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At Home Mixology - How to Make Orgeat Syrup

14/10/2014 10:58 BST | Updated 13/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Orgeat syrup, it's delicious, it's got great colour, and these days it's definitely tropical. Even though it was a cocktail ingredient well before the Tiki craze, many people still associate it with Trader Vic Bergeron. In reality orgeat appeared in American cocktails as far back as the "Japanese Cocktail" that appeared in one of the three books Jerry Thomas published. However after the Mai Tai that milky, mysterious and majestic flavor has come to be associated with Tiki. And why not, it's a big flavor that Trader Vic used to set himself apart from Donn Beach. It's a mysterious aromatic mix that really only tastes faintly of almonds if made properly.

Making your own orgeat at home requires you getting sticky with sugar and it also needs multiple strainings, stirrings, and a roasting. So why the do we keep doing it? Simply because homemade orgeat is incredibly delicious. We have purchased many orgeats from cheap to chic, and they all fall short somehow. Some just don't have much flavor, we bought one that tasted alright, but unfortunately it was brown which your orgeat should not be. Even with that visual flaw I still saved money making my own. Please remember to use only blanched almonds, brown orgeat isn't really a good look for the way your cocktail looks!

BlackLeaf Events Orgeat Syrup

200g whole blanched almonds

650ml water

500g sugar

2 tsp orange flower water

60ml neutral grain spirit (unflavoured vodka)

Crush the almonds then allow them to soak in the water for 30 minutes. Then strain them out saving the water and toast the almonds lightly in the oven. Return to the water and add the sugar, heating until dissolved about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 12 hours. Then strain and squeeze through a cheesecloth and add the orange flower water and vodka before bottling.