Orgeat syrup sounds like a funny name but has many uses, especially in cocktails.
You might have come across orgeat a few times as you attempt making cocktails for your personal happy hour.
But what is orgeat syrup, and what happens if you don’t have any?
There’s no need to omit that ingredient; you can simply replace orgeat syrup with something else to achieve the desired flavors!
We’ve got you covered as we talk about what orgeat syrup is and what orgeat substitutes you can use when you have none on hand.
- The 9 Best Orgeat Substitutes in Cocktails, Food, and More
- Orgeat Syrup Fun Facts
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping It Up
The 9 Best Orgeat Substitutes in Cocktails, Food, and More
Ever wondered how drinks or some baked goods have that almond flavor?
You’ve got to thank orgeat syrup for that! It’s an essential component for cocktails like Tiki and Mai Tai, perfect for refreshing summer party drinks.
If you have no orgeat syrup available in local stores or need a substitute in a pinch, don’t worry.
There are numerous orgeat substitutes you can find in your kitchen pantry or liqueur cabinet, such as:
1. Almond Syrup
Almond syrup varies in flavor, depending on what brand you get. But in general, the almond syrup is sweet with a concentrated almond aroma and flavor.
You can use the almond syrup in various drinks, such as cocktails, coffee, tea, and cocoa. One can taste the almond notes from the syrup, but it doesn’t have a similar bitter spice flavor profile, so you don’t get that rich, deep flavor from authentic orgeat syrup.
Remedy that by adding a few drops of orange blossom or rose water to your recipe when replacing orgeat syrup with almond syrup.
Fun Fact: Orgeat is a type of sweet syrup made of bitter orange and almonds, which we traditionally use in cocktails. It has a nutty almond flavor with orange flowers or rose water so that you can get some floral notes, too. Usually, orgeat is made of almond, rose water, sugar, and lemon.
2. Almond Extract
Almond extract is another excellent orgeat syrup substitute, but only if you’re in a pinch! This ingredient will add pure almond flavor to your recipes without the sweetness that orgeat syrup provides.
Because of that, you have to add a bit more sugar to compensate for the lack of sweetness. In cocktails or other beverages, you can add simple syrup, with the amount depending on how sweet you want your drink to be.
This is an Italian liqueur with a sweet and nutty taste and a hint of cherry flavor. Amaretto is made of apricot pits, giving the bitterness you don’t get from orgeat syrup.
You shouldn’t use a 1:1 ratio here. Instead, start with half the amount your recipe calls for, then slowly add more as needed to prevent overwhelming the taste of your drink or dish. Better yet, we recommend mixing 1/3 flower water and 2/3 amaretto for a closer orgeat substitute.
We recommend using amaretto in cakes, cookies, frostings, cocktails, and espresso. If you want to achieve a more authentic flavor profile, add ½ teaspoon of rose water.
Fun Fact: Since orgeat is made of almonds, a great source of certain nutrients, the syrup contains health benefits that protect people from disease and help with weight loss. However, that depends on the dish you use orgeat for since cocktails or sweet desserts aren't that healthy!
4. Crème de Noyaux
This is a French crème liqueur made from peach or cherry pits. While the liqueur is sometimes clear, some brands add a vibrant red color, which may not be best for certain cocktails.
Crème de Noyaux originated in France, and has a lemon-lime flavor. Sometimes, this liqueur is classified as an almond liqueur, even if it contains no almonds or nuts.
That said, it works well in teas, cappuccinos, and even champagne as a substitute for orgeat syrup!
5. Orzata Syrup
This is a non-alcoholic Italian almond syrup, perfect for cocktails and mocktails. If you’re not a fan of the rose and orange flower water from orgeat syrup, then orzata is the way to go.
This syrup is made from nuts, barley, seeds, and roots and is flavored with a benzoin resin extract. That’s what gives orzata the bitter almond flavor favored by bartenders.
Orzata has a pure almond taste, perfect for gelato, desserts, cocktails, or granita. To give your drinks a more refreshing twist, you can add it to your beer, sparkling soda, or Italian soda!
