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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Orgeat Syrup Brands
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Orgeat Syrup Brands
The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-08-30 1:10 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-08-30 10:06, Scottes wrote:
Gnomon, do you have instructions for making Rock Candy Syrup? Thanks...



Yes indeedy. It just about the easiest thing in the world to make and it's kinda fun. It's fun because it's easy and because you're jamming more sugar into a single space than "belongs" in that space, so it becomes unstable. Next time I do up a batch I'll try to take some pictures to dump back in here.

Especially considering the length of this post, it probably should be relocated to a rock candy syrup thread. But since you asked me here...

First, I guess I should start by distinguishing rock candy syrup from simple syrup.

Simple Syrup vs Rock Candy Syrup

Simple syrup is similar to rock candy syrup, being made from exactly the same thing as each other, sugar and water. Simple syrup is water saturated with sugar. Rock candy syrup is water supersaturated with sugar.

The solution is saturated when under normal atmospheric conditions (i.e., room temperature) you can't dissolve any more sugar into the water. If you put another granule of sugar in and stir it around for a long time it doesn't dissolve. There is no room left in the water for any more sugar. It's saturated.

Supersaturation is putting more sugar into the water anyway. When you force more sugar into water that is already saturated, it becomes supersaturated. The more supersaturated it becomes the more unstable it becomes. Instability here means that the "extra" sugar that has been forced into the solution "wants" to get out of the solution and it gets what it wants. How quickly and to what degree depends on how unstable it is. The stuff that falls out is called precipitate, just as rain is the precipitate when the atmosphere is supersaturated with water molecules. When highly unstable sugar water "rains" the precipitate is rock candy, hence, rock candy syrup.

When you start the process you will be making simple syrup, but before long you'll cross the line into supersaturation and will be making rock candy syrup. A volume of kick-ass rock candy syrup is noticeably heavier than the same volume of simple syrup because sugar is heavy and there is a ton more sugar in the rock candy syrup.

Least Messy Method of Making Rock Candy Syrup

I keep my main batches of RC syrup in big Quattro Stagioni canning jars like the one on the far left. I decant from the big jars into a small bottle for mixological purposes.



The reason for storing it in jars like this is they are canning jars, which means they are designed to take the heat of pasturization (like when making preserves, etc.) So...you can make the syrup right in these jars. That makes this the least messy method I know.

I used to make the syrup in a big pot, allow it to cool overnight, transfer the syrup into these big jars (pouring through a big funnel), and then wash the pot and funnel. This can turn into a big mess.

Because my batches tend to be ultra unstable, often enough I'll have to dilute my syrup to avoid a blizzard of rock candy from occurring. It's nice to look at, and it's what you want IF your intention is to make rock candy, but within a matter of a few days you can end up with a brick of rock candy the exact shape as the inside of the jar.

Anyway, to dilute my batch, I'd remove some of the syrup, replace that with more water and, knowing it was a canning jar, I'd just leave it in the jar and heat the the whole thing up in a pot of boiling water as I stirred the solution in the jar. That's when I realized the thing should be done from the very beginng right in the jar the whole time.

Rock Candy

If you make a solution that is unstable enough to precipitate like crazy, you can make rock candy by suspending a string (or just about anything really) down into the syrup and let it sit there for a few days. The more unstable the solution the faster the rock candy will form.

I'm living in temporary digs right now, so most of my stuff is in storage. Consequently, I don't make any of my fancy garnishes. One of the techniques I use in some of my garnishes is to make rock candy on the submersible end of my bamboo swizzle sticks. But 99% maybe of the RC syrup I make is for mixing into drinks.

Water

Use the best water available, which usually means the purest, but it could mean a spring water you like that, technically, might not be as pure as some other water you could get. You just don't want unfiltered tap water or any water that has other stuff dissolved in it. You want this to be as close to pure sugar water as you can get.

Sugar

Any sugar can be used to make rock candy syrup, but I prefer to use very high quality sugar that is minimally processed, so my syrup is really dark. You can still use it in light colored drinks without making the drink dark.

