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Ingredient Forward: Orgeat, what’s that?

November 8, 2023

What is this ingredient we’re seeing on so many cocktail menus across the world? Priya Pathiyan finds out what it is and why you should get on board the great orgeat trend.

Still stuck using simple syrup in your cocktails? Try orgeat instead. It’s quickly becoming the choice of mixologists worldwide because it is an easy way to add depth and flavour to a drink. Basically an almond syrup made by emulsifying blanched almonds and sugar in water, orgeat brings a sweet nuttiness to the mix.


Cocktails taste richer when you swap out the sugar syrup with orgeat. Image: KamranAydinov/Freepik.


Bartenders have found that the way it adds viscosity to liquid is also a way to add a smooth and pleasurable mouthfeel to cocktails. While it is often paired with rum because the flavour profile is a natural fit, many are experimenting with whiskey, gin, vodka, and even with low- or zero-ABV drinks that use carbonated water or tonic.


Orgeat is nutty AND nice! Image: jcomp/Freepik.

Orgeat for the win!

Say it: Orgeat is pronounced ‘awjheawt’.

Make it: Stir a cup of sugar into 1.5 cups quantity of water and boil in a thick-bottomed pan. Blanch 1.5 cups of almonds and grind to a fine paste. Add this to the boiling sugar syrup and simmer for five minutes. After it cools, add a half teaspoon of orange flower water. Chill overnight (or longer) and then sieve. To protect those with nut allergies, you can also make a toasted rice orgeat.

Store it: Poured into an airtight container, it will remain fresh for about a fortnight. Add a couple of tablespoons of vodka with the orange flower water to double its shelf life.

Use it: Be it a commercial establishment or a home bar, keeping orgeat handy will stand you in good stead. Not only does it add value and a lip-smackingly delish flavour to your creations, but will also establish that you’re on-trend!


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