(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
- 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.)
- Add almonds, almond powder, 1lb sugar, and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight.
- 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.
- Let cool to room temperature, then add orange and rose waters and almond extract. Bottle.
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.
- Announce your coolness if you’ve made your own orgeat!
- What’s your favorite orgeat cocktail