Other Equipment

You'll need a big pot and a stirring stick. I use a Chinese bamboo cooking tong (giant chopstick). This is better than a spoon of any kind, but a wooden spoon is OK if that's all you've got. Have a cup, glass, or other vessle standing by.

Essential Prep

Inasmuch as you'll be hanging out in the kitchen stirring your syrup more or less continuously for an hour, it is advisable that you make yourself a 15 oz Mai Tai (or other concoction) while you wait for the big pot of water to come to a boil.

The Setup

Fill your canning jar about halfway with spring/filtered water. Stir in sugar until the level of the mixture reaches about three quarters full. Don't worry about dissolving the sugar yet, you just want to add some weight to the water before putting it into the big pot.

Fill the big pot about three quarters full of hot tap water and put it on the big front burner of your stove. Then set the canning jar with the beginnings of your syrup down into the center of the big pot of tap water. Use the cup, glass, or other vessel you have standing by to add hot tap water to the big pot until the water level is about a half inch from the top.

Your jar with the sugar and water mixture should be sticking up (probably 5 or so inches) out of the hot tap water. Turn the burner on High and go make your drink while this comes to a boil.

Essence of the Procedure

The way to force enough sugar into water to supersaturate it is to add the sugar under heat. To dissolve it as fast as possible and to avoid burning any of the sugar it is necessary to keep the solution moving, which means stirring pretty much continuously until it's done. By stirring it in the jar sitting in boiling water, it is heated from not only the bottom, but from the sides as well, which makes it easier to force more sugar into the solution. You just keep stirring in more and more sugar (about a cup at a time) until the solution reaches the top of the jar.

There is a limit to the amount of additional sugar you can force into the solution. When that limit is reached, any sugar you put in will fail to dissolve and just fall to the bottom of the jar no matter how much you stir it. The only way to dissolve that sugar in that same amount of water is to add more heat, which you would not be able to do on your stove top. If you do not put enough water in the jar to start with (e.g., only one quarter full instead of half) then you would probably reach a point where you could not dissolve more sugar before you brought the level up to the top of the jar.

Working the Burner Control

The more sugar that is in the solution the higher it's boiling point. I guess at some point it just explodes but your stove won't be able to get it hot enough for you to find out.

You want to keep the big pot as full of tap water as possible so that the jar is as immersed in boiling water as possible. If you boil the water fast it will be splashing all over your stove since the pot will be so full. Therefore, you want to put it on simmer once you have reached the initial boil, but you want to gradually increase the heat as you add more sugar. When you add sugar it draws the heat from the boiling water, so you need to turn it up slightly just to maintain a simmer. The more sugar that is in the solution, the more heat that must be applied to the boiling water to maintain a simmer.

Eventually, the syrup solution will be really hot and supersaturated to a point where sugar does not dissolve so easily. When you add sugar to the swirling liquid it spirals around and looks a little like a rope. You'll see. When you get to that stage, your syrup is more or less ready. If you keep adding more anyway (because you can), you might end up with something that is more unstable than you want. Unless you don't mind heating it all up again later to dilute it, resist the urge to go overboard.

Finishing Touches

Once you finished stirring in sugar, you have to let the whole thing cool. Take the jar lid and screw it onto the hot jar momentarily. Lift the jar out of the scalding water and set it on a wooden cutting board or a trivet to cool overnight. I use my bare hand to lift it out. The jar lid doesn't heat up fast enough for me to need a hot pad or anything. Now unscrew the lid so that it is very loose. Another virtue of doing all of this in the canning jar is that the jar lid serves as a tool to lift it out of the heat and as a loose cover to allow heat to escape while protecting it from any ants, fruitflies, or other sugar-loving vermin that might be hiding and also waiting for your syrup to cool.

Let it sit out over night and in the morning screw the cap on tight. Voilá!

If you make an incredibly unstable batch, the next day you should see the syrup taking on a marbling effect of rapidly forming rock candy crystals. That will tell you that you've overdone it and can expect to have to fix it soon.

If it is moderately unstable, there will be time for gravity to kick in as the crystals form, so over the course of 1 – 3 days you'll just see a sedimentary layer of rock candy crystals forming at the bottom of the jar. That's what you want if you're using the syrup for drinks. Later, when your jar is empty, just make a new batch leaving the rock candy at the bottom. It will dissolve in the process of making the next batch.





