Orgeat Recipe

Photograph: silver-john on Shutterstock

Orgeat (pronounced "or-zsa," like Zsa Zsa Gabor) is like liquid marzipan. While it's best known as a part of a good Mai Tai, this almond syrup is also an exotic substitute for simple syrup or grenadine in mixed drinks or a fun addition to pie fillings, milk shakes, and even coffee.

Notes: Store in the refrigerator, for no more than 1 month. This orgeat is darker in color than some other recipes because the skins are left on the almonds. I like the richer color and extra almond flavor this adds. If you prefer a sweeter, milky-white orgeat, use blanched almonds. Since there are oils in almonds, the syrup will separate. Shake before each use. Orange flower water can be found at some grocery stores and Mediterranean markets, as well as online.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Makes: 300 ml (1 1/4 cups)

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  • 2 cups raw almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 1 ounce vodka


  1. Toast almonds at 400°F (200°C) for 4 minutes, shaking after 2 minutes.

  2. Cool almonds and then pulverize them with a blender or food processor.

    pulverized almonds
  3. In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. Add pulverized almonds and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently. When mixture is about to boil, remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for a minimum of 3 hours and no more than 12 hours.

  5. Strain steeped mixture through three layers of cheesecloth into a bowl, squeezing the cloth as you go.

    using a cheesecloth to make orgeat
  6. Add orange flower water and vodka, then stir. Funnel into glass jar or bottle.

Special equipment

Blender or food processor, cheesecloth

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