Orgeat is a unique cocktail syrup that’s worth adding to your collection! Here’s more about orgeat syrup and how to use it in cocktails.
Making a cocktail that calls for orgeat, or wondering what it is? A few years ago after ordering a fancy cocktail with it listed in the ingredients, and we had to Google it. Turns out, it’s an almond cocktail syrup with hundreds of years of history. The nutty, citrus vanilla flavor can’t fully be replicated by anything else. After buying a bottle and working with it in our home bar, we came to agree: it’s truly something special. Here’s all about orgeat syrup, where to buy it and how to use it in cocktails!
What is orgeat?
Orgeat syrup is a non-alcoholic almond syrup used for sweetening cocktails and mocktails. It’s made from almonds, sugar, and orange flower water, and has a long history of use in cocktails and bartending. The first printed recipe for orgeat was in a cookbook from 1864, called the The English and Australian Cookery Book. It’s been used in cocktails throughout history, and is most famous for its use in the Mai Tai.
How do you pronounce orgeat? Say Or-ZHAAT in your best French accent, where the “ZH” is like the J in the name Jacque.
What does orgeat taste like?
Orgeat has a distinctive nutty flavor with a hint of citrus. Some people liken it to liquid marzipan. It adds a distinct complexity to drinks, and it’s so unique that there’s not a great substitute. Look for it at your local liquor store or online: it’s absolutely worth purchasing.
Should I make homemade orgeat?
No. At least, that’s our opinion! You can make homemade orgeat, but it takes several hours and several steps. You also need lots of almonds and a bottle of orange flower water, which ends up being more expensive than just buying a bottle.
Orgeat is a common cocktail ingredient and available at most liquor stores, so why not buy it? It’s only about $10, and there are lots of great brands out there. It’s also more shelf stable to buy storebought. So skip the homemade recipe and grab a bottle!
How much does it cost?
Orgeat is fairly inexpensive: a bottle usually costs about $10. We used a 8 ounce bottle made by Small Hand Foods and it has great flavor. Here’s a link to buy orgeat syrup online. Some reputable brands are Torani, Monin, Luxardo, and Small Hand Foods.
Most popular orgeat cocktails
Orgeat is used in both cocktails and mocktails. You can use it in one of the drinks below, or you can simply use it in place of simple syrup in any recipe for a nutty spin! Keep in mind you may have to add a little more orgeat than simple syrup, since it’s not quite as sweet.
Here’s how to make the original Mai Tai recipe! Gather the ingredients for this tropical rum drink that’s as complex as it is fruity.
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) aged rum
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) orange liqueur: Curaçao, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) lime juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) orgeat syrup
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) dark rum
- For the garnish: Fresh mint, cocktail cherry, pineapple slice, lime wedge
- Place the aged rum, orange liqueur, lime juice, and orgeat syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until cold.
- Strain the drink into an ice-filled glass. Top with the dark rum. Garnish with fresh mint, a lime wedge, cocktail cherry and pineapple slice.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: Orgeat, Orgeat syrup, Orgeat cocktails
More cocktail guides
Need more liquor guides? We’ve got them! Here’s all you need to know about home bartending:
- Absinthe Guide This formerly banned liquor is now in good graces.
- Aperol Guide and Campari Guide All you need to know about these Italian liqueurs.
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- Chartreuse Guide This pale green liqueur is worth adding to your collection…here’s why.
- Cointreau Guide, Blue Curacao Guide, or Orange Liqueur Guide Citrus liqueurs…broken down.
- Galliano Guide Is this bright yellow liqueur worth buying?
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- Fernet Branca Guide Here’s why people love this Italian bitter.
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About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.