Worth a try, I suppose. But I have to wonder whether it would be nearly as good/concentrated/silky as making it yourself -- which is already very little trouble. Also, I assume that premade almond milk normally has additives and is pasteurized.
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#48 lperry

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:24 PM

I don't know if there's anything in it besides almonds and water - I've never tried it, only seen it, and kind of wondered what exactly it was for. It seems that if you can make grenadine from shaking POM and sugar, maybe the same will work for almond milk and sugar for orgeat.

#49 slkinsey

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:32 PM

Pacific Organic almond milk contains: Organic Almond Base (Filtered Water, Organic Almonds), Organic Rice Starch, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2. Could work great though. Only one way to find out! :smile:


For what it's worth, personally I don't think that simply shaking up a 1:1 simple syrup with POM makes a particularly good grenadine (my process is right around as much trouble as making orgeat from scratch, and I think results in a far superior grenadine). But making pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranate is considerably more difficult and time consuming than making almond milk, so I think using POM is a reasonable compromise. If it were easy to juice pomegranates and the difference were notable, I'd do that over using POM.

Edited by slkinsey, 20 March 2008 - 02:35 PM.

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#50 lperry

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:38 PM

But making pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranate is considerably more difficult and time consuming than making almond milk, so I think using POM is a reasonable compromise. 

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Now this, I actually know something about. :smile: Cut a pomegranate in half and use a citrus juicer. The kind with the reamer, not the kind that turns the half inside out. Mine has a pull down handle and pushes the juice through a strainer. It works in seconds.

I'll keep following this thread. I have a cabinet full of rum, and plans for Mai Tais this summer.

Edited to add that I was thinking of sugar as in granulated, not simple syrup. I assume this cuts down on dilution, but I'll go back and read the grenadine thread again.

Edited by lperry, 20 March 2008 - 03:12 PM.


#51 Scott S

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:15 PM

Has anyone tried this with ready-made almond milk?

I've made it, and it was quite decent, especially for the relatively small amount of work needed. However, Pacific recently changed the formula, and an "expert" on homemade orgeat has this to say about the new formula:

The "new and improved taste" claim had me concerned right off the bat. I think the only thing that should allow that to happen would be to use fresher almonds and less preservative. What are the odds of that?

Anyway, the taste of the new product is OK—no spectacular difference from the old. There is one problem with the new product that makes it useless for making Emergency Orgeat [orgeat using almond milk] and that's the fact that the microparticles in the milk do not settle and the milk is always lumpy. That means the only way to get rid of the thick suspended particles is to put it through a cheesecloth/filter bag process. If you have to go that route, it adds enough time and work that you might as well just make the orgeat completely from scratch.

More info - much, much more - about homemade orgeat can be found here:
http://www.tikiroom....69&forum=10

#52 lperry

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the link! After much reading, I ended up here at "Emergency Orgeat Syrup." I love that there is such a thing as an orgeat emergency! :laugh:

#53 eje

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:03 PM

Having spent the last hour peeling a half pound of almonds kernels, I cannot advise purchasing them with their skins on, unless you have a larger tolerance for tedious tasks than I. And I have a pretty large tolerance for tedious tasks.

Sure, they slip right out of those skins after being blanched and shocked. Maybe one in 10! The rest must be painstakingly peeled using your fingernails.
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#54 mkayahara

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:41 PM

Have you tried blasting them with the steam wand of your espresso machine? (You do have an espresso machine, right?) I've heard it works for hazelnuts, so it might be worth a shot!
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#55 eje

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:26 PM

Ha! No I don't have an espresso machine.

I'm unclear on exactly what I made. I was trying to halve feste's orgeat recipe, but it seems like it might have been too small to properly register on the candy thermometer.

It might be almond fudge when the smoke clears, but damn is it tasty.

My wife and I were having a hard time restraining ourselves from just eating it by the spoonful.

Whatever it is, it is amazingly more tasty than the Monin Orgeat.
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#56 JerseyRED

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 06:05 PM

Finally, I’ve found the time to make my own (I got sidetracked making pimento dram).

To echo everyone else’s sentiments, the homemade is so much more interesting and complex than any bottled orgeat I’ve tried. Very much worth the minimal effort it take to create a batch.
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#57 feste

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:34 PM

One quick point about this homemade orgeat revealed when I kept my Mai Tai in crushed ice. As the ice melts, the nut oils (I assume) prevent the water from combining easily, and the drink gets sort of a weird mottled look. Not a problem with strained drinks, of course -- I didn't see any separating out with that Japanese #1 -- but with rocks drinks it's a little off-putting.

View Post

Curious; is there more than one Japanese cocktail?

Btw, I assume the separation is due to the fat in the emulsion. This is also my problem with "emergency orgeat" (although I have not made it); the almond oil is part of the syrup, and I have yet to find a full-fat commercial almond milk. Common products like Torani don't louche the way homemade stuff does. I assumed it was because they are essentially thickened sugar syrups flavored with extracts and do not have any fat in them. Does anyone know if the "emergency" stuff louches?
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#58 eje

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:39 AM

Curious; is there more than one Japanese cocktail?

Btw, I assume the separation is due to the fat in the emulsion. This is also my problem with "emergency orgeat" (although I have not made it); the almond oil is part of the syrup, and I have yet to find a full-fat commercial almond milk. Common products like Torani don't louche the way homemade stuff does. I assumed it was because they are essentially thickened sugar syrups flavored with extracts and do not have any fat in them. Does anyone know if the "emergency" stuff louches?

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Cocktaildb lists three Japanese cocktails.

Japanese: Brandy, Orgeat, Boker's Bitters, lemon peel
Japanese Cocktail #1: brandy, lime juice or orange bitters, orgeat, Angostura bitters, lime slice garnish
Japanese Cocktail #2: gin, orgeat, lemon juice

re: commercial orgeat. Yeah, I think most are just flavoring and coloring. The ingredients on the Monin Almond Syrup I have are: Pure Cane Sugar, Water, Natural Almond Flavor. I guess the cloudiness comes from the Natural Almond Flavor?
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#59 Chris Amirault

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:50 PM

Using the homemade stuff, I've made this tasty egg-white-free Pink Lady variation a few times: 1 1/2 oz gin (Plymouth)
1/2 applejack (Laird's bonded)
1/2 lemon
scant 1/2 orgeat
dash grenadine
There's an obvious taste difference subbing egg whites for orgeat, of course, but the body of the drink is notably smooth, if not quite meringue-y.
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#60 Chris Amirault

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:04 PM

Found the Yellow Mist on cocktaildb.com:

1 1/2 gin
1/2 Apry
1/2 orgeat
1/2 lemon

Not the most complex thing in the world, but it showcases the orgeat, particularly for those who "don't like cocktails," I'd think.

ETA: A bit too strong on the Apry; I'd cut back to 1/4 or less next time.

Edited by chrisamirault, 13 April 2008 - 05:08 PM.

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