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Orgeat


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Using Sam's small-batch recipe, I made some today with equal parts almonds, pistachios, and apricot kernels (thank you, Trader Joe's). I really like the combination of the flavors and was careful not to overblend this time around. I haven't tried it in a drink yet, but I'm hopeful that I've addressed the consistency issues I raised above.

One note: skinning apricot kernels and pistachios sucks.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

Am hoping for a little help here. I'm writing a post on commercial orgeat and am trying to get lists of ingredients for all the major brands. I haven't been able to find ingredients for either the Fee Bros. or the 1883 products. My local liquor store is out of the Fee's, and the bottle of 1883 I bought and brought into work to compare recipes with mysteriously disappeared...

Do any of you have either of these products lying around and would you be willing to post the ingredients?

Thanks so much!

Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

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Hi all,

Am hoping for a little help here. I'm writing a post on commercial orgeat and am trying to get lists of ingredients for all the major brands. I haven't been able to find ingredients for either the Fee Bros. or the 1883 products. My local liquor store is out of the Fee's, and the bottle of 1883 I bought and brought into work to compare recipes with mysteriously disappeared...

Do any of you have either of these products lying around and would you be willing to post the ingredients?

Thanks so much!

1883:

"Ingredients : sugar, water, glucose-fructose syrup, natural aroma including natural almond extract. No preservative."

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Do any of you have either of these products lying around and would you be willing to post the ingredients?

Thanks so much!

Fee's contains: corn sweeteners, sugar, water, natural and artificial flavor, citric acid, less than 1/10 of 1% Benzoate of Soda as a preservative, propylene glycol, xanthan gum, gum acacia and glyeryl abietate.

I think I need to go make some homemade stuff now...

Marty McCabe

Boston, MA

Acme Cocktail Company

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Seriously, y'all...  try making it with pistachio nuts instead of almonds.

any good cocktails for this pistachio "orgeat"?

apple jack, peach brandy, pistachio "orgeat", angostura?

Just did such a thing for the first time over New Years, like so:

http://rookielibations.blogspot.com/2009/0...ears-pt-ii.html

This stuff is brilliant with the addition of Rosewater (over standard Orgeat's OF water) - a very Middle Eastern flavor combination methinks.

bostonapothecary - Made a killer Cameron's Kick variant; still playing with it or other cocktails. Funny you mention an Applejack combination - I was planning on trying a Japanese Cocktail variation using either Pear Eau de Vie or Laird's Bonded...

Cheers!

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Hi all,

Am hoping for a little help here. I'm writing a post on commercial orgeat and am trying to get lists of ingredients for all the major brands. I haven't been able to find ingredients for either the Fee Bros. or the 1883 products. My local liquor store is out of the Fee's, and the bottle of 1883 I bought and brought into work to compare recipes with mysteriously disappeared...

Do any of you have either of these products lying around and would you be willing to post the ingredients?

Thanks so much!

If you had any interest, I'd post the ingredients for Trader Vic's orgeat syrup, though in addition to making the Fee's and 1883 look like organic health-food products, it might also take up an entire page of the forum in a single post...

{Edited to add that, of the three, the 1883 has by far the most flavor}

Edited by Wild Bill Turkey (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...
I'm thinking of ways to stabilize a homemade orgeat.  Gum arabic, perhaps?

Possibly, although I think xanthan gum is preferred for stuff like this. If you can stabilize with gum arabic, I'd love to hear how much it takes.

I'm also curious about how to convey to people that just because something separates, it doesn't make it an inferior product. Is it so wrong to have to shake your bottle of orgeat before you use it each time? Are we so conditioned by industrial food that if we see separation or color variations or "refrigeration required" that we assume it's not a good product? Is there a way to battle this perception?

Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

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I'm thinking of ways to stabilize a homemade orgeat.  Gum arabic, perhaps?

Possibly, although I think xanthan gum is preferred for stuff like this. If you can stabilize with gum arabic, I'd love to hear how much it takes.

