How to Make Orgeat Syrup

absinthe suissesse

(Yes, I’m giving some away… see below)

Orgeat (almond syrup) is the rabbits foot in a witches cauldron. And once unearthed, it will find its way into every damn cocktail you create. But wait, isn’t orgeat only used in tiki drinks? From the Scorpion Bowl where it balances tart orange, aromatic gin, and soothing brandy to the Mai Tai, where it’s essential. But what else does it go in? And how do you make it? Read on fair ones, read on.

How to Pronounce Orgeat


Or for those of you who don’t speak dictionary: Oar-zhawt

Hear the Hedonism Bot pronounce orgeat for himself.

How to Make Orgeat Syrup

My recipe is a modified version of the one posted at fx cuisine. I’ve done my best to simplify the instructions.


  • 12oz blanched whole almonds, chopped coarse and by hand
  • 4oz almond meal / flour
  • 8c water
  • 5lb sugar
  • 10 drops rose flower water
  • 15 drops orange flower water
  • 1t almond extract


  1. Blanch whole almonds and remove the skins. (This is a ridiculously painful process that no amount of booze can soften the effects of. It also doesn’t make for much fresher or tastier orgeat. Though if you want that extra 1%, go for it, but I don’t bother.)
  2. Add almonds, almond powder, 1lb sugar, and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight.
  3. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer into another saucepan. Add remaining 4lb sugar and stir over medium heat to dissolve. No need to bring it to a simmer.
  4. Let cool to room temperature, then add orange and rose waters and almond extract. Bottle.

Orgeat Giveaway

I think I’ve paid my cocktail dues by getting a bunch of you to make your own Falernum, so I won’t go down that path this time. All you have to do this time is answer the KP Questions below, and I’ll pick one of you lovely chaps or chapettes at random and mail you a bottle of orgeat. My roommate will be quite happy for the extra fridge space.

Now, how about those non-tiki cocktails I was talking about?

Absinthe Suissesse (pictured above)

  • 2oz absinthe (used Kubler)
  • 1/2oz orgeat
  • 1 1/2oz heavy cream
  • 8 drops orange flower water
  • 1 egg white

Shake with cracked ice until your hands bleed. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tweaked from the recipe at Chuck Taggart’s Gumbo Pages

Ever since I had this lovely cocktail at Tales I haven’t been able to stop making it. It’s fluffy like a brand new pillow and creamy like a proper milkshake; an absinthe milkshake, mind you. It has one of the best aromas of any cocktail I’ve put to my nose. The orange flower water is beautifully engulfed, enhancing the bouquet rather than dominating it, and the orgeat ties everything together, offering just the right amount of sweetness to tame the absinthe.

Cameron’s Kick Cocktail

  • 1oz Scotch whisky
  • 1oz Irish whisky
  • 1/2oz lemon juice
  • 1/2oz orgeat

Shake with ice from the crusted beard of a Scotsman and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Savoy Cocktail Guide

I ended up using a wonderfully peaty Islay (Caol Ila) for this, but the orgeat and lemon matched beautifully. The almond shows up on the tongue well after your sip goes down and it’s delightful.

Orgeat Chilled Coffee

  • 4oz cold-process coffee
  • 1/2oz orgeat

Build over ice. Sip by a raging fire fueled by LTV.

KP Questions

  1. Announce your coolness if you’ve made your own orgeat!
  2. What’s your favorite orgeat cocktail

41 Responses to “How to Make Orgeat Syrup”

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41 Comments to “ How to Make Orgeat Syrup”
  1. TiareNo Gravatar says:

    I have made my own orgeat..i use the FX recipe with the blanching…maybe i dont need to do that now..

    My favorite orgeat cocktails are two:

    One is the Mai Tai, the other is the Suissesse.

    Fluffy like a brand new pillow..the best description of the Suissesse i ever read in my life!

    Gorgeous photo! and what a glass..


  2. Dana ZiaNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, I need coolness, cause I just learned what Orgeat syrup was about 2 months ago and have been looking for it EVER since. It all began with my last visit to Maui, I drank so many Mai tais it was ridiculous. I came home and said, “I’ve got to learn to make these puppies.” That is when I found the essential ingredient to then. I live at the Oregon Coast and started first at our local liquor store. Nope, hadn’t even heard of it. Next I went to Portland and went to 5 different liquor stores, and they gave me the same mystified look. I was stunned. So I limped home and used Amaretto in the Mai tai at the next party. They were good, but not authentic. Sooooo now you’ve heard my sad story, SEND ME A BOTTLE! Please? Happy to get your recipe!

