Orgeat Syrup

Once you know how to make your own Orgeat Syrup, you’ll never buy it again. It’s much less expensive to make and tastes amazing in your favorite cocktails.

closeup image of almond simple syrup with blurred bowl of almonds and green dish towel in the background

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, Feast + West receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Homemade Orgeat Syrup recipe

If there’s one ingredient that’s a staple of tiki cocktails, it’s orgeat.

A sweetened almond syrup, it brings a hint of nuttiness to tropical drinks. But its uses go far beyond tiki, as it can be paired with whiskey, tequila or even coffee.

It lends a creamy quality to drinks and helps to balance them.

While this essential ingredient can be bought, it can be pricy. It’s relatively easy to make at home with real almonds.

Why you’ll love this recipe

If you love tiki drinks, you’ll love having your own supply of this cocktail syrup with tons of nutty flavor. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Orgeat syrup is expensive to buy, but making it is so much more cost-effective.
  • Other recipes involve peeling the almonds, baking the almonds and boiling the almonds — this one takes a shortcut that is well worth it.
  • You can customize the recipe to your liking and play with adding orange blossom water or almond extract to your taste.
  • There’s no high-fructose corn syrup involved — just real ingredients!

Even though you can buy orgeat online or find it in specialty cocktail shops and liquor stores, making it yourself is so worth it. If you must buy it, Liber & Co. is my favorite brand.

orgeat syrup in a glass bottle with green dish towel spread behind it and a black bowl of almonds

What is orgeat?

Orgeat is a sweet almond syrup that is most often used in tropical cocktails. It is a staple ingredient at bars around the world, especially tiki bars.

The name comes from French. Orge comes from the French word for “barley,” and the word orgeat originally referred to the making of barley water, though over time it evolved into almond.

Orgeat is best known for its role as a key ingredient in the mai tai, a classic tiki cocktail made with two kinds of rum, lime juice and orange curaçao.

But it’s also used in other classic cocktails like the Scorpion cocktail, which is made with rum, cognac and orange juice.

But beyond the tropical spectrum of cocktails, there is still a place for orgeat at the bar.

Another classic is the classic Japanese Cocktail (which isn’t even remotely Japanese). It’s made with brandy and lemon juice.

Other uses include mixing it with whiskey, tequila and mezcal for a light, balanced flavor.

How to pronounce orgeat

Orgeat is pronounced with a soft “g” sound — or-zha or or-jah. The “g” sound is more like a soft “j,” similar to that of the word “zhuzh or “Zsa Zsa Gabor.”

The French don’t pronounce “t” sounds at the end of the word, though it’s not uncommon to hear the word pronounced “or-zhat” in English.

Ingredients

Making this milky syrup is easy to do at home. You will need a blender or food processor, a fine-mesh strainer and some cheese cloth.

Water

For any simple syrup that you plan to keep on hand in the fridge, using filtered water can help to prolong its shelf life. Tap water will also work.

image showing the difference between blanched and raw almonds

Almonds

Real almonds are the key to making this delicious almond syrup. Make sure you don’t buy salted or sugared almonds — you want them to be unflavored.

You have some choices which will affect the flavor and color of the syrup:

  • raw almonds, skin on — darker color
  • blanched almonds, toasted — medium color and richer flavor
  • blanched almonds, untoasted — lightest color

Keep in mind that blanching almonds (AKA removing the almond skins) yourself is easy and cost-effective, yet time-consuming.

Sugar

Orgeat is essentially a simple syrup recipe, which is made from sugar and water.

The type of sugar you use matters in orgeat because it affects the color of the syrup.

Brown sugar syrup is dark brown, while syrup made with white sugar or cane sugar yields a much lighter color.

You can also use half white sugar and half brown sugar if you want a medium-dark color.

Orange blossom water

A staple in Middle Eastern cooking and baking, orange blossom water is made by distilling the blossoms of the bitter orange tree.

It’s different than orange extract, which is made with the orange fruit.

