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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Home brew orgeat
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Home brew orgeat
Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2008-08-21 11:43 am   Permalink

I agree with you about the almond powder. I used whole raw almonds, so my process differs due to the initial product.
I start with whole raw almonds and then blanch them for 1 minute and strain into a colander.
This takes care of the rinsing and allows the brown almond skins to pop right off.
several hundred almond skins later I put the blanched almonds on a towel to free them of excess water and put them right into the food processor. (tried slicing up a dozen or so almonds with a chef's knife for entertainment value)
I chop them up using pulse on the old Cuisinart until they are finely chopped.

One of the things that I like about this recipe is the addition of enough sugar to preserve the almond milk for it's overnight soak.
I would have to disagree with you about the addition of bitter almond extract or essential oil. We do not have access to bitter almonds, and traditional Orgeat according to the Grocer's Encyclopedia is made from 10 parts sweet almonds and 3 parts bitter, so I would argue that the addition of bitter almond flavoring would not be out of bounds in making a traditional orgeat. I don't think anyone has actually made Orgeat from barley for a while.

Below is a link to The Grocer's Encyclopedia, it's a pretty bitchin resource.
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_63.cfm

I do agree with alternative sugars to use especially for simple syrup, I find that evaporated cane juice will reconstitute nicely and makes an excellent syrup. I have some Costa Rican tapa de dulce that I have made falernum from and I find that it imparts a very earthy flavor while making the syrup very dark brown/black.

Best
Mark



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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-08-21 12:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-21 11:43, Sparkle Mark wrote:
I would have to disagree with you about the addition of bitter almond extract or essential oil. We do not have access to bitter almonds, and traditional Orgeat according to the Grocer's Encyclopedia is made from 10 parts sweet almonds and 3 parts bitter, so I would argue that the addition of bitter almond flavoring would not be out of bounds in making a traditional orgeat. I don't think anyone has actually made Orgeat from barley for a while.



Hmmm! I might have to rethink the bitter almond component at this point. That would justify the use of almond extract considering it is the only readily available source of bitter almond flavoring.


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-09-02 06:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-21 12:12, The Gnomon wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-08-21 11:43, Sparkle Mark wrote:
I would have to disagree with you about the addition of bitter almond extract or essential oil. We do not have access to bitter almonds, and traditional Orgeat according to the Grocer's Encyclopedia is made from 10 parts sweet almonds and 3 parts bitter, so I would argue that the addition of bitter almond flavoring would not be out of bounds in making a traditional orgeat. I don't think anyone has actually made Orgeat from barley for a while.



Hmmm! I might have to rethink the bitter almond component at this point. That would justify the use of almond extract considering it is the only readily available source of bitter almond flavoring.



I made a batch of Emergency Orgeat this weekend and ruined it by using almond extract. I'm willing to try it again, but next time I'll only use 1 or two drops instead of six. The stuff now tastes like the center of an almond pastry, which just ain't right.

On a different note, some of you may recall that I reported, when Pacific, screwed up its almond milk by offering it in a "new improved" formula. It had a better almond flavor than most other almond-milk-in-a-box (e.g., Almond Breeze—unsweetened of course), but it was infested with sediment, much of which clinged together as globules suspended in the milk. It rendered the orgeat very cloudy and always retained some of the globules.

This weekend I took the trouble of pouring the Pacific Almond through coffee filters until I had enough to make a batch. It clogs the coffee filters pretty quickly, so you have to go through lots of them, but at least, when that chore is over with, the orgeat ends up with an extremely thin foam layer and is clearer than the pre-improved Pacific product.

Too bad I had to ruin it by using six drops of almond extract.


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-09-02 06:35 am   Permalink

For those in the Greater Washington Metro Area who make their own orgeat...

Rose Flower Water is somewhat readily available (Food Whole, Magruders...), but Orange Flower Water is elusive. Up until this weekend I was sending away for mine. Now I don't have to. I found it on the shelf of a "gourmet" market in Bethesda (Old Georgetown and Democracy) called Balducci's Food Lover's Market, which is a small chain with stores in MD, DC, VA, CT, and NY.