  3. tkwNo Gravatar says:

    i’ve made a pseudo-orgeat with store-bought almond milk and orange peel. i’ve also made a version with sesame seeds…interesting, not sure it totally worked.

    my favorite orgeat drink is the kaffir fling from west restaurant in vancouver. recipe available via google search. i’ve made a lazy version that is loved by many including my mom.

    2 oz vodka
    1 oz lime
    3/4 oz orgeat
    2 coins ginger
    2-5 kaffir lime leaves

    muddle the ginger and lime leaves, add remaining ingredients, shake with ice, strain.

  4. jasonNo Gravatar says:

    I would love to enter the contest, but don’t have a recipe to offer. I do have a question though…where in the world did you get that amazing cocktail glass?

  5. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    How on earth did you know I was wanting to try making my own orgeat? Thanks for the recipe!

  6. AKNo Gravatar says:

    1. I haven’t yet, alas. I’m busy with the pimento dram, as far as homebrewing goes.

    2. I have to side with the suisse, but I also have to admit I’m a total sucker for a good absinthe drink regardless of anything else.

  7. Doug WinshipNo Gravatar says:

    While I’m hardly Mr. Fresh Ingredients, the freshness of your almonds is very important. It’s almost impossible to have any assurance of this from any grocery store, no matter how toney it might be. Unless you have a specialty nut store, I’d recommend buying them mail order from a producer.
    As a bonus, they usually sell them slivered and blanched already!
    Oh, and here’s link to my post on making Orgeat (because I can!), and a link to the most fun thing I’ve made with Orgeat, Chatham Artillery Punch!

    Oh, and Dana, if Rick doesn’t have pity on you, you can get reasonably decent commercial orgeat on Amazon or from Finest Call.

  8. OrrNo Gravatar says:

    1. Sadly, no. But do I get cool points for making my own vermouth? With a chai spice profile? Mix equal parts with XO brandy; stir and strain; twist of orange — that’s the eponymous house drink at Saint Bernard. (Vermouth recipe forthcoming.)

    2. My favorite orgeat cocktail was recently on vacation; a bartender at a pastis bar made something very similar to Absinthe Suissesse, though with Ricard and sans orange flower water. More straightforward but delicious.

  9. 1. I haven’t made any yet, as I’m just now tapping Blair’s, having recently polished off the last of the Fee’s. Onward and upward!

    2. And, self-congratulatory or not, my favorite orgeat cocktail is still the Procrastinator.

    P.S. Your hedonism bot link has some extraneous characters that break its function.

  10. NidhiNo Gravatar says:

    Hey! Unfortunately I just did not know that orgeat syrup can be made at home. My husband would buy it!! This post has been an eye opener:-). Cocktails…..I don’t know, hubby’s the bartender in this house. I love it in my cheesecake though;-)

  11. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Tiare, Try it w/o the blanching and let me know if you can tell a difference. Erik adds apricot kernels to his, which makes it exceptionally tasty. I’m going to do that next time. He also doesn’t add in the almond meal, so the color is much more golden (like on fx cuisine)
    Dana, Sounds like quite the quest! What rum and curacao are you using in your mai tais?
    tkw, Have you tried it with a white rum or gin instead of the vodka? I bet it’d be delicious.
    Jason, I picked up the glass for 79 cents at Goodwill yesterday.
    Joe, Cheers!
    AK, Making your own pimento dram… wonderful! Which recipe are you using?
    Doug, The Chatham was friggin’ delightful. Thanks again for sharing!
    Orr, What style of vermouth?
    John, Haven’t made orgeat but force cardamom foams on me? :)
    Nidhi, Go for it… nearly any cocktail ingredient can be made at home.

  12. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    You might get me to do this. What’s the yield?

  13. PetterNo Gravatar says:

    1. Inspired by Tiare’s blog, I have made orgeat I think 4 times now with a lot of tweaking and testing between the runs. In the last version I blanche the little nuts to have a milky white result that you can see in the painting “the Carafe of Orgeat” ;) I use bitter almond instead of almond extract. I blend everything in a blender, then heat and strain it several times without much wait. Then put in sugar and orange and rose water. For me fine chopping in a blender lead to more milky oil and full flavor then letting it stand overnight. I never got hold of any almond flour, which may account for some differences. I would like to try with some preservatives to make it last longer. I freeze it to make it last longer but the I have to plan ahead half an hour or so before mixing: Not good!

