This is the Last Orgeat Recipe You’ll Ever Need. Seriously.
Orgeat… what can I say about orgeat that hasn’t already been said? The creamy, unctuous almond syrup can offer some absolutely banging flavor to your tropical cocktails that’s impossible to get any other way.
This particular recipe isn’t the fastest but it is the BEST and most versatile. You should make it. You should drink it. Put it in everything.
What the heck is Orgeat anyway?
At its core, Orgeat is a nut-milk based syrup classically made with almonds. Howeverrr, many other nuts and seeds make excellent orgeat so experimentation is most definitely encouraged here.
For example, you can check out our Toasted Cashew Orgeat recipe that includes coconut-palm sugar and toasted cashew milk we made for our Thai twist on the king of classic tiki cocktails: the Mai Tai.
Now that that’s out of the way, how do we make this stuff?
For our very, VERY good Orgeat recipe you will need:
We prefer to use unsalted, un-roasted, un-blanched, all-natural almonds! Starting from unadulterated nuts gives you the most control when making your orgeat, however, it is completely okay to use any almond you can get your hands on. Just make note of how they have been treated and adjust accordingly! Example: Salted almonds can skip the additional salt we add to our recipe.
We typically use white sugar in many recipes because we find it’s the most accessible, consistent, and provides the least amount of character in the final taste. For an orgeat, we achieve roasty, toasty depth of flavor by toasting our nuts before soaking them. A more flavorful sugar such as turbinado, raw cane, or even a light brown sugar will provide a deeper, richer flavor but can overpower the flavor of the toasted almond. We can’t have the backup singer overshadow our true star of the show.
It’s super annoying of me I know, BUT water IS an ingredient in this recipe and it’s important to note that it will impart some flavor to your final product. We recommend distilled or filtered water for the cleanest expression but you do you!
A touch of salt is ALWAYS welcome. It’s an incredibly effective and often overlooked way to intensify all the flavors in pretty much anything! Don’t forget to ask yourself; ”Where’s the salt?!”
Many Orgeat recipes call for a shot of brandy to help intensify the woody notes and provide a little extra fortification to help extend the shelf life. While a nice aged cognac will be superb in this recipe, feel free to sub out any aged spirit you have on hand! We find that aged rums and bonded bourbons work fantastically. Heck! We have even added a dash of alpine liqueur in the past. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the norm and find a unique twist of your own!
Rosewater is simply water infused with rose petals that is very prevalent in Persian cuisine. It’s also used in cosmetics and even in religious practices in Asia and Europe. This is the most obscure ingredient on the list but it really does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the equation that will be missed once you’ve tasted the beautiful floral notes it sings in the top end of this syrup. You can absolutely use Orange Blossom Water here if you don’t have rose water on hand.
Some Ingredient Recs:
Why choose between Rose Water and Orange Blossom when you can have both! Cortas is our personal favorite brand
You will find the best price on almonds in the bulk section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find raw almonds, there are plenty of good options online.
What do I use Orgeat for?
Orgeat is most famously used in tiki and tropical drinks (we’re looking at you Mai Tai), but I think that is unfair to the potential of Orgeat. There are so many incredible cocktails that use orgeat like the Trinidad Sour, Army & Navy, and an endless possibility of bespoke cocktails. Use it in your coffee or drizzle it on your ice cream. You could even experiment with cooking it down into a caramel. I mean, get creative! This orgeat deserves it.
Some Equipment Recs:
How long does orgeat last?
Homemade orgeat will easily last 1 month in the fridge, but if you fortify your syrup with a little booze then it will last much longer. Always be sure to use your senses when determining if your cocktail syrup is still okay to use and make sure it passes the “Smell Test”.
How much does it cost to make homemade almond milk and how much does it cost to make orgeat?
We purchased a large bag of off-brand raw, whole almonds at about $0.31 per ounce. Our recipe yields 2 cups of almond milk using only 1 cup of almonds (about 6 ounces or 175g), totalling the price of our homemade almond milk to $1.92 or $0.12 per ounce.
Adding the 2 cups (400g) of sugar at $0.54 and a barspoon (1/2 tsp.) of rose water at $0.05 gives a grand total of $2.51 for about 3 cups of homemade orgeat syrup. Not bad… and the flavor will far surpass any orgeat syrup you can buy, we solemnly swear.
- 1 Cup or 175g Almonds
- 2 Cups or 400g White Sugar
- 2 Cups or 475g Water
- 1 Large Pinch Kosher Salt
- 1 oz or 30ml Aged Liquor
- 1/2 tsp or 3ml Rosewater
- Take 1 cup or 175 grams of almonds and toast over medium heat in a dry pan until fragrant.
- Cover toasted almonds with water and place in an airtight container to soften for approx. 24 hours.
- Drain soaked almonds, reserving the liquid. Add fresh water to reserved liquid until you have 2 cups or 475 grams of liquid.
- Add soaked almonds and 2 cups of liquid to a blender and blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth and ”milky”.
- Strain out solids using a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. (be sure to press all the milk from the solids!)
- Add toasted almond milk to a pot along with an equal amount (2 cups/400g) of white sugar.
- Simmer on medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and syrup is lightly frothy.
- Things should be smelling pretty divine about now, allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Add rosewater and aged liquor, stir to combine.
- Enjoy! Keep Orgeat refrigerated in an airtight container for around a month!
You may sub out any unsalted nut for this recipe! Seriously! GO NUTS!