The one in DC is in NW near AU (New Mexico Ave). They have two in VA (Franklin St–Alexandria and Old Dominion Dr–McLean). I don't know how the stock compares to the Bethesda store, but it's the only place I've found so far that sells Orange Flower Water ($3.99). They also sell Rose Flower Water for the same price.

Same brands as shown below:



 
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Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2008-09-02 10:57 am   Permalink

You can get great rose water and orange blossom water at any Persian grocery or decent pan-Middle Eastern store. Since it is frequently used in Persian cuisine the bottles are about 2x as big and it's about half the cost of the typical stuff you can find in Bevmo or goourmet boutiques.

If you want some commercial orgeats to compare against I really like these:

http://www.ditalia.com/product/Toschi_Almond_Orzata_Syrup/Beverages

http://www.torani.com/flavor/orgeat_almond_syrup

Best
Mark


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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-09-03 07:02 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-02 10:57, Sparkle Mark wrote:
You can get great rose water and orange blossom water at any Persian grocery or decent pan-Middle Eastern store. Since it is frequently used in Persian cuisine the bottles are about 2x as big and it's about half the cost of the typical stuff you can find in Bevmo or goourmet boutiques.

If you want some commercial orgeats to compare against I really like these:

http://www.ditalia.com/product/Toschi_Almond_Orzata_Syrup/Beverages

http://www.torani.com/flavor/orgeat_almond_syrup

Best
Mark



So far I have yet to find a Torani syrup that is any good. Too bad, since it there is a wall of the stuff at World Market. I think it's probably the worst I've ever had when it comes to their Almond. I haven't tried Toschi, but there is decent French orgeat available, so when I want to go store-bought, I just send away for that. I get my store-bought orgeat from
Touch of Europe. Search for "syrup" to see their whole line. They carry two kinds of orgeat, Teisseire and Rième. I get the Teisseire sometimes, but rarely because homemade is always better (except for ruined batches), including Emergency Orgeat (which is much thinner than the real deal, but can be made rather quickly).

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Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2008-09-05 5:49 pm   Permalink

Torani Almond is not the same as Torani Orgeat.
The almond flavor Torani is a sweet almond flavor and is probably meant for coffee drinks etc..

In regards to Almond exctracts you must make sure that your almond exttract is made from bitter almonds, many of the organic extracts are not made from bitter almond and have a distinctively differnt taste. Plain old McCormacks works.
Better yet see about obtaining Oil of Bitter Almond, that's what they "water down" with alcohol to make the extract.

Best
Mark


 
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The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1290
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2008-09-08 12:22 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-09-05 17:49, Sparkle Mark wrote:
Torani Almond is not the same as Torani Orgeat.
The almond flavor Torani is a sweet almond flavor and is probably meant for coffee drinks etc..

In regards to Almond exctracts you must make sure that your almond exttract is made from bitter almonds, many of the organic extracts are not made from bitter almond and have a distinctively differnt taste. Plain old McCormacks works.
Better yet see about obtaining Oil of Bitter Almond, that's what they "water down" with alcohol to make the extract.

Best
Mark



For the sake of knowing, I'll have to check out the Torani Orgeat. Having been burned on every one so far I am a bit skeptical.

The almond extracts I use are all bitter almond, but being that I prefer to make my own just about everything that tastes better using fresh ingredients, I'll see if I can find some Oil of Bitter Almond.

That's a good idea about the Persian/Middle Eastern stores. I'm sure there are plenty in and around this town.


 
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seabass
Member

Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 7
Posted: 2010-05-17 4:17 pm   Permalink

Does anyone know if Pacific Organic almond unsweetened is good for making Orgeat.

Ingredients-Organic almond base (filtered water, organic almonds) organic rice starch, sea salt, organic vanilla, natural flavor, carrageenan, riboflavin (B2) vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2.


 
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Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2010-05-17 11:49 pm   Permalink

IMO commercial almond milk tastes like sweet tea made from used band-aids, but that is just my opinion.
Commercial orgeat from Monin, Torani or the like are plenty tasty enough.
If you are going to bother making your own orgeat why not make it worth the effort.


 
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seabass
Member

Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 7
Posted: 2010-05-18 06:27 am   Permalink

My head is spinning there are so many variations of emergency orgeat.