    2. Scorpion bowl is currently my favorite orgeat drink. I have used your recipe comparison so many times! Steve Crane’s version is crazy good. I have also made a reduced version of the scorpion to be able to compare ingredients with less factors involved: 4cl rum, 4 cl lemon juice, 2 cl orgeat poured over ice cubes.

  14. ZuckervatiNo Gravatar says:

    This is the recipe I tried with some moderate success. It involved adding brandy to the almond milk:

    – 300g blanched whole almonds
    – 400ml water
    – 2 tsp rose flower water
    – 1 tsp orange flower extract
    – 1 tsp almond extract
    – 100ml brandy
    – 2:1 sugar syrup to fill 750ml

    1. Mix almonds and water in blender and blend quickly, until the almonds are coarsely chopped.
    2. Pour into a large bowl, cover and set aside for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
    3. Strain through cheesecloth.
    4. Add the rose water and extracts, and brandy.
    5. Fill a 750ml bottle with the mix, and top it off with the 2:1 sugar syrup).
    6. Seal the bottle and shake it until mixed.

  15. The ConciergeNo Gravatar says:

    I have not made own orgeat as of it. Closest that I have come is improvised orgeat done by adding drops of orange flower water with dropper bottle to a Kassatly Almond Syrup, which I picked up at Kalustyans in New York.

    Although I think your question begs for a call for an unusual drink, I don’t think anything can beat a good Mai Tai with Orgeat (or improvised version) and Creole Shrubb.

    Great stuff on this site!

  16. 1. I’ve made orgeat using Erik Ellestad’s recipe. I’ve done this once and only once because I hated blanching the almonds.

    2. I can’t get past the Mai Tai as my favorite cocktail with orgeat. It’s just too perfect of a drink.

  17. […] you haven’t ever eaten a handful of freshly-roasted almonds. Learn how to make it over at Kaiser Penguin. (Sidenote: Trader Tiki mentions a orgeat syrup made with cane sugar and vanilla beans… fuck […]

  18. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    1) I have made my own orgeat using a compination of the recipes from the Art of Drink and the Underhill Lounge.
    2) My favorite drink with orgeat is Gary Reagan’s Mai Tai #2 which I found here. My daughter also invented a tasty nonalcoholic concoction she calls a Porgy – Half Pineapple juice, half orange juice a shot of orgeat, shake it up in a shaker with ice, pour it into a clear glass and add a little homemade grenadine (and some lime juice if you don’t want it quite so sweet)

  19. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    My grocery store sells almond meal in the bulk section, which cuts out some of the more onerous steps. And if you live some place warm like I do, keep it in the refridgerator, there is nothing so sad as discovering your perfect batch or orgeat has molded.

  20. BrianNo Gravatar says:

    1. I have made my own orgeat — Art of the Drink recipe. I actually blanched for two batches, and then went pre-blanched.

    2. I like the Japanese per Jerry Thomas. And it includes Boker’s bitters — the homemade ingredient I am most proud of!

  21. sufferingbasterdNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve tried the Monin, Collins, and Torani brands of orgeat, with my favorite being the Torani which I pick up at a coffee house type establishment. I have made Falernum and was quite pleased with the outcome; alas Ive never had a commercially produced version.
    A couple of my favorite cocktails with orgeat would be the Scorpion via Bob Crane’s Luau, and obviously the Mai Tai, (fresh mint!!!) and a version I’ve had fun with using Burbon and Lemon in place of the lime, that I’ve taken to calling “Mai Old Kentucky Home” which I look forward to introducing a few people to on Derby day. Try it and see!

  22. AKNo Gravatar says:

    Herr Penguin,
    I’m using Chuck Taggart’s recipe… kinda. I can’t find Lemon Hart 151 anywhere in Chicago, so I used Wray & Nephew instead. Now I’m on that painful month of waiting. Meanwhile I picked up the St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, which will be good for comparison. I need more drinks for it, though…

  23. ScottesNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve made my own orgeat many times. I blanched my own almonds once – ONCE – and will never do that again.

    After using numerous recipes, I now use the FXCuisine recipe, though I no longer read it as I’m working so my results aren’t exact. In an emergency, I’ll toss a little Orange Flower Water into a bottle of Monin and call it “more than close enough.”

