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Rien

Orgeat

338 posts in this topic

I've tried a couple toasted almond orgeats and while I think they are lovely, I'm still on the fence about whether they are appropriate for all applications.

As you mention, for brown liquor drinks, sure.

But for Gin or Absinthe drinks, not so much.

I recently made a batch of pumpkin seed orgeat/horchata where I toasted them and thought it added a great flavor. But then, there's no real historical precedent for how a pumpkin seed orgeat should taste.

Made some toasted orgeat this weekend after reading this thread and while I absolutely love it, maybe more so than the first batch I made using non-toasted blanched almonds, I would agree that the toasted version may not work in all scenarios. I found toasting the almonds brought out a bit of a salted peanut-type flavor in the final product which might be a little off-putting with gin-based drinks.

That being said, I just read something over on the Alcademics blog about a drink with Castries peanut liquor and Beefeater 24 that he claims is pretty good (I'd probably need to be convinced, but I'll take his word for now). I'm not saying orgeat and Castries are the same thing by any stretch but given the flavors coming out of my batch of toasted almond orgeat maybe it's not that much of a stretch to say it could work with gin. Guess there's always one way to find out ...

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Odd, I've never gotten that flavor from mine. I think we all may need to start shipping around samples to each other. :)

Were you using unsalted almonds? Assuming you were but asking.

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Yes, using unsalted blanched almonds and no salt was added anywhere in the process - the taste was subtle mind you, but to me it was definitely there. Per Toby's post way back I added in some orange bitters (he said bitter orange so perhaps he meant more of an amaro) and a 15ml each of brandy and vodka.

I've never tasted a commercial orgeat and have never tasted a house-made one other than my own outside of a cocktail, I might need some standards calibration to wrap my head around exactly what an orgeat should taste like.


Edited by sbumgarner (log)

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I think that's a problem facing a lot of us non-bartenders. I usually beg to try house-made syrups, etc. whenever I can, but who knows if that person got it right. I have tasted Monin and others, and I can say that the recipe I use certainly has the right profile as well as the appropriate "homemade goodness" I expected.

Now, I need to make a fresh batch just to make sure.

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I just made a batch from Art of Drink. Any idea how long it will last in the frig?

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This is one of those items where I know making it myself will be better but the commercial stuff will store longer and I just don't use it very often. I wonder how well it would hold up to vac packing it in maybe 250ml or less portions and tossing them in the freezer. Or would that defeat the point of making it fresh?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Dr Adam Elmegirab's Roasted Almond Orgeat

Makes approximately 700-750ml bottle of orgeat syrup;

-----

250g Sliced almonds (no skin)

400ml Water

350g Caster sugar (unrefined preferably)

25ml Brandy/Cognac

25ml Grand Marnier

15ml Orange or rose flower water (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Add almonds to roasting tin, place in middle of oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Do not grease the tin or add any oil.

Remove almonds, and allow too cool. Once cooled, place the almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the water then use a blender or food processor to chop the almonds to a fine grind. If you need to assist the chopping process, add a little water to the food processor.

Transfer the crushed almonds to a large bowl and mix them with 400ml fresh mineral water and let stand for two hours. Place a damp cloth, cheese cloth or muslin cloth 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 stand for another hour and then strain again. Repeat a third time if you wish. This will get all the oils/milk/flavour out of the almonds.

Discard the almond pulp, then pour the strained liquid into a saucepan, add the sugar and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat when the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool for fifteen minutes and then add the brandy and the orange flower or rose water. Once cooled, shake well then transfer the orgeat into a clean glass bottle and refrigerate.

-----

Tips;

- Use sliced almonds in the first soak, then crush in a food processor.

- As an alternative to roasting, you can dry fry ensuring you do not burn almonds.

- Before straining ensure you moisten the muslin cloth. I recommend moistening with the liquid you are about to filter.

- Do not allow orgeat syrup to boil, dissolve sugar over a low to medium heat.

- Adding a small piece of vanilla pod to the saucepan adds to the complexity.

- The addition of orange or rose flower water is optional but recommended.

- Shake well before use as the syrup may separate.


Evo-lution - Consultancy, Training and Events

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters - Bitters

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Just finished a batch of orgeat that's cooling on the stove. After reading through this entire thread and other online recipes, I think I've found the easiest way to get this done in one soak.

1) Used sliced almonds. I used two packs of the Trader Joe's raw sliced ones. Tiny bit of skins on there didn't make a whit of difference.

2) Lightly roast the almonds, not to toast them necessarily, but to "loosen" the oils a bit before soaking in the water.

3) Soak the almonds in HOT water with a little bit of vodka in it to extract the oils more effectively and soften the almonds more quickly.

4) Pulse in the blender after soaking for a few minutes and then allow to cool overnight. More surface area exposed = more oils come out.

5) After squeezing out through cheesecloth, heat the almond milk gently, only enough to heat it so the sugar dissolves. Cool slightly before the next step.

6) Add brandy, a small amount of organic almond extract to round out the flavor and give it some bite, and both orange and rose flower waters.

7) A small amount of xanthan gum for stabilization.

This is being test driven for the cocktail book I'm working on, so I'm neither positive about the proportions yet (although it's tastes pretty spectacular still warm) nor can I post the complete recipe until after publication, but I hope these guidelines will be helpful to those of you still working on your home recipes.

I'll report back after it cools and I've made a cocktail or two with 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

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Just finished a batch of orgeat that's cooling on the stove. After reading through this entire thread and other online recipes, I think I've found the easiest way to get this done in one soak.

1) Used sliced almonds. I used two packs of the Trader Joe's raw sliced ones. Tiny bit of skins on there didn't make a whit of difference.

