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How to Make Orgeat Syrup and What to Do With It?

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Leah Hall

This homemade orgeat syrup recipe is easy to make, and perfect for some fun cocktails, drinks and even coffee!


Orgeat (It’s pronounced “or-zsa” kinda like Zsa Zsa Gabor, so it’s or-zsa-zsa, LOL!) and is kind of like liquid marzipan. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on with this recipe and info about orgeat! Try our pistachio orgeat, hazelnut orgeat and homemade chestnut orgeat, too!

Almonds on sheet pan

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What is Orgeat Syrup?

Orgeat syrup is almond syrup with a decent amount of sugar and a touch of orange flower water.

Roasted almonds on sheet pan

Many classic cocktails, tiki drinks and coffee use orgeat syrup as an important flavor ingredient. It is most famous for contributing to the original Mai Tai, but it can be found in many other classics including the Scorpion, and the Japanese cocktail. Orgeat, is simply a sweetened almond syrup with a little orange flower water.


The origins of this syrup are interesting, and the taste and versatility in drinks are impressive. Orgeat is the French form of the word from the Italian word orzata which means barley water.

Almonds in blender

What Ingredients are Needed for the Homemade Orgeat?

  • Almonds
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Orange Flower Water
  • Brandy

Almonds blending in blender

The Spanish word Horchata has a similar origin. This syrup is an oil and water emulsion of the oils in almonds. This makes orgeat similar to milk. Before using almonds, these were made with barley.

Almonds in blender

What we are talking about is an emulsion, so they form a cloudy liquid. Milk, butter, Hollandaise and mayonnaise are all emulsions, as well.


History of Orgeat

Before refrigeration, people could not store milk because it would spoil quickly. For the most part, milk was turned into cheese, because it could be stored for a long time. A lot of cooking wasn’t done with fresh milk. The solution was to use a oil and water emulsion made from barley and eventually almonds, in cooking.

water being poured into a saucepan

Because the oils in barley and almond are relatively stable at room temperature, and higher temps, they don’t spoil quickly. This makes them perfect for a milk substitute. In the past, a person’s kitchen would have barley or almonds, depending where they lived, and if a source of fat was needed, you would use these. Food production changed over the years and these water and oil emulsions were used more.

The process uses almonds crushed up in a mortar while adding water. This would extract the oils in the almonds and emulsify it in water. After, the mush sat for a while, and was filtered through cloth and the liquid was used in place of milk. Plus, it doesn’t go rancid, so there was no need for refrigeration.

sugar being poured into saucepan

Orgeat in Cocktails

Orgeat Syrup is an extremely strong ingredient so make sure to use it sparingly. The intense flavor of orgeat is mellowed by putting it in a citrus based cocktail like the Mai Tai. The flavors combine perfectly, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on making your own cocktails.


This is also why orgeat is relatively common in Tiki drinks and less frequently in other styles of cocktails.

Crushed almonds being poured into saucepan

What can I use in place of orgeat syrup?

Orgeat works as a sweetener so substituting amaretto for orgeat can be the way to go. This give the same flavor profile, but is more booze, so can give a bigger impact on the drink.


In the past, orgeat was almost always on the list of ingredients that a lot of bars didn’t bother to have on hand. But, as more people are searching to find craft cocktails, more establishments are honing their skills with more unique ingredients, like this. This does mean it’s easier to come by from your local bar.

Orgeat syrup in saucepan

Also, if you’d rather make it yourself, this orgeat syrup recipe is fairly easy to make from scratch, and we do think homemade is the best orgeat syrup. Homemade orgeat will only last about a month or so. This orgeat syrup recipe has some brandy in it to help extend its shelf life.


You can also find syrups from companies like Torani, which have a much longer shelf life, and are easily accessible from your local store or on Amazon.

creamy Orgeat Syrup in bottle with almonds

How to Store Orgeat

Our orgeat syrup recipe can be stored sealed in the refrigerator for up to a month. It does have brandy in it to keep it longer. This syrup does seem to separate while it sits. Just shake the container before using to add into a cocktail.

creamy yellow Orgeat Syrup in bottle

We used blanched almonds for a sweeter, milky white orgeat. Since the almond skins are absent in this recipe, the bitterness is gone as well. Orange flower water can be found at some grocery stores, as well as online. We got ours on Amazon!


Cocktails with Orgeat

Mai Tai – Cookie and Kate

Fog Cutter – The Liquor Cabinet

Japanese Cocktail – Grey is the New Black

creamy yellow Orgeat Syrup in bottle

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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Dry ice cocktail in a tropical drinkThe Seer Cocktail


Close up of a pair of tiki glasses filled with The Rambler's Ruby, a tiki cocktail garnished with brandied cherries and a bruleed grapefruit.Rambler’s Ruby


Orgeat Syrup in bottle with almonds
Yield: 1

Orgeat Syrup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Draining Time: 20 minutes
Infusion Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes

This orgeat syrup recipe is an easy homemade recipe to make for your home bar! Full of almond flavor, this syrup is great in tiki cocktails!


  • 2 cups roasted almonds, blanched
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 1 ounce brandy


  1. Toast almonds at 400 degrees Farenheit until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Shake on pan at about 3 minutes.
  2. Cool almonds and then blend in blender or food processor.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water on medium high heat until sugar dissolves and starts to boil.
  4. Add almonds and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently. When it's about to boil, remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for at least 4 hours, but no more than 12. We went with 8.
  5. Strain this mixture through a cheesecloth into a bowl. We put cheesecloth in a colander in a bowl as well. Let sit for a bit, then squeeze the cloth.
  6. Drain all the liquid into the bowl, and pour into a bottle or jar.
  7. Add orange flower water and brandy. Shake to combine.
  8. Store in fridge for up to a month.


If you use almonds that aren't blanched, make sure to peel them before roasting the almonds.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

.50 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: .3gCarbohydrates: 14.4gFiber: 1gSugar: 12.8gProtein: 1.7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Ashleigh Vitt

Saturday 15th of May 2021

Can I use this in lemonade instead of sugar?

The 'Noms.

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Hey there! You could, just be aware that it will definitely add an almond flavor as well as the dash of rosewater, but it would be very refreshing! Cheers!

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