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Rien

Orgeat

350 posts in this topic

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]

[...]

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

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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

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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?

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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

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


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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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.


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

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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....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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.

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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...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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...)


"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

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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...)

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.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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THANKS for the info!

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


"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

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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

  1. Soak solids in ample water for 30 minutes
  2. Discard water and grind nuts in food processor to a medium-fine paste. Add water to processor towards the end
  3. Let mixture steep 1-2 hours
  4. 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.
  5. (Optional) Return solids to liquids for an additional hour and repeat straining and squeezing.
  6. (Optional) Repeat one additional time.
  7. 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.
  8. Once sweetened nut milk has cooled sufficiently, add optional orange flower water, rose flower water or other flavoring; add brandy for stabilization and bottle.
  9. 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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.

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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.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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.

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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 (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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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. 

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 (log)

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