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Orgeat

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Finally got around to making my own Orgeat. I used this recipe from Serious Eats. I used Turbinado sugar for the syrup, and I cut back on the orange flower water, as my bottle is quite powerful. I also used white rum rather than vodka as a preservative, as I do not regularly keep vodka around. The straining was a messy process, as I realized to late I was out of cheesecloth, and was forced to used a clean dish towel. It served its purpose. The result is very flavorful. Not sure if it is better than BG Reynolds, but it is certainly cheaper, which is important.

 

I tried it out on a couple of Mai Tais, by this recipe

 

1 Oz Appleton V/X

1 Oz La Favorite Blanc

0.5 Oz Cointreau

0.5 Oz Orgeat

0.75 Oz Lime Juice

0.25 Oz Simple Syrup(scant)

 

Really nice. I do love this drink, and I think this was the best I have had it. I added Tiki bitters for the second, which was a nice change up.

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Made orgeat with slivered almonds per Dave Arnold's generic orgeat recipe in Liquid Intelligence:

 

230g almonds 

759g hot water (1:3.3 ratio)

blended till smooth in my Blendtec, squeezed out through my straining bag, yielding ~750g almond milk. This went back in the blender, to which I added 750g white sugar, and a VERY approximate <3g mix of 9:1 gum arabic:xanthan gum. Oh, and I added a few drops of almond extract and orange blossom water. Final yield was well over 1L, maybe 1.25 or 1.3.

 

This is up there with the best orgeat I've ever tried, and also BY FAR the easiest. Start to finish, maybe 15 minutes? According to Arnold, it's fully emulsified and stabilized too, so shouldn't have any separating issues.

 

1.25L of orgeat will make a ton of Mai Tais....

 

 

ETA: actually, 82.5 Mai Tais, assuming 1/2 oz....


Edited by Hassouni (log)
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I made my first at-home orgeat last night, using Kaiser Penguin's "Perfect Orgeat Syrup" recipe: http://www.kaiserpenguin.com/the-perfect-orgeat-syrup-recipe/

 

It is a truly easy recipe, which I halved:

 

1. Toast .75 lb whole raw almonds in oven.

2. blend or smash such that some are ground fine and others are nearly whole.

3. combine almonds with 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water on stove.

4. bring to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes to combine sugar and water.

5. let rest combined for at least twelve hours.

6. strain and stir in 1-2 drops each orange flower and rose waters.

 

This has a dark color (darker than any storebought orgeat I've seen), as well as a nice lightly viscous texture with a great sheen from the oil. I didn't love that it tasted basically like an almond version of the peanut brittle my mom makes around Christmas--very blunt and powerful. I think this is from how toasted the almonds were and I may try again without toasting them. My issue with storebought orgeat is that it tends to have a chemical or medicinal flavor to it. This doesn't have that but I'm not sure it'll be great either. Guess we'll have to test it with a round of mai tais tonight!

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I made my second batch of the Death and Co. orgeat - it turned out sweeter than the previous batch, most likely because I measured the sugar by weight instead of volume. It's still very good but I realize I need to adjust proportions slightly to account for it. The Mai Tai I made the other night was a little out of balance, I typically do 2 oz rum mixture, .75 lime, .5 creole shrub, .5 orgeat but with this batch of orgeat I'd probably bump the lime up or add a 151 float or something. With that in mind this un-swizzled swizzle turned out nicely last night:

 

1 oz Neisson blanc

1 oz Green Chartruese

1 oz lemon juice

.5 oz orgeat

6 drops absinthe

1 dash Bittermens mole

3 drops saline solution

 

Shake with one big cube, strain over crushed ice into double Collins, garnish with mint. The full ounce of lemon mixed with the herbal ingredients balanced nicely with the orgeat.

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On 6/2/2015 at 9:05 AM, sbumgarner said:

I made my second batch of the Death and Co. orgeat - it turned out sweeter than the previous batch, most likely because I measured the sugar by weight instead of volume. It's still very good but I realize I need to adjust proportions slightly to account for it. The Mai Tai I made the other night was a little out of balance, I typically do 2 oz rum mixture, .75 lime, .5 creole shrub, .5 orgeat but with this batch of orgeat I'd probably bump the lime up or add a 151 float or something. With that in mind this un-swizzled swizzle turned out nicely last night:

 

1 oz Neisson blanc

1 oz Green Chartruese

1 oz lemon juice

.5 oz orgeat

6 drops absinthe

1 dash Bittermens mole

3 drops saline solution

 

Shake with one big cube, strain over crushed ice into double Collins, garnish with mint. The full ounce of lemon mixed with the herbal ingredients balanced nicely with the orgeat.

I know this post is about a year old, so if you or anyone else is still around I'd love to hear if you've made any adjustments to D&Co orgeat or found a recipe you like better.  I'm about to make the orgeat from the D&Co book, which uses ingredients I haven't seen in other recipes, namely cognac, amaretto, and rose water (but no orange flower water).  I've never made orgeat before, but from what I've seen on this forum yet none mention a recipe with those particular additional ingredients.  Any advice here?  Thanks!