I'm also curious about how to convey to people that just because something separates, it doesn't make it an inferior product. Is it so wrong to have to shake your bottle of orgeat before you use it each time? Are we so conditioned by industrial food that if we see separation or color variations or "refrigeration required" that we assume it's not a good product? Is there a way to battle this perception?

part of the problem is that all these recipes are perceived as "mad science" when they are closer to rural traditions... an old mans hobby or something someone's grandmother would make...

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I am hoping that the gum arabic (in addition to providing some extra silkyness in the mouthfeel) will not only prevent separation in storage, but perhaps also the "curdled" appearance the homemade product can have in certain cocktails. I'm also experimenting with different (less labor intensive and hopefully better) methods for making them. Today's experiment is liquifying the nuts and water together in the Vita-Prep, infusing an hour and draining through a 100 micron superbag. I have a new batch of pistacheat that turned out amazingly well this way, and an currently trying to see if I can make one using roasted pepitas.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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Two good methods of stabilizing oil / water emulsions (orgeat), are to use lecithin or maltodextrin.

Lecithin can be found at health food stores, but it is best to use the liquid variety as some bulk lecithin contain additional, non-soluble compounds.

Maltodextrin can be found a your local homebrew shop. It is a natural sugar, but isn't very sweet and rather flavourless. It helps to increase the viscosity of the orgeat, thereby making the emulsion more stable. It also helps by being a long chain organic which is soluble in water, but still interacts with the almond oil.

Gum Arabic might help, since it does increase viscosity, but other than that I'm not sure how much it will help. Usually a combination of ingredients is the best approach.

Darcy S. O'Neil

Chemist | Bartender | Writer

Website: Art of Drink

Book: Fix the Pumps

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  • 7 months later...

Just made a double batch of Sam's recipe here using almonds, pistachios, and apricot kernels. After blending late last night, I went to bed and strained it in the morning; that laziness seems to have paid off, in that I haven't had to reblend or resoak the nutmeat to get a thick milk. I also added a 2:1 mix of cognac and Cointreau (I had batched it for Sidecars for a cocktail course) instead of the brandy.

This stuff is delicious.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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After visiting Momofuku Ssam Bar in July, I have been influenced by a dessert I really enjoyed, Beet Lime Goats milk Ganache w/ pistachios. I decided I had to make it into a cocktail. Still don't have a name for it,

Beet infused Beefeater 2 oz

"Pistacheat" 1 oz

Lime 1/2 oz

3 pinches citric acid ( I wanted the tart of goat chz without overwhelming w/ lime)

White of 1 egg

Dry shake white w/ Lime and Citric Acid, add rest, Ice, Shake, Strain into Fizz Glass and top with 3/4 - 1oz of Seltzer

...and here I thought I was the only one using pistachio syrup, of course not, how ignorant. Damn good stuff, roasted/blanched pistachios with demerara, a pinch of salt, and both orange flwer and rose hydrosols.

Smile,

Ciaran

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Though it's hard to find real tiger nut Horchata outside of Spain - it makes a very interesting substitute for Orgeat. I guess it should have been obvious for me to try it as Horchata is probably the root beverage that became Orgeat and Orzata as it moved throughout Europe (it's even called Orxata I think in Catalan) - same process of making a stable nut milk, just using an easier to find nut! Nice earthy tones - plays very well with dark rums and really takes to pimento dram.

Avery Glasser

Bittermens, Inc. - Producers of Bittermens Bitters & Extracts

Bittermens Spirits, Inc. - Purveyors of Small Batch Bitter Liqueurs

Vendetta Spirits, LLC. - Nano-Importer of Hand-Produced Spirits

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It appears La Tienda sells Tiger Nuts (Chufa, Nut Sedge Kernels), so not so hard to find.

To me the idea that almond or rice orgeat became this or that beverage as it moved across cultures is the wrong way to look at it.

