The Great Orgeat Experiment

Well, not so great, but an experiment all the same… 3 variations of home-made Orgeat Syrup.

Orgeat was one of the syrups and bitters we smuggled back from New York, and we figured that we’d run out of the syrups pretty soon so better either source some more (but this being New Zealand it might be a trifle difficult), or make our own. Even the likes of Fee Brothers’ mix had a frightening label too – see here. Basically a sweetened almond syrup with a bit of rose or orange blossom water in we figured it was worth buying a big bag of almonds and giving it a go. A trawl netted us a few recipe variations and based on what we had in the house these three made the cut for the test:


Measures & Instructions:

  • 150g almonds
  • 100ml water
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 dash (⅛ tsp) orange flower water
  • 1 dash (⅛ tsp) rose water

Toast almonds 200°C for 15mins, tossing occassionally. Smash/blend (I added a bit of the water to the blender). Add almond to pan with sugar and (remaining) water and simmer 2 min. Take off heat, cover and let sit for 12hrs. Strain through cheese cloth or similar and add rose and orange blossom water. Bottle.

You’ll need a lot of elbow grease to squeeze it out as its pretty sticky stuff. I reheated the mix a little to get it all flowing again. Also, dont bin the leftovers – its a little bit like Baclava.

link to Kaiser Penguin recipe


Measures & Instructions:

  • 180g almonds
  • 1¾ cup (430ml) tap water
  • 1¾ cup (430ml) distilled water
  • ¼ cup (65g) organic cane sugar
  • ½ oz (15ml) vodka
  • ⅛ tsp orange blossom water

Cover almonds with tap water for 30mins. Strain and blend (again i used a little of the distilled water to blend). Add mush to bowl with remaining distilled water and soak for 4-5hrs. I left it covered overnight. Strain thru cheesecloth – should be quite easy to strain and net a pretty thin “milk”. Looks and tastes like almond milk you can buy from the store – perhaps store bought stuff might work? Add sugar to liquid and mix until dissolved. Add vodka and orange blossom. Store up to 2 weeks, though im sure with the vodka in it will hopefully last longer.

link to Imbibe recipe


  • 165 g almonds
  • 265 ml water
  • 235 g sugar
  • 25 ml vodka
  • ⅛ tsp orange flower water (or rose water)

Soak almonds in water 30 mins. Discard water and blend (add a bit of water if needed). Add mix to bowl and soak for 2hrs (i left it overnight). Strain mix into cheesecloth and squeeze remaining juice out. Add juice to pan, adding sugar. Cook on gentle heat until sugar dissolved. Cool and add vodka and orange flower water. Bottle.

If you look at the original recipe in the link, you’ll see there were instructions to strain and put almonds back into water. my mix was so mushy it would have been a little difficult.

link to The Art of Drink recipe

↑ Look at the mad ingredients, vs almonds, sugar, water, rose water, vodka.