Orange blossom water can be purchased at specialty shops, Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. Nielsen-Massey makes a great one.

You can also DIY orange blossom water if you can get your hands on the blooms.

Almond extract

Some added almond extract is optional. The aroma and flavor of the orgeat is strong, but if you feel yours needs a little extra oomph, you can add some additional flavor through almond extract.

Almond extract is available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle or online. My go-to brand for all things baking extracts is Nielsen-Massey.

Vodka

Optionally, you can add an ounce of vodka to the syrup as a preservative.

brown wooden cutting board holding large glass measuring cup of crushed almonds soaking in water

How to make Orgeat Syrup

Making this homemade recipe for orgeat is really easy! This tried-and-true recipe starts with a similar method to making your own almond milk, then it gets mixed into a simple syrup.

There are lots of recipes out there that involve blanching the almonds, toasting them or boiling them on the stove before infusing them in water for hours. I tried several of these methods and found them to be unnecessarily complicated.

Then I found a recipe that greatly simplified the almond infusion process. It was so easy and I knew it would become my recipe with a few tweaks. Here’s how to make homemade orgeat:

  1. First, add water and almonds to a blender or food processor. Blend until roughly chopped. You don’t want them to be super fine.
  2. Then, pour the almonds into a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and stir to combine. Let soak for 3 hours.
  3. Affix a fine-mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth until all the liquid has been filtered. Squeeze the cheesecloth to release any more liquid from the pulp, then discard.
  4. Add the mixture to a saucepan with sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Don’t boil. Remove from heat.
  5. Cool to room temperature, and stir in orange blossom water, almond extract and vodka if using.

Funnel into a clean glass jar or capped bottle and store in the fridge for up to one month. Settling is normal, so always shake well before using.

homemade orgeat syrup in a tall glass bottle with a bowl of almonds on a green dish towel

Variations and substitutions

Sugar-free orgeat: Orgeat is best with real sugar, but if you needed a sugar-free version, you could try making a sugar-free syrup with your favorite sugar substitute.

Floral orgeat: Add rose water instead of orange blossom water (or do half and half) for a floral twist.

Vanilla orgeat: Add vanilla extract instead of almond extract for some sweet flavor. This would be perfect for holiday tiki drinks like this Christmas Mai Tai.

Orgeat with other nuts: Some craft cocktail bars are making their own orgeat variations with nuts other than almonds, such as peanuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pistachios and pecans.

Orgeat with seeds: Other bars are making orgeat syrups with seeds like toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds). You can really have fun with this!

almond syrup in glass bottle with black bowl of almonds on green dish towel and several scattered almonds

Uses for orgeat

Beyond the original Mai Tai and the Scorpion, there are so many other delicious cocktails that use orgeat.

Another great tiki drink to try is the Rambler’s Ruby or the Fog Cutter. The latter is a tiki classic created by Trader Vic in the 1940s.

But its uses go beyond tiki drinks!

  • Mix it into a classic old-fashioned for an almond twist.
  • The Trinidad Sour is a spin on the classic whiskey sour with rye whiskey and orgeat.
  • Use it to sweeten your morning coffee for a hint of almond flavor.

More cocktail syrup recipes

almond syrup in glass bottle with black bowl of almonds on green dish towel and several scattered almonds

Orgeat Syrup

Yield: Approximately 1 liter
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Infusion Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Homemade orgeat syrup is easy to make with real almonds, sugar and orange blossom water. Add it to your tiki drinks or use it to dream up new cocktail creations.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound almonds
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ounce vodka

Instructions

  1. Add almonds and cold water to a blender. Blend until roughly chopped.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with boiling water. Stir to combine. Let soak for 3 hours.
  3. Affix a fine-mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth until all the liquid has been filtered. Squeeze the cheesecloth to release any more liquid from the pulp, then discard.
  4. Add the mixture to a saucepan with sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Don’t boil. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in orange blossom water and almond extract.
  6. Funnel into a jar or bottle. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Notes

Settling is normal. Shake well before using.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!