How is this version?

cup of water
cup and a half of evaporated cane juice organic sugar
1 tsp rose flower water
1 1/2 tsp orange flower water
1 1/2 to 2 tsp almond extract

This is basically Scottes recipe with less flower water. Unfortynately I couldn't find orange flower water but will add when I can find it.


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2178
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-05-18 08:07 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-05-18 06:27, seabass wrote:
How is this version?

...I couldn't find orange flower water but will add when I can find it.



Sounds like a good start!

It may seem like a lot of work to milk all those little almonds, but the end result is well worth the effort. And with a bit if planning you can make a party of it and have a few friends over and double (or triple) up the recipe and everyone takes some home.

For the Flower waters... Try your local Indian, Middle Eastern, Turkish, or Greek markets. My little shop down the street has Rose Water, Orange Blossom, Grape Flower, Anise, and Elder Flower. I have to go by the pictures on the bottles since the writing is in Arabic. The owner of the shop sort of understood what I was after and pointed me to the correct bottles.


 
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seabass
Member

Joined: May 16, 2010
Posts: 7
Posted: 2010-05-18 09:33 am   Permalink

Ahu summarizes exactly how I feel below.

Lately I have been obsessing on making the most authentic tiki drinks. When I discovered how time consuming orgeat was I was happy to find the almond extract shortcut.

The most powerful sense is the sense of smell. i belive orgeat was used in the mai tai more for aroma. Sure the time consuming method of milking almonds will give a different mouthfeel but with everything added I think it will be negligible. I am thinking along the lines of the law of diminishing returns.

After all isn't the tiki lifestyle to relax. Am I wrong in thinking the extract/simple syrup/flower water recipe is inferior. If so then maybe I will seriously consider buying trader tiki's orgeat.


Quote:

On 2007-10-08 08:32, KuKuAhu wrote:
Well.. I am certainly excited to see where this thread has gone. Lots of great work being done on this subject. Hopefully folks will see that commercial orgeat is truly terrible stuff by comparison to homemade.

One note I'd like to make here:

I don't agree that extracts are a mere attempt at a fix. We must remember that we are trying to create a useful recipe for the home bartender, and the palate that exists within the populace for orgeat is one that has been trained by commercial brands.

So at least for myself, I am looking for a suitable substitute for the store bought junk that uses better ingredients, and approximates the flavor of the popular versions, but without the plastic tones and the corn syrup mouth feel.

If you use an organic extract, coupled with a hint of store bought almond milk, I think you will have the best possible compromise. To milk the ground almonds is a tedious task that most simply will never bother with. And of those who do try it once, most will never bother again.

I question whether the orgeat that Vic used for the Mai Tai was made without almond extract. I would remind everyone that it is possible to go too far back when it comes to cocktails from the tiki era. (see the falernum argument)

So if we are seeking an orgeat that would be true to the kitchen of a circa 1800s french country estate, then our recipe would likely differ from what we seek to recreate from Vic's 1940s bar.

And I found that orgeat was often made from barley as well. It might have been the original version.

It pays to make the pure form from the ground up (pun intended) with almonds.. this gives you the palate and perspective of extremes, but to me it pays to seek the useful balance in between.

I do not grind pommegranates for grenadine anymore either, as commericial pure pomm concentrates make real grenadine such a snap to create. Sure, the roots form does have a solid tannic kick to it that the concentrates lack, but I'll bet that tannin was not part of the equation in most drinks that utilize it.

Great work folks, I'd love to pow wow with all of you in a kitchen some time.




Ahu

_________________


Fraternal Order of Moai

[ This Message was edited by: KuKuAhu 2007-10-08 08:33 ]

[ This Message was edited by: KuKuAhu 2007-10-08 08:34 ]



 
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Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2010-05-18 10:57 am   Permalink

I would just buy commercial Orgeat, there are plenty out there that use nice cane sugar.

Trying to fix up something from other processed foods is like trying to make a gourmet meal by fixing up a TV dinner.

_________________


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2178
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-05-18 11:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-05-18 10:57, Sparkle Mark wrote:
I would just buy commercial Orgeat, there are plenty out there that use nice cane sugar.



And where is the fun in that?

I agree the whole Tiki-Thing is about relaxing and enjoying life. Me, I enjoy doing the Mad Scientist thing in the kitchen and bar so I don't consider it work.

As with all things bar and drink related.... your mileage may vary.


 
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