Homemade Orgeat Syrup is so easy to make and so delicious! You can really up your cocktail game with this and it's wonderful in Tiki Cocktails!
Why Make Homemade Orgeat Syrup?
You might be wondering, why should you make your own orgeat syrup, when it's so easy to just go buy a bottle?
In some cases, I make my own ingredients because the store bought ones are filled with scary ingredients - which is why I make my own Maraschino Cherries and Grenadine. But in the case of orgeat syrup, most of the ones from the store are okay, unless you go with the really cheap brands.
I make my own homemade orgeat syrup for several reasons: one - it's fun and easy, two - we can't find it any store close to us, and three - it is sooo good. It tastes so much better than the store bought.
It's so good, I'm busy right now dreaming up all the cocktails that I'm going to use it in!
My husband has been making our orgeat syrup for years. He followed a basic recipe and we thought it was good.
While sitting on the porch, sipping a cocktail and reading through a favorite cocktail book, The New Cocktail Hour, I mentioned to Mr. Sidewalk Shoes that it had a recipe for orgeat. We noticed that it had an extra ingredient - grapefruit zest.
Intrigued, we decided to give it a try and it was sooo good! Well worth the tiny extra work in using the grapefruit peel.
Ingredients in DIY Orgeat Syrup:
Demerara sugar - you can use regular white sugar, but Demerara adds a little more flavor. Demerara sugar is less processed than white and is usually darker than brown sugar with bigger grains. It has a delicate molasses flavor.
Grapefruit - you'll need the peel from half a grapefruit. Since you need to remove the peel later, it's fine to have it in longer strands, you don't need a fine zest here. Since you are using the peel, organic is preferred.
Almond Milk - plain unsweetened almond milk with minimal sodium.
Orange Flower Water - we buy our Orange Flower Water online since we have a hard time finding it at stores near us. It keeps for a long time in the refrigerator.
Optional - Vodka - you can optionally add a little vodka at the end to help preserve the orgeat syrup.
How to Make this Easy Orgeat:
This is so easy to make! The hardest part is removing some of the peel off of the grapefruit! Seriously!
Step one - remove the peel from half of a grapefruit. Place it in a bowl with the sugar and muddle it with a spoon to start releasing the oil from the grapefruit. Let sit for one hour.
Step two - add the almond milk to the sugar mixture and remove the grapefruit peel (we used chop-sticks to pick out the grapefruit peel.) Add the almond extract and orange flower water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, or do like we did and put it in a jar and shake it.
Step three - optional - add vodka to the orgeat to help preserve it. Without vodka the orgeat lasts about a week in the fridge, with the vodka, it can last about a month.
Step four - pour into a lidded bottle and store in the fridge.
Now that you've make your orgeat syrup, the next thing is to start making some yummy cocktails. Orgeat syrup is typically used in Tiki Cocktails - so this is the perfect excuse to have a tiki party!
See those tiki glasses (in the first photo) behind my orgeat, those came from my grandmother's bar! My grandmother lived in St. Louis in the 1950's and 60's and I have all sorts of tiki items from her, including some from tiki mugs and stir sticks from Trader Vic's.
Speaking of Trader Vic's, the Mai Tai (old post -will be updating with new photos next week!) was created in 1944 at Trader Vic's in California!
Some other well known orgeat cocktails are the Japanese Cocktail and the Scorpion Cocktail - both which I plan on making in the immediate future and will come back here and add the links!
Homemade Orgeat Syrup
- 1/2 cup Demerara sugar
- Peel from half a grapefruit
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 ounce almond extract
- 1/4 ounce orange flower water
- 1 ounce vodka optional
- In a bowl, combine the sugar and the grapefruit peel. Press on the peel with a spoon or a muddler to help release the oil. Let macerate for one hour.
- To the sugar and grapefruit, add the almond milk. Remove the grapefruit peel (chop-sticks or tweezers work great for this.)
- Add the almond extract and orange flower water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Or place everything in a jar and shake to dissolve the sugar.
- Optional - add one ounce of vodka to the syrup before storing in the refrigerator.