Fun Fact: You might be surprised, but orgeat's pronunciation is a common faux pas. Pronounce the ingredient as OHR-ZHAT! Very different from how it's spelled, right?
6. Almond Milk
For those who want a more subtle almond flavor, almond milk can work in certain food recipes or drinks like coffee or tea. Since you don’t get a similar sweetness from almond milk, we recommend adding a bit of sugar to your recipes to compensate.
But if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, then almond milk is a healthier orgeat syrup substitute.
Get the taste closer to orgeat by adding ¼ teaspoon of rose water, orange essence, or almond essence.
Also, note that almond milk won’t last long, so you need to use it within days. Furthermore, it’s a better replacement in food recipes than cocktails, as the color would muddy up your drink.
Falernum is a Caribbean mixer and syrup with an almond flavor similar to orgeat syrup. While it doesn’t have that depth of flavor one gets from authentic orgeat syrup, falernum is very rich and velvety. (*)
Furthermore, falernum has lime acidity and slight spiciness, making it an excellent addition to Pina Coladas, Zombies, Singapore Slings, and similar cocktails. You can get flavors like lime, ginger, allspice, or cloves!
Falernum contains low amounts of alcohol, similar to rum. However, you can find alcohol-free products for mocktails.
Fun Fact: Orgeat comes from the Latin word "hordeaceus," which means "made with barley." While today's orgeat products don't include barley, the original syrup was made of barley and orange water, and the name stuck.
8. Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is raw sap from agave plants, offering drinks and dishes a neutral sweetness.
It’s a good alternative if you’re avoiding high fructose corn syrup, though it has lower levels of bitterness and acidity, and you don’t get any almond flavors from it.
If you’re only looking to add sweetness to your dish or drink, then you can try agave nectar.
9. Other kinds of syrups or juices
If your cocktail recipe asks for orgeat syrup, you can use other varieties that match your cocktail’s flavor.
Or you can make your own almond-flavored sweet syrup and make a quick orgeat substitute.
Boil an equal amount of sugar and water, letting the sugar dissolve and cool completely. Afterward, add 2-3 drops of almond or orange extract and use it in your recipe.
Juices can also work as an orgeat substitute! If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic mixer for tropical cocktails or mocktails, you can always go for juice.
It’s quick and easy since you probably already have juice at home! Just make sure that your fruit juice matches the flavor you want from your cocktail (like pineapple juice for Pina Coladas).
Fun Fact: You usually use orgeat as a cocktail syrup or topping on ice cream. It's a great ingredient in nut-based desserts for the sweetness and almond flavor.
Bonus: Make Your Own Orgeat Syrup
Yes, you can make your own homemade orgeat syrup so that you won’t have to worry about looking for it in supermarkets. Follow this orgeat syrup recipe:
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 2 tablespoons of brandy
- 2 teaspoons of almond extract
- ½ teaspoon of orange flower water or rose water
- Add the almond milk and sugar to a small saucepan, letting it simmer over medium heat.
- Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely and the liquid starts boiling.
- Add your brandy, extract, and orange flower water, stirring until well combined. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Pour your homemade orgeat syrup into a sealable jar or bottle, then store it in your fridge. This syrup will last for up to one month.
Get the recipe: izzycooking.com
Pro-tip: If you want a nuttier flavor, opt for 2 cups of almonds instead of almond milk. Pulse your almonds and one cup of water in a food processor until it forms into a paste. Then, strain your almond paste liquid through a cheesecloth to remove the solids before adding them to your recipe.
Orgeat Syrup Fun Facts
Did you know that there’s so much more to learn about orgeat than the mere fact that it’s a vital ingredient in many recipes?
Here is another fun fact about orgeat to help you understand its origins and importance in food and drinks!
Orgeat does go bad over time and won't last on your shelf forever. If you store it in the fridge properly, it can last for up to two months. But if you notice the syrup starting to smell or grow mold, discard it immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re wondering about what else is there to know about orgeat and its substitutions, check out our frequently asked questions:
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, our list of orgeat substitutes helped you find the one you need for cocktails and certain meals.
Don’t wait any longer try any of these ingredients and see which one is best for your recipes now!