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Orgeat is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails such as one of my favourites, the Mai Tai. Orgeat is essentially a sweet almond syrup with orange flower water.
As with all cocktails and ingredients, there are numerous different methods for making orgeat. A popular method calls for using blanched almonds but I wanted a richer, darker orgeat so I toasted my almonds.
Firstly, I started by making a sugar syrup which is equal parts (by weight) sugar and water. It’s easy to make but if you want a quick guide, see how to make sugar syrup here.
The orgeat recipe below will make approximately 1.5L.
- 500 grams of almonds
- 800g Sugar
- 800g Water
- 2 tablespoons of orange flower water
- 100mL of Vodka, Brandy or Rum (optional – this will make your orgeat keep longer)
1. Make a sugar syrup
2. Toast your almonds
3. Crush your almonds with a rolling pin or blitz them quickly in a blender
4. Add the toasted almonds to your sugar syrup
5. Stir the sweetened almond syrup over a low heat, don’t let it boil
6. Leave over the heat for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a jug.
7. Strain through a sieve or if you prefer a smoother syrup, use a cheesecloth to strain. Make sure you squeeze the cheesecloth to get all the oils from the almonds. As you can see below, I went for the easier/lazy method of straining quickly through a sieve).
8. Add the orange flower water and optional vodka/brandy/rum
You’ll notice how dark the orgeat is in comparison to the store bought orgeat due to the toasting method, it was also kept over the heat for a longer period to extract all the oils.