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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Home brew orgeat
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Home brew orgeat
KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-12 6:33 pm   Permalink

Just thought I might start a thread concerning the trials and tribulations of brewing up some homemade orgeat. I can still buy a few brands around here, and I can always order some online or from a local shop, but I have been wanting to try making some for a while and it seems like now is a good time.

To start with, I looked at the ingredients listed on popular commercial brands. The synopsis of that research is as follows..

Commercial orgeat contains:
sugar and water or cornsyrup, natural and/or artificial flavors, various preservatives, various gums or oils that make it cloudy

And what little I could find on classic french orgeat..

almond milk, sugar, orange flower and/or rose flower water



So... I imagine that making almond milk would be tedious, and I can buy good almond milk at the store, so that was my first acquisition. The brand I purchased did contain some cane syrup and a little sea salt, along with mild preservatives. I imagine the cane syrup is going to modify the amount of sugar I need, but these "extras" are not very bothersome to me.

Next we need rose water. Yes, I will try both that and the orange flower water, but rose is first for no real reason. I will also try a batch with both. I bought a nice french brand. Easy enough.

Sugar.. the variety is nearly limitless, but as I am trying at first to make a more classic "orgeat of old" so to speak, I went with an organic brand. It is just evaporated cane juice from plants grown with no chemical garbage. It is a bit tan in color, and this will affect the orgeat, but flavor is my focus, not appearance. At least not yet.

Now we cook.

In a pot I brought 2 cups of the almond milk to a boil along with 2 pounds of sugar. Made a syrup. Cool. Add 1 tbsp rose water.

Taste.

Not bad. This does not have the punchy flavor and smell one expects of orgeat at all, and the sugar has made it a bit tan in color. It is aromatic, mild, and soft on the palate. A good flavor over all, but it truly is a natural tasting product. It is something you could consume as is by itself, which I cannot say of any commercial brand I have tried. I can only imagine that this may be close to the old orgeat made by hand, but it very "old fashioned" in appearance and taste. The rose water is there, though subtle, and I imagine you would miss it if it was left out.

Next up, I go for a commercial version..

I made a sugar syrup with bleached white table sugar. 2 pounds sugar, 2 cups of water. To this I added 6 teaspooons of a nice organic almond extract I picked up, and 1/4 cup almond milk (just for the cloudy thing). Also put in the rose water (1 tbsp).

Result?

Well, this smells a lot like commercial orgeat, and it nearly looks like it too. The taste is more natural, and a side by side has commercial (Torani) tasting very chemical laden. This is useable orgeat for sure, provided you are willing to let go of the idea that the artificial is the benchmark. Rose flavor and scent is again there, but the extract moves it further back in the profile.


Further experiments...

I decided that there are merits here to both the subtle orgeat of the first batch, as well as the more amped up version using extract. I decide to try a mix of the two to see what I get (added a little rum too just for kicks).



Ahu orgeat #1

2 cups of the organic sugar
2 cups of the almond milk
1 cup plain water
4 teaspoons organic almond extract
1 tbsp rose flower water
1/2 cup Cruzan light rum

Combined everything save the rose water and set to boil it in a pot. Once boiling I reduced the heat and simmered it on low (bubbling a good bit) for 25 minutes, whisking occasionally.

This was funneled into an empty rum bottle along with the rose water and shaken. Left to cool and rest.

The result:

A true blend of the 2 concepts, this is a very nice orgeat. It is a bit tan (again due to the use of organic sugar), and I think most will prefer the milky look of commercial orgeat because they are used to it. It does have a handmade flavor, but the extract gives it much of the scent and flavor kick of the commercial brands. I imagine that the more extract you add, the closer you will get to the chemically enchanced taste of the factory produced stuff.

Now... after all this, I am still not close to being done. I'll try a few more recipes, including an orange flower water version. My main goal is simply to do this for fun, but if I can I'll be trying for a more natural version of orgeat that anyone can make, and that is very close to commercial brands so that it is not at all a leap to "get off the chemicals". I suspect that this is doable. I already have the lion's share of the experimenting done, and now I am working it all out in my head. Should have something soon.




Ahu




 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2006-11-13 06:17 am   Permalink


Whenever the Ahu line of syrups are ready to be bottled and labeled and branded... let's do lunch.
First, we take out a billboard on Times Square... then a video with Waitiki featuring the Mai Kai dancers... endorsements from DeGroff and Berry.

Then we sabotage Trader Vics warehouse with ants.



 
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Loki
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Joined: Nov 04, 2005
Posts: 541
From: Boca Raton, FL
Posted: 2006-11-13 06:38 am   Permalink

Hey pablus, you forgot the video game...

Ahu...the king of do it yourself...but what did you do with all that orgeat syrup? How long do you think it will last and would you use rum as a preservative? i would think it would kill the taste.
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-11-13 08:47 am   Permalink

For comparison, there is also a good orgeat article and recipe over at the Art of Drink blog.

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Atomic Cocktail
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Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 925
From: Land O' The Next Big One-L.A.
Posted: 2006-11-13 10:58 am   Permalink

Here are a number of older recipes I've previously posted:

Orgeat

I have not tried them but they do look interesting.


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Jeff Central
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Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1597
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-13 1:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-13 06:17, pablus wrote:

Whenever the Ahu line of syrups are ready to be bottled and labeled and branded... let's do lunch.
First, we take out a billboard on Times Square... then a video with Waitiki featuring the Mai Kai dancers... endorsements from DeGroff and Berry.