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@KK I've never made my own orgeat, but @feste markets her orgeat under the Small Hand Foods brand.  I go through at least a dozen large bottles a year.  If you are simply looking for wonderful orgeat, buy from @feste -- or if you want the fun of making your own orgeat for D&Co drinks, use the D&Co recipe and report back on how it turns out.

 

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17 hours ago, KK said:

I know this post is about a year old, so if you or anyone else is still around I'd love to hear if you've made any adjustments to D&Co orgeat or found a recipe you like better.  I'm about to make the orgeat from the D&Co book, which uses ingredients I haven't seen in other recipes, namely cognac, amaretto, and rose water (but no orange flower water).  I've never made orgeat before, but from what I've seen on this forum yet none mention a recipe with those particular additional ingredients.  Any advice here?  Thanks!

 

I just made the D&C version again and measured by volume, it turned out less sweet and thus more manageable with most cocktail specs (for example, the half-ounce in my usual Mai Tai proportions last night was well-balanced with the other ingredients). If you're looking for a recipe you can whip up in 30 mins or so I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. I've made the slower, soak-the-almonds-multiple-times way, and it's perhaps a touch better/more nuanced but to me not enough to justify the extra steps most of the time. That being said, making it the "hard" way at least once is fun and will give you a traditional baseline to compare against.

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I have heard nothing but good things about Small Hand Foods' orgeat!  One of these days I'm definitely going to order a bottle and have it shipped, wish I could find it local.

 

So I definitely agree using weight for the sugar in the D&Co recipe leads to a rather sweet orgeat.  I made the first batch exactly as stated (although with slightly less rose water), for the second batch I'll do it with less sugar and I also want to try it with the addition of orange blossom water to see the difference.  I'll report back.

 

As far as making orgeat the slow, long way, I'd like to try it but was overwhelmed by the variety of recipes out there, any particular ones you can vouch for?  Thanks!  

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Have you ever tried Meneau Orgeat?

I like it very much. So, I've never felt the urge to make homemade orgeat (and probably never will).

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1 hour ago, Quadriga said:

Have you ever tried Meneau Orgeat?

I like it very much. So, I've never felt the urge to make homemade orgeat (and probably never will).

I haven't. It's not something I've ever seen on the shelves where I live.

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I can't find any orgeat on my shelves at all, but I will keep Meneau in mind.  I also plan on trying the Jeff Berry orgeat as soon as I run out of my first batch, thanks!

 

Also Death & Co wrote back to me regarding the recipe as I asked about the blurb in the book which mentions orange flower water, but it's not in the actual recipe - here's the response from D&Co I found interesting and thought you might like to hear too:

"I found a typo! There should only be orange flower water in the orgeat, no rose water at all. Sorry about that mistake! We also don't make our own orgeat anymore. We use Tiki Adam's Orgeat Works Orgeat because he makes a better product than we would be able to on our own. I highly recommend it!" 

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16 hours ago, KK said:

I can't find any orgeat on my shelves at all, but I will keep Meneau in mind. 

 

I fear you won't find Maison Meneau in the US.

I assumed FrogPrincesse, who is French, might have tried/heard of French company Meneau, and so I asked her.

Sorry, I should have been more precise in the first place.

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As regular readers will be aware my knowledge of cocktails is limited, hence my questions are basic.  Orgeat is something I have never tasted but I keep coming across recipes that call for it.  I've skimmed this thread and while the creation of my own orgeat is attractive I think I need to taste a 'decent' commercial version first so that I will have some idea as to any future success with recipes.  I know that 'decent' is subjective. 

 

We buy many cocktail ingredients through Amazon UK.  I know that the service is not offered in all countries but for us, living in a rural location, it is useful. We do usually check locally to see if we can source drinks from independent suppliers but more often than not we can't.   When things do show up locally they can be extremely expensive and wanting to support local traders can only go so far.  

 

So, against a search for Orgeat, Amazon UK is today offering Monin Premium Almond Syrup or Giffard Orgeat Syrup.  The latter is cheaper but not when you add in delivery costs.  Finally there is Sirup Orgeat but I would be reluctant to buy that from Amazon in view of the delivery cost being greater than the product cost.

 

We use other Monin syrups for different applications and while they tend to be very sweet they can be OK alongside other ingredients.  

 

Amazon France has nothing more interesting on offer.

 

Given the choice of those found via Amazon UK which would you buy as a cocktail ingredient.  No particular drink in mind, as I said before, it is simply something that appears quite often when I'm searching for new cocktail ideas.  

 

Many thanks in advance for any advice you might offer.

 

 

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Hi @DianaB! I am happy to help.

