Orgeat is a milky syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water. It does not contain alcohol and is extensively used as a sweetener in cocktails and mocktails. It was initially prepared with a barley-almond mix, but later on, people observed that almonds would give a rich flavor than that of the grain. Thus, it can be used in desserts and bakery products as well.
History of orgeat
Orgeat originates from the French word “orge,” which implies barley and has roots derived from the Latin word “hordeaceus,” which means made with barley. Earlier in the 18th century, it was used as an ingredient in bakery products, whereas, in the 19th century, it was served as a beverage. However, by the end of the 20th century, people preferred using it as a sweetener to a drink. In middle east countries, orgeat is called rozata served at parties and weddings as a representation of joy, togetherness, and celebration. In Italy, it is known as orzata, a very famous syrup base used for an Italian soda.
Uses of orgeat syrup
Nowadays, orgeat syrup is widely used as a sweetener, and a small quantity of syrup, around ½ to 1 ounce, is required as per the recipe’s requirements. The syrup is often mixed with cocktails and was regarded as one of the almond-flavored syrups used in cocktails before amaretto’s arrival. Orgeat syrup is a popular sugar substitute for non-alcoholic beverages like lemonade and fruit drinks. In addition, it can be utilized in pie filling and is often seasoned over desserts and fruit salads.
What does orgeat taste like?
Orgeat is commonly described as having a sweet and nutty taste. Although, it may differ in flavor to a certain extent due to the type of orgeat brand used. Sometimes it is linked to marzipan, which is lesser sweet. Therefore, its multi-dimensional flavor is suitable for different cocktails. Orgeat syrup is not the same as almond syrup, as the latter is simple syrup, and the former is a cocktail mixer and can be blended well with orange or rose water.
How is it prepared?
Orgeat was made from almonds, which gave a great flavor, but also their oil helped create a shelf-stable product that happened to be a huge commercial success in pre-refrigeration time. In addition, with evolving time, a few more flavorings such as rose water and orange were introduced in orgeat recipes. Furthermore, commercial orgeats are prepared from apricot kernels instead of almonds as of now. Most bartenders prefer designing their orgeat and customizing its taste as per their preferences.
The procedure of homemade orgeat
To begin with, blend almonds with water to obtain an almond-flavored, milky drink. Next, use almond milk as a base for orgeat and simmer the milk with sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, add either orange water or rose water, whichever you please, with a bit of brandy. Stir, put it in a bottle, and refrigerate, and your orgeat is ready to be served. In the entire procedure, you need not worry about chopping, and grinding nuts and steeping can be avoided entirely at the same time. Perhaps, it is the easiest method to prepare orgeat without having to deal with complicated steps.
A must-have for some popular cocktails
Many classic cocktails cannot be prepared without the inclusion of orgeat, making it one of the popular ingredients. American traditional beverages such as tiki drink and mai tai have acquired immense popularity owing to the presence of orgeat. Let’s have a look at the recipe of the American classic drink mai tai.
Recipe of mai tai cocktail
The mai tai is one of the most famous American cocktails whose literal meaning is “out of the world.” The cocktail’s name is derived from Tahitian expression, which its first consumer uttered while taking its first sip.
- 1-ounce white rum
- ½ ounce orange juice
- 1-ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ orgeat syrup
- ¼ ounce any available syrup
- Dark Jamaican rum
- Few slices of lime for garnishing
- Fresh mint for garnishing
Steps to make it
- Collect all the ingredients.
- Pour the rum, orange juice, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and the other syrup into a cocktail mixer. Add around 2 cups of crushed ice with the other ingredients.
- Keep shaking until you observe that the shaker is frosty.
- Now everything is to be poured into an old-fashioned double glass.
- Float the dark rum on the top by gently pouring it over the back of a spoon.
- Once you’re done with all the above steps, garnish it with fresh lime and mint sprig.
Where to get it
Since orgeat is a versatile ingredient and has witnessed growing popularity in bars over several decades, it gets easier to get your hands on it online and in liquor stores. Do make sure to read labels properly to distinguish between original almond-flavored syrup and adulterated flavorings. Even though it is expensive than other drink mixers, it can be comfortably prepared at home. If you are not fond of making your orgeat, in that case, commercial orgeat is the best fit for you. So, how can you purchase it? It is specifically accessible at most liquor shops across the US. However, if you don’t get it there, you may get this stuff online.
Having been researched and analyzed vividly with taking customers’ satisfaction into account, these five brands have been ranked one of the best orgeat syrup brands and are mainly designed for cocktails.
- Liber & Co.
- BG Reynolds
- Small Hand Foods
- Fee Brothers
Orgeat syrup needs to be refrigerated to make it long-lasting, and it remains fresh for 1 to 2 months. No sooner does it begin smelling than it should be thrown away. On the other hand, homemade orgeat syrup does not last as long as its commercial counterpart, and it may last for a couple of weeks unless a citric acid is included.