 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-08-30 2:24 pm   Permalink

Sweet! Many thanks, and I love the part about rock candy swizzle sticks. They're pretty cool at times.
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1289
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2007-08-31 07:56 am   Permalink

Well, if you want to try it, here's a fancy swizzle stick I invented a few years back. I call it the Pickless Drink Pick Rock Candy Swizzle Stick:

You can get spare lids for these canning jars. Poke/drill holes in a spare lid spaced about ½" apart. Mine are aligned in the form of a hexagon, so there are 19 holes. You want to make the holes just a little larger than the diameter of the bamboo sticks. I use bamboo skewers, which are readily available in all the grocery stores. They are pointed on one end and flat on the other.

The trick to this particular swizzle stick is that you submerse the flat end and leave the pointed end sticking up in the air. You'll need a small piece of corrugted board (ideally—'cause it holds better), but you could also use a piece of chip board (aka, cardboard). You put that on top of the lid, taping it to the lid around the edges, to hold the sticks in place and keep them from sliding out of the lid or otherwise moving around. Push the sticks into the holes in the lid from the inside/underside—through the lid and into the corrugated board.

You position the sticks in the lid so that they are all vertical and do not touch each other. The sticks should be protruding enough beneath the lid for about two inches of the stick to be submersed in the rock candy syrup when you put the lid on the jar. This can be a little tricky as the sticks can move around a little as you screw the lid on the jar. You want to make sure you don't wobble them around so much that the corrugated board loses its grip on any sticks.

The idea is for the sticks to remain as still as possible submersed in the rock candy syrup until enough rock candy has formed on them to suit you. When the diameter of the rock candy around the stick reaches about ¼" it's a good time to take them out. There are two things you can do to speed up the formation.

First is to make sure that the rock candy syrup is as unstable as you can possibly make it. Under those conditions, the sugar in the syrup will be aching to jump out of the solution and anything that sits around in the syrup is its first target.

Second is to dip the sticks into the syrup for a brief moment then let them dry. When they're dry, put them back into the syrup and let it sit until they're done. By doing this, the initial dip evaporates and causes a very thin layer of rock candy to form on the sticks right away. Rock candy forms faster on existing rock candy. It's a crystal and that's what crystals do. By forcing this layer to form quickly, you don't have to wait for sugar molecules to drift around in the solution and "hunt" for a place to form. You're telling them where the party is right off the bat.

When you are ready to dry the sticks, whether in making the initial base layer or at the end when they're done, just screw the cap with the sticks onto an empty jar. Once they're dry, you'll have a bunch of bamboo sticks with a point on one end and a rock candy crystal on the other.

The beauty of this is that you can now skewer pinapple chunks and other fruit down over the point to where it meets the rock candy crystal. Then you snip off the point with something. I use a pair of needle nose pliers that has a wirecutter. Do something decorative to the snipped off end and you have yourself an amazing pickless drink pick rock candy swizzle stick.

I used to use sealing wax (the kind used to put a seal on letters) as one treatment to the tip. A glob of sealing wax hardens and cools fast, plus it obscures the fact that the fruit was skewered from that end, so it's a momentary visual puzzle. The mind wants to think that the fruit was skewered from the end sitting down in the drink, but that's not possible onnacounta there's a rock candy crystal in the way. If you decide to use sealing wax, mash the snipped tip with pliers so that it fans out a little and the sealing wax doesn't accidentally come off.

You can eat the fruit off the stick or wait until the rock candy dissolves enough to slide the fruit off the stick.

[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2007-08-31 09:09 ]


 
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Scottes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-08-31 08:26 am   Permalink

That is *so* nice. Thanks!


 
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Squad 701
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 29, 2006
Posts: 30
From: Dublin, Ireland.
Posted: 2009-01-07 10:03 am   Permalink

Hi All,
You can never have enough spare Orgeat lying around the house,
here's some I use, don't ask me to compare them, as I have not got an extended
vocabulary needed for a decent review.
But all I'll say is they all do a great job, Trader Vic's being the most disappointing.
Routin 1883 and Giffard are particularly good, I have not had a chance to try the German
brand Riemerschmid which was recommended to me.




