For the cocktail connoisseurs or bartenders out there (at home or working in bars, it doesn’t matter), you can’t tell us you haven’t used Orgeat syrup or tasted it in drinks! This is a bar staple that you can find in so many cocktails, offering a nutty flavor to complement the infamous Mai Tai or other tropical cocktails.
But there’s just one problem: We can’t always get our hands on Orgeat syrup. So we turn to generic almond syrup to enhance our drinks. This begs us to question: Is there a difference between Orgeat vs almond syrup in the first place?
Surprise answer: Nope, not really! That's because Orgeat is a type of almond syrup. There are only very minimal differences but think of almond syrup as a generic category, with Orgeat falling under this versatile ingredient.
Continue reading for a thorough explanation if you plan on using almond syrup for your baked goods or drinks!
Orgeat vs Almond Syrup
There are no differences between orgeat and almond syrup, though there are different types of almond syrups to choose from.
Orgeat syrup is popular for the almond flavor. It’s a non-alcoholic almond syrup you use mostly in cocktails. However, it’s not unusual to find orgeat syrup made with a bit of vodka to extend the shelf life, too. (*)
Fun fact: Almonds are the primary flavor associated with Orgeat, though it can also be made from other nuts like macadamia nuts or pistachios.
This almond syrup was introduced in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide in the Japanese Cocktail section in 1862. It became a popular ingredient in cocktails like Mai Tai and other tiki drinks.
On the other hand, the almond syrup is a broad term to describe different varieties like Orgeat. There are other almond syrups you can choose from, such as Falernum, which is a sweet syrup traditionally made from sweet almonds. However, there are other herbs and spices added to the concoction. (*)
Orgeat would offer a deep, rich, and bitter spice flavor thanks to the syrup’s orange blossom or rose water presence.
Other types of almond syrup would have varying flavors based on the brand and ingredient list, though you’ll still get a nutty almond taste.
We prefer using Orgeat for cocktails because of its richer flavors, while the almond syrup is suitable for cocktails and drinks as well, but better used for baked goods.
You can use them interchangeably and get almost similar results!
Orgeat Syrup Recipe
You can make 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
- Two tablespoons of brandy
- Two 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.
- 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.
Fun fact: Orgeat is actually tough to find compared to almond syrups, and if you do find it, it can cost $12-18 for one 250-ml bottle! That’s why it may be better to create your own.
Wrapping It Up
If you would like to share your thoughts on the Orgeat vs almond syrup debate, share them with us below!
We would love to hear what you have to think.
And if you’d like to learn more about food ingredients like these, we have numerous blog posts at NomsPedia to delve into!