Cooking or soaking nuts and grains in water is just the easiest way to get some portion of their nutritional value out. Every culture has some sort of grain or nut beverage: Barley Water, Soy Milk, Horchata, Orgeat, Alote, etc. They are all basically the same thing. You don't need an oven or even a stove necessarily to make them and they are palatable to everyone including infants and invalids.

I believe it is more like convergent evolution, the common way to solve the common problem of getting nutrition from stored dried nuts and grains.

Not only that but as cooking techniques advance these beverages then become the foundation for more substantial food sources like tofu, tortillas, bread, beer, oat cakes, Marzipan, etc.

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Oh yeah, besides, nut sedge was brought to Spain by the Muslims. It was originally cultivated in Egypt as a food source.

I would guess some nut sedge beverage or another significantly predates its use in Spain.

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Just in case it isn't obvious from the above, the words horchata and orgeat share the same Latin root (hordeata).

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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That looks fascinating. Why demerara? I've always used white....

I usually use white for my orgeat as well, it was a first for me. I wanted something a little bit rougher than refined sugar, a little darker, unnecessary but, all in the name of change.

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FireAarro, I'd say it's not supposed to be like the Monin Amaretto -- that's too sharp. If you've had the Monin Almond (which is an opalescent white, not brown), that's more like it. Pronounced, but not overwhelming.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I'm going to disagree with Chris on this one. Natural orgeat is nowhere near as strongly flavored with that flavor we think of as "almond flavoring" compared to the commercial flavored versions.

As a result, natural orgeat doesn't have the same "cut" as the commercial flavored versions and can get a bit lost in drinks with a lot of strong flavors going on. For example, let's say you're making a Mai Tai: 2 oz rum, 1 oz lime, 1/2 oz orgeat, 1/2 oz orange curacao, 1/2 oz rich simple. If you make this drink with commercial flavored orgeat, the almond flavoring will sing right through. You'll know there's almond in there! With natural orgeat, on the other hand, you really have to search for the almond flavor. There's something extra in there, for sure, but it's much less clear just what it is. All in all, the version made with natural orgeat is a more harmonious cocktail. The natural orgeat also adds creamyness that the commercial flavored preparation does not.

There is also the question of what we think of as "almond flavor" -- which is not the actual flavor of sweet almonds. Rather, it is the flavor of bitter almonds. Specifically, it is the flavor of benzaldehyde. Bitter almonds contain lots of amygdalin, which is converted to benzaldehyde (and some other things, including cyanide) by the enzyme emulsin, which is also present in almonds. The essential oil of bitter almond is more or less pure benzaldehyde. Apricot kernels, cherry pits, etc. also contain plenty of amygdalin and emulsin, which explains why they can be used to create "almond flavoring" (Amaretto Disaronno is actually flavored with apricot kernels, not almonds) and also why they are considered somewhat dangerous to eat.

Sweet almonds do not contain very much amygdalin and emulsin, and as a result the essential oil of sweet almond is not very rich in benzaldehyde. Less benzaldehyde equals less of that "almond flavoring" we might expect. Think about it: munch on a handful of blanched almonds and then take a sip of amaretto. Do they taste at all similar? Hardly. So why do we think they both taste like almond?

There are three possible solutions: First is to simply acknowledge that natural orgeat made from sweet almonds doesn't have that "benzaldehyde bite" that can cut through other flavors and accept that the natural product is more subtle. Second is to create the natural orgeat using a natural source of amygdalin and emulsin so that you can amplify the amount of benzaldehyde in the orgeat. This is the reason my recipe that Chris used contains some apricot kernels (again, it's important to get bitter apricot kernels, because sweet apricot kernels don't contain much amygdalin and emulsin). Or lastly, you can dose the final product with a touch of high quality bitter almond essential oil -- which more or less amounts to adding benzaldehyde. I have come to believe that the third solution is really the best one, because you can add the bitter almond essential oil in minute amounts, resting and retasting the orgeat until you reach a level of "benzaldehyde bite" that gives your homemade orgeat enough cut to sing through other ingredients but doesn't obscure the sweet almond softness and creamyness.

--

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