Orgeat Syrup is a key ingredient in some of the most classic cocktails (tiki drinks especially). It’s easy to make at home and keep in the refrigerator ready for summer drink making!
The quality of ingredients can make the difference between a so-so cocktail and a GREAT cocktail.
Almond orgeat syrup is an essential ingredient in many specialty cocktails like the classic Mai Tai or Planter’s Punch.
This homemade orgeat syrup recipe is a sweetened almond syrup that’s easy to make in small batches at home.
Have your own orgeat on the ready for tropical cocktails at home. It’s much more tasty than the shelf-stable substitute from liquor stores.
After reading this you’ll see how easy it is to make and have a list of great ways to use it too.
What is Orgeat Syrup?
It’s a delicious French almond syrup made with almonds, sugar and orange blossom water.
The light mix of almond and orange blossom make a wonderful versatile syrup that are popular in many cocktails.
The most well-known of which is the tropical Mai Tai. But that’s just a start!
The origins of this syrup was derived from Latin to French and the french form of the word translates to ‘ barley water ‘.
Another derivation resulted in the Spanish word horchata but there is nothing similar about the two.
How to Pronounce ‘Orgeat’
Have you ever use Orgeat (pronounced or-zha for the French pronunciation or or-zhat) in your home cocktails?
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
The ingredients in orgeat are simple and easy to find in grocery stores.
This recipe uses blanched slivered almonds which are already prepared. They create a milky cloudy liquid and subtle flavor.
Slivered Almonds. Blanched almonds have the skins removed which gives nutty flavor without bitter almonds.
Granulated Sugar. Pure cane sugar gives a light sweetness.
Orange Flower Water (also known as Orange Blossom Water). A little orange flower water gives homemade orgeat syrup recipes the perfect flavor.
Vodka. Use unflavored vodka.
If you are in a DIY mood, you can even make your own orange flower water too!
What does Orgeat Taste Like?
It has almond flavor with a bit of a floral flavor from either orange blossom or rose water (one of the two are used).
Since this recipe uses blanched almonds the bitterness found in almond skins is absent.
The specialty syrup combines natural flavors for a light almond touch.
How to Make Orgeat Syrup – Step by Step
STEP 1. Roast the almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, dull side facing up.
Place the almonds in a single layer on the prepared pan.
Roast the almonds for 3 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through cooking.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.
Process through a food processor or blender into small pieces.
STEP 2. Make the syrup
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar.
Add the almonds; remove from the heat. Cover and allow to infuse for 3 hours.
Drain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
Stir in the orange blossom water and vodka.
Pour into jars or bottles, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
How to Store Orgeat
Store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
NOTE: the syrup will separate while it sits. Just shake the container gently before using to mix together.
Cocktails with Orgeat
The fun begins when fresh Orgeat is in the fridge waiting to be mixed into delicious cocktails!
Here are some to try (click cocktail title for the recipe):
Mai Tai. This classic tropical cocktail is most commonly associated with traveling to Hawaii. No need to board a plane. Whip this up at home for a mini vacation vibe.
Cape Cod Cooler (recipe below). This refreshing sipper combines cranberry, 2 types of gin, lime and orgeat for a perfect summer cocktail.
Scorpion. Another Tiki drink with rum, brandy, citrus juices and orgeat. Blended with crushed ice and it tastes like a tropical vacation.
Japanese Cocktail. A classic cocktail to use orgeat that is simple to make. Cognac, orgeat and bitters.
Bermuda Hundred. If a Mai Tai and a Negroni had a baby…
Planter’s Punch. Rum, orange juice, apple juice and orgeat. Yum.
1001 Cocktails has a collection of cocktails using Orgeat Syrup. It’s a great resource when searching for drinks using a specific ingredient or a specific cocktail too!
More recipes to try!
Orgeat Syrup + Cape Cod Cooler cocktail
Ingredients for Homemade Orgeat Syrup:
- 2 cups Slivered Almonds
- 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Orange Flower Water*
- 1 ounce Vodka unflavored
Ingredients for Cape Cod Cooler cocktails:
- 4 ounces Sloe Gin (may substitute plum brandy if needed)
- 2 ounces Gin
- 1 ounce Lime Juice
- 1 ounce Homemade Orgeat Syrup
- 10 ounces Cranberry Cocktail
- 2 slices fresh Lime (garnish)
Instructions for Homemade Orgeat Syrup:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, dull side facing up. Place the almonds in one layer on the prepared pan.
- Roast the almonds for 3 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully. Once cooled process through a food processor or blender into small pieces.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the nuts and remove from the heat. Cover and allow to infuse for 3 hours (note: can be infused longer for a deeper flavor but no longer than 12 hours).
- Drain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Stir in the orange blossom water and vodka. Pour into jars or bottles, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Instructions for Cape Cod Cooler cocktails:
- Fill two 14 ounce Collins glasses half to ¾ full of crushed ice. Add 2 ounces slow gin, 1 ounce gin, ½ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce orgeat and 5 ounces of cranberry cocktail to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into one of the prepared glasses. Repeat for the second cocktail. Garnish with a lime slice.
Originally published: April 18, 2017. This post was originally sponsored by Nielsen-Massey.