    My favorite drinks using orgeat are the Mai Tai – of course – and drinking it straight. OK, I don’t guzzle it, but a teaspoon of homemade orgeat is pretty freaking good.


  24. AKNo Gravatar says:

    Woo! My allspice dram is finally ready! I think I actually like it better than the St. Elizabeth’s – not so sharp, and a lot more brown sugar. Mm.

    I don’t have enough drinks for it though! Any ideas?

  25. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Cheers on making your own pimento dram! Which recipe did you follow?

    An abundance of allspice drinks await you! Here’s one of my favorites. Gabe from cocktailnerd whipped this one up:

    Sleigh Ride

    • 1oz dark rum
    • 1oz gin
    • 3/4oz pimento dram
    • 1oz lime juice
    • 3/4oz orgeat
    • 1 egg
    • shake like hell

  26. That’s a great recipe, I used it and it made an absolutely delicious orgeat syrup. Gorgeous photo, what a cool glass.

  27. GeoffCNo Gravatar says:

    OK, so I made my first batch of orgeat last night. Though I have a couple questions concerning the orange flower water and rose water. Mainly, I’m not sensing any of their flavor in the finished orgeat. Do I add more? And, are you supposed to actually taste or smell them in the orgeat. I’ve tasted store bought versions and never really tasted them in orgeat, but I chalked that up to them being store bought.

  28. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Geoff, Did you add the rose and orange flower waters when the orgeat was still hot? The aroma and flavor will dissipate fairly quickly if you don’t wait until the syrup is room temperature.

    You don’t taste them as much as smell them, though.

  29. GeoffCNo Gravatar says:

    well… it wasn’t quite room temperature, let’s call it luke warm.

  30. weskiNo Gravatar says:

    I am not cool as I have only mastered simple syrup, but I love real frosty mai tais. I found an old Trader Vic bartender and he makes great ones, but won’t share his recipe…

    I’d love your extra orgeat as I have no idea where to find almond flour or almond and orange flower waters.

  31. SBJNo Gravatar says:

    Did I miss the yield for this? Wondering just how much syrup 5 lbs. of sugar puts out! Thanks.

  32. JonNo Gravatar says:

    I made orgeat after seeing it on Scottes (probably misspelled, my apologies.) I did, in fact, blanche over 2 pounds of almonds, ground them in my blender (nearly broke it), then soaked and strained through cheese cloth and paper towels. I made too much almond milk however, and used 1 cup of sugar instead of 2 in a 750 ml bottle. I also used a hint of rose flower water (orange flower water being hard to come by). The result: I have a tan liquid that forms a dark offwhite layer at the top of its bottle when it settles. I figure these would only come out if I use a coffee filter. Next time, I’m going to order some of those nylon straining bags and soak the almonds in the water that way; i’ll somehow find a way to get the ultra fine particulate matter out, just not sure how. The orgeat is light and flavorful, could be slightly sweeter, but then again, it had too little sugar.

    I only use it in mai tai’s and the occasional odd other cocktail that calls for it. I have also used it in a mai-tai like drink that replaces the rum with soco, also tried a mai-tai with jack daniels instead of rum. Was it worth it? Probably not, but I like my mai-tai’s.

  33. […] blueberry flavored, or simply regular vodka) 1 oz cherry juice 3/4 oz sweet vermouth 3/4 oz orgeat (here’s a recipe to make it at home) 1/2 oz fresh lime juice 1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur 1/2 tsp absinthe (I used […]

  34. […] (orgeat and curacao) aren’t even available in Canada.  If you want to make orgeat this recipe by Rick of Kaiser Penguin is one I’ve used and it’s good. The closest thing we have to […]

  35. […] I last wrote about how to make orgeat syrup my coffers have been oozing with the stuff. It was a good product, completely functional, and […]

  36. […] familiar being the Mai Tai and the Japanese Cocktail.  There are several homemade recipes (like Rick’s and Darcy’s) as well as (recently) several commercial productions.  Lacking sufficient time to […]

  37. scottNo Gravatar says:

    My favorite cocktail using orgeat would have to be a harvest moon cocktail. 1.5 Lairds Applejack Brady, 0.5 orgeat, 0.5 lime juice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Oh so tasty!!

  38. feiNo Gravatar says:


  39. yeufNo Gravatar says:


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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com