The last time I wrote down a successful Orgeat recipe, it was for the batch I made for Tales of the Cocktail in 2008. It was rather large.
I recently made a much smaller version for Savoy Night at Alembic Bar, and it turned out well.
Mostly writing this down so I don’t forget.
Orgeat On a Small Scale
16 ounces Water
16 ounces (by weight) sugar
4 ounces (by weight) Whole Almonds, Pulsed to coarse grind in food processor
1 Tablespoon Brandy
1/2 tsp Natural Almond Extract
A couple drops Orange Flower Water
Dissolve sugar in water over low flame. Add almonds and bring up to 140 degrees. Hold it at 140 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate over night. Filter almonds out of syrup, squeezing to remove as much liquid as possible. Add Brandy, Almond Extract, and Orange Flower Water. Bottle in a clean sanitized bottle and refrigerate. Makes a bit less than 750ml.
Notes: I did not blanch and remove the skins from the almonds this time. Some “friends” had suggested blanching was an unnecessary step, as they detected no tannic or bitter character from. the skins. Well, this is true, there is no detectable tannic or bitter character from the skins, however there is a lot of pigment. Unless it is cool with you that your orgeat is the color of porter and the drinks made with it look like dishwater, I would recommend blanching.
A lot of people these days recommend roasting the almonds before using them to make your orgeat. I’m on the fence about that. It does give it a more intense flavor, but I think it covers up some of the floral and cherry notes of the pure almond flavor. However, I have yet to give it a try myself, maybe with the next batch.