2) Lightly roast the almonds, not to toast them necessarily, but to "loosen" the oils a bit before soaking in the water.

3) Soak the almonds in HOT water with a little bit of vodka in it to extract the oils more effectively and soften the almonds more quickly.

4) Pulse in the blender after soaking for a few minutes and then allow to cool overnight. More surface area exposed = more oils come out.

5) After squeezing out through cheesecloth, heat the almond milk gently, only enough to heat it so the sugar dissolves. Cool slightly before the next step.

6) Add brandy, a small amount of organic almond extract to round out the flavor and give it some bite, and both orange and rose flower waters.

7) A small amount of xanthan gum for stabilization.

This is being test driven for the cocktail book I'm working on, so I'm neither positive about the proportions yet (although it's tastes pretty spectacular still warm) nor can I post the complete recipe until after publication, but I hope these guidelines will be helpful to those of you still working on your home recipes.

I'll report back after it cools and I've made a cocktail or two with it.

Funny - I just started soaking some almonds for my first batch! A pinch of xantham sounds like a good idea.

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Xanthan gum seems to be holding the orgeat together, even several hours later. I'll check it again tomorrow morning, but so far it's at least keeping it from separating completely. I'd likely shake before using anyway...

My orgeat is light tan in color and opaque. I suspect this is from using unbleached organic sugar rather than white sugar. It isn't quite as pretty in the bottle, but it tastes delicious.

Made a straightforward Mai Tai tonight. No proper dark rum like Goslings or Myers in the house (note to self for tomorrow's errands) but this worked just fine:

1 oz. Don Q Cristal white rum

1 oz. Smith & Cross

1 oz. fresh lime juice

.75 oz. homemade orgeat

.50 oz. Cointreau

scant barspoon homemade grenadine

Shake and strain over fresh ice in a tall glass.

I think a float of proper dark rum on top of this would really put this drink over the top, but it was pretty tasty just as it was. :smile:


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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Just a hair for color and sweetness so I don't have to add more simple syrup. The wee bit of grenadine doesn't change the flavor much, just adds color and adds a "bass note" of fruitiness to the drink. This was also because I didn't have any proper dark rum in the house at the time and didn't want an "albino" Mai Tai.

Try the drink with those proportions as described and tell me what you think. My sensitive palate didn't pick up anything distinctive from the grenadine other than what I've described above. If I had real Goslings or Myers in the house I think I might have done this differently, but I had to make do since it was too late to go on a liquor run. I still think I'll stand by my earlier assertion that the drink was damned tasty as it was and the float of the dark on top would have been the cherry on the cake. That might just be the Smith & Cross that's so distinctive and makes everything tastier though.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

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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The Smith & Cross really does make everything sing. I, too, just got around to playing with a homemade orgeat based largely on Darcy's recipe and with a bit of orange flower and rose water and some organic almond extract as well to brighten up and sharpen the almond flavors. I regret being a little impatient and overheating the food-processed almonds to maximize milk extraction because i got some solids clumping that cost me some of the extracted oils and it shows a bit in the texture of the final product, but it is still quite tasty.

The winning mai tai recipe and rum combination thus far has been:

0.75 oz Smith & Cross

0.75 oz Rhum St. James Hors D'Age aged agricole

0.75 oz Appleton 12

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz Clement Creole Shrub

0.5 oz homemade orgeat

0.25 simple

spent lime shell and fresh spring mint garnish

This is a bulletproof mai tai.

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I think the light roasting/heating of the almonds and then the soak in hot water with a little vodka really helped extract a lot of oils out that would have required the usual two to three soaks to get out. Bonus was I only got one baking sheet and the blender dirty, everything was one step and then sit overnight, and only had to do the strain and squeeze one time. Also I was really careful not to heat it too high afterward. Just enough to dissolve in the sugar. I didn't want to risk "cooking" the delicate almond flavor out. This morning it has separated a bit, but only at the bottom 20% or so, so it seems the xanthan gum has at least helped to hold the emulsion together. I'd still shake it before using regardless, just to make certain it was uniform.

edited to add:

Yeah, that Smith & Cross just makes everything it touches more delicious. It's both the navy strength as well as the very "rummy" flavor profile. I just love using it. Best thing in the world for tiki drinks.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

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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It's not clear to me that orgeat is all about the oils. If that were true, then the best way to make orgeat would be to emulsify whatever blend of almond oils you like into sugar water and then stabilize it with something like Ticaloid 201 S (a blend of xanthan gum and gum arabic that stabilizes emulsions and provides suspension). It seems to me that part of almond milk and orgeat comes from suspended almond solids. Really, you should be able to radically increase the yield by using something like a rotor stator homogenizer to blend in 100% of the almond and then reduce the particle size down to something that would be below the tongue's detection threshold and would remain in colloidal suspension.

Either way, there would be some benefit from using something like Ticaloid for stability. Using too much xanthan gum creates a ropey, slimy texture in my opinion.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I think I got a lot of flavor/"milk" out in addition to just oils by pulsing the softened almonds in the blender down to a small nugget size (think like the bits of peanut in crunchy peanut butter)and letting that sit overnight in the hot water to cool and steep.

:shrug: Science was never my strong suit. I'm just trying to do this in a way that simplifies the process and makes it less intimidating, while using my past experiences with making infusions and syrups to use some techniques that might not have been mentioned before. In the end I only used 1/8 tsp. of xanthan gum. Doesn't seem to have adversely changed the texture in any way, just seems to be helping hold it together better than other orgeats I've seen that don't include it. This might not be the end all method, but I think it's a simpler method with a very good end result.


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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