[ This Message was edited by: squad 701 2009-01-08 06:54 ]


 
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davejayhawk
Member

Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Posts: 10
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2009-01-25 10:05 am   Permalink

There's a great deal on amazon.com. Three bottles of 25.4 oz Torani Orgeat for $16.30. If you sign up for the "subscribe and save" (which you can cancel after the first order arrives) the price drops to $13.86 and the shipping is free. That's alot of orgeat but what a bargain...and I have a hard time finding it in Kansas City.

Here's a link to the page on amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Torani-Orgeat-Almond-25-4-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B001E5E2ZE/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1232906547&sr=8-4

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davejayhawk
Member

Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Posts: 10
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2009-03-03 12:08 pm   Permalink

For members living in or near Kansas City: The only store I could find selling Orgeat (Tom Collins brand) is the Lucas Liquor at 119th and Metcalf. Good price: $3.75 for a fifth-size bottle.

 
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Staredge
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Joined: Jul 15, 2008
Posts: 103
From: Martinsburg
Posted: 2009-03-03 6:54 pm   Permalink

I got my bottle of Monin from a coffee shop. Had been looking for it for a drive while, and happened to drive by one. Figured I'd try, and lo & behold they had extra bottles for sale.

 
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arobinson19
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 21, 2006
Posts: 21
Posted: 2009-03-23 07:25 am   Permalink

recently i have been using davinci almond syrup.it balances well in most cocktails calling for it. its a bit difficult to find almond syrup around me. i finally found it, of all places, at " le gourmet chef" in the outlet mall where i work. go figure.

 
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Shaun of theTiki
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Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Posts: 109
Posted: 2009-03-24 6:22 pm   Permalink

Has anyone tried the orgeat made by Small Hand Foods?

http://smallhandfoods.com/products.cfm

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Brenda's Tiki Hut
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 02, 2006
Posts: 351
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2009-10-14 12:09 pm   Permalink

So, I ran out of orgeat and went to buy some more. Don't remember the last time I bought some. Anyway, I can't find any that has actual almonds in it. Small Hand Foods does, but isn't sold in the Sacramento area. Does the Fee Brothers have almonds in it? Neither Torani nor Trader Vic's (which are readily available) had almonds in the ingredients. Any recommendations on taste?

 
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Shaun of theTiki
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Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Posts: 109
Posted: 2009-10-14 7:54 pm   Permalink

Sonoma Syrup has a very good orgeat (sold as "Vanilla-Almond"). I found a bottle at a Bel Air shop in Elk Grove, of all places.

 
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Twistykat
Member

Joined: Oct 30, 2009
Posts: 2
From: Massachusetts
Posted: 2009-11-07 5:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-02-10 13:22, Tikiwahine wrote:
I like the French Philbert Routin 1883 syrups best.
Routin has been a syrup product since 1883.



I ordered a bottle of this from PT's Coffee Roasters via Amazon. When it arrived on Friday (11/6/2009) I noticed the expiration date is was 03/2009.

Shit!

I haven't opened it yet. I'm going call and complain to PT's on Monday, however the product "looks" fine and I'm really curious to try it.

What do you you think? Will it be OK for at least a short term after I open it, or is it definitely bad now?


 
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Twistykat
Member

Joined: Oct 30, 2009
Posts: 2
From: Massachusetts
Posted: 2009-11-11 04:14 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2009-11-07 17:03, Twistykat wrote:
Quote:


I'm going call and complain to PT's on Monday, however the product "looks" fine and I'm really curious to try it.




No replies. Oh well. For the sake of completion I called PT's Coffee Roasters and they happily refunded my money and apologized for the mistake. They said they are at the end of their stock for this product and don't expect to get any more.

Judging by this even and the fact that it's so hard to find I'm guessing that this product is not being made anymore.


 
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Brenda's Tiki Hut
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 02, 2006
Posts: 351
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2009-11-12 10:15 am   Permalink

Tried the Small Hand Foods orgeat last night. Very yummy. But it must be refrigerated, even before opening. Hope it keeps well as most receipes don't call for much orgeat.

 
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