Then we sabotage Trader Vics warehouse with ants.











 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-13 2:16 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-13 06:38, Loki wrote:
..but what did you do with all that orgeat syrup? How long do you think it will last and would you use rum as a preservative? i would think it would kill the taste.





Oh, I have the large batches left. But I will be mixing them together, trialing orange flower water, extra almond extract, etc. Some experiments will fail and thus win a trip down the drain. In the end I expect to have a fifth or so of the tannish natural style, and a fifth or 2 of the "commercial style" with rose water, and the same for orange flower water.

As for storage... there really is not reason why this could not be frozen in a plastic jug and thawed later in the refrigerator. Kept frozen I suspect a large batch could be made every six months depending on how heavily one goes through orgeat. These recipes above make about a fifth and a half. So you can extrapolate from there. I'd be comfortable keeping a bottle in the fridge for 3 months provided you watch it for bubbles, mold, odd smells, etc.

As for the rum, I find that if you use a slightly sweet but mild flavored rum (which describes Cruzan light perfectly in my opinion), you can extend the life of a syrup greatly without really obstructing the flavor.

But bear in mind that in the last recipe above I added rum for a little flavor, and not preservative. If you cook the rum in the syrup it will not preserve it at all. Add it after it is bottled. And a little goes a long way. 1/4 cup per fifth will probably work in most cases.

I have seen my own recipe for grenadine sit out at room temp for months and it was fine with just a bit of rum. And you could not taste the alcohol. Anyway, I'd rather have a little extra booze in my syrup than ascorbic acid or sodium benzoate. Not that preservatives are all bad, but... rum is better.

The best bet is to make a batch that suits your use and go through it all before spoilage can occur. I will say that orgeat has been the cheapest of all the syrups or liqueurs I have made, and one of the easiest to produce. Ingredients for around 4 fifths will cost you... oh... less than $15 I think it comes to. I can get true accurate numbers if anyone wants that info.





Ahu



 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-11-13 3:22 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-13 14:16, KuKuAhu wrote:
I'd be comfortable keeping a bottle in the fridge for 3 months provided you watch it for bubbles, mold, odd smells, etc.


Bubbles?


 
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finkdaddy
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Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2006-11-13 3:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

Bubbles?



Bubbles mean there are bacteria farting in your orgeat. Enjoy.

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[ This Message was edited by: finkdaddy 2006-11-13 15:37 ]


 
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Mr. NoNaMe
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Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2006-11-14 08:11 am   Permalink

Hey Ahu,
If you had empty beer bottles laying around and stuck them in the dish washer and then bottled the orgeat and sent me one I wouldn't be skeered to try it.
Really.
This would be for the greater good, a science project per se. I don't think scientist are allowed to sue each other during the scientific process while testing each others work. Right!?

"No, I am not a doctor but, I play one on TC."

[ This Message was edited by: Mr. NoNaMe 2006-11-14 08:11 ]


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-14 08:38 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-13 06:17, pablus wrote:

Whenever the Ahu line of syrups are ready to be bottled and labeled and branded... let's do lunch.
First, we take out a billboard on Times Square... then a video with Waitiki featuring the Mai Kai dancers... endorsements from DeGroff and Berry.

Then we sabotage Trader Vics warehouse with ants.






Honestly Pab, if I thought I could make a good living producing liqueurs and syrups..


..well, let's just say I'd be looking for factory space somewhere warm. Maybe on the gulf.




Ahu


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-14 08:43 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-14 08:11, Mr. NoNaMe wrote:
Hey Ahu,
If you had empty beer bottles laying around and stuck them in the dish washer and then bottled the orgeat and sent me one I wouldn't be skeered to try it.
Really.
This would be for the greater good, a science project per se. I don't think scientist are allowed to sue each other during the scientific process while testing each others work. Right!?

"No, I am not a doctor but, I play one on TC."

[ This Message was edited by: Mr. NoNaMe 2006-11-14 08:11 ]




Hmmm... better let me finish the project and get a definitive recipe before I start sending out samples.

A beer bottle? Come now, let's be civilized about this. I'm sure I could scrounge up an old jelly jar at least.



Ahu
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Fraternal Order of Moai

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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2006-11-14 08:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-14 08:43, KuKuAhu wrote:
Quote:

On 2006-11-14 08:11, Mr. NoNaMe wrote:
Hey Ahu,
If you had empty beer bottles laying around and stuck them in the dish washer and then bottled the orgeat and sent me one I wouldn't be skeered to try it.
Really.
This would be for the greater good, a science project per se. I don't think scientist are allowed to sue each other during the scientific process while testing each others work. Right!?

"No, I am not a doctor but, I play one on TC."

[ This Message was edited by: Mr. NoNaMe 2006-11-14 08:11 ]




Hmmm... better let me finish the project and get a definitive recipe before I start sending out samples.

A beer bottle? Come now, let's be civilized about this. I'm sure I could scrounge up an old jelly jar at least.



Ahu



OK, it's a deal.


 
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2006-11-14 2:32 pm   Permalink


Well the glass of exquisiteness I had a Hukilau was ready to be marketed.
I was letting people take sips and all were equally astonshed.


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-11-14 2:38 pm   Permalink

Pab, you oughta pm me your address. If I get a notion to ship some samples, I might put together a little "Pab Pack" with some of this and a little of that.




Ahu
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