 

Your question makes sense. If you never had orgeat, it is a good idea to try a commercial product first so you have some kind of benchmark to compare against. My first bottle of orgeat was Torani (which isn't horrible but I wouldn't recommend). The first time I made my own I knew I could never use the commercial stuff again! But nowadays there are a lot of brands that are made on a small scale and are actually quite good.

 

I would vote against Monin. It is rather indistinct and won't give you a true idea of what orgeat can be like.  I think Giffard is a better bet if you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own. We have access to several small artisanal brands in the US, but I am not sure if there is an equivalent in the UK. I browsed on amazon UK for a bit and didn't come across any.

Difford's, a respected cocktail website which is based in the UK, has a bunch of orgeat reviews. They also prefer Giffard to Monin.

Also, I am not sure about shipping costs, but a place like The Whisky Exchange is a much better source (selection and price-wise) than amazon for cocktail-related purchases. You might want to check them out! Master of Malt is another good one, but they only seem to have Monin.

 

Good luck!

 

Out of curiosity, do you have a specific use in mind for the orgeat? A Mai Tai maybe?


Edited by FrogPrincesse minor edits (log)
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33 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

The first time I made my own I knew I could never use the commercial stuff again! But nowadays there are a lot of brands that are made on a small scale and are actually quite good.


I agree homemade is better but I don't drink enough for a small improvement in quality to outweigh convenience. If some event or something is going to have me using enough orgeat to be worth the trouble, I'll make a batch. Otherwise, I just use BG Reynolds and call it good enough.

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1 minute ago, Tri2Cook said:


I agree homemade is better but I don't drink enough for a small improvement in quality to outweigh convenience. If some event or something is going to have me using enough orgeat to be worth the trouble, I'll make a batch. Otherwise, I just use BG Reynolds and call it good enough.

I completely understand. I have been too lazy to make a new batch lately, and would buy a bottle of BG Reynolds or Small Hands orgeat in a heartbeat if my local stores had them in stock! Ordering is too much trouble, so eventually I will buy more almonds to make a batch (I even have a brand new nut milk bag that should make the whole operation even easier). Tiki Oasis is only a few weeks away so I have no choice.  :)

 

 

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3 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

I completely understand. I have been too lazy to make a new batch lately, and would buy a bottle of BG Reynolds or Small Hands orgeat in a heartbeat if my local stores had them in stock! Ordering is too much trouble, so eventually I will buy more almonds to make a batch (I even have a brand new nut milk bag that should make the whole operation even easier). Tiki Oasis is only a few weeks away so I have no choice.  :)


The fact remains that what you said is entirely true. Homemade is better. Even the "cheater" homemade using store-bought almond milk is better. But sometimes I'm not cocktail dedicated enough to completely overcome my laziness.

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We might possibly be able to find the Monin down here in the most distant reaches of the South Pacific, but without doing that (and I won't; I haven't been vastly impressed with other Monin products) my homemade orgeat is the only one I'm likely to taste.  And I will say that it's one of the more delicious things in my fridge.

 

Speaking of fridges, I find my orgeat lasts well beyond what's generally considered the shelf life for such things.  The liquid separates out in the bottle so there's a (fairly) solid creamy top layer over a yellowish liquid layer; a hefty shake brings them back together and everything's fine even after a month or two.  Your mileage, of course, may vary, but such is my experience.

 

So it may be worth your while making a batch (the recipe I use only makes 500ml or so).  And you'll go through your first bottle quickly anyway, conducting (ahem) scientific experiments.

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I notice that @feste now has distributors of her orgeat in Australia, Hong Kong, and Macau.  Sadly none yet in England or New Zealand that I see.  You could write her from her website and see what she could do.

 

I'm about to order my semi-annual case.  Alas, orgeat does not keep very long in my refrigerator.
 

 

 

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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I'm about to order my semi-annual case.  Alas, orgeat does not keep very long in my refrigerator.


Doesn't keep or doesn't survive? :P A fine but important distinction... is it going bad quickly or being enjoyed quickly? Because the second one isn't a bad thing.

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Many thanks for all of your advice, especially to @FrogPrincesse for reminding me about The Whiskey Exchange.  We've bought from them previously but I hadn't thought of them on this occasion.  Mai Tai is a cocktail neither of us has tried, we are not knowledgeable about rum and guidance on making a Mai Tai even when experts claim to be following an original recipe, is diverse.  No doubt we will choose a starting point in due course.  Meanwhile there are lots of interesting recipes that include Orgeat on the Kindred Cocktails site.  We've enjoyed discoveries from there before so look forward to more.  A bottle of Giffard will be ordered from TWE, I love almond based concoctions so look forward to trying this.

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:


Doesn't keep or doesn't survive? :P A fine but important distinction... is it going bad quickly or being enjoyed quickly? Because the second one isn't a bad thing.

 

Which do you think?

 

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Which do you think?

 


I'm going with "doesn't survive"... your love for the Mai Tai is well documented. I'm right there with you on enjoying that one but far lazier than you when it comes to getting around to making them. Unfortunately.

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