Joined: May 01, 2007
|Posted: 2007-06-25 09:10 am  Permalink|
Emergency Orgeat Syrup
This weekend I did a batch of Emergency Orgeat. The following is a step-by-step on how to make it.
To reiterate, this is not the high-quality orgeat that takes me a couple of days to make. This orgeat uses store-bought almond milk and can be whipped together in ten minutes. Even though it pales in comparisson to gourmet orgeat, it is still better than the French orgeat I keep on hand for back up. Once you start making this, you'll find yourself relying on it more and more because it is cheap, easy, and only takes ten minutes to make.
Actually, depending on when you start and stop counting, it only takes about one minute to make. The ten minutes includes about five minutes of waiting and four minutes of separating the syrup from the froth layer.
Store-bought Almond Milk along with (also store-bought) Sugar, Orange Blossom Water, and Rose Water; plus a shot (or so) of rum. In this batch, I used Wray & Nephew White Overproof, which has kerosene overtones (desirable) and it doesn't intrude on the orange and rose.
Important – Make sure the store-bought almond milk has had a chance for its almond residue to settle back down to the bottom of the carton before using.
I don't see a lot of people waiting for Whole Foods to open in the morning so they can make a mad dash for the almond milk. Generally, right off the grocery shelf the milk is fairly well settled. The trip from the store to the house shakes it up a little, but it settles back down in a few hours. The majority of the almond gunk is pretty-well stuck to the bottom of the carton from sitting around unmoved for so long. Do not disturb this sediment.
If you do disturb it, and if you don't then remove it from the milk, it will remain suspended in your orgeat for a long time before it finally settles to the bottom. That will cause all of your drinks to become very cloudy. They'll taste fine, but they'll be cloudy and will stratify in the drink if it's allowed to sit for any length of time.
You should use the milk from the top 3/4 of the carton for your orgeat. Use the rest for cooking recipes that call for quanities of milk. The almond sediment is edible, of course, but has no business in your orgeat.
I use a Magic Bullet, which is a cocktail-shaker-size blender with a few interchangeable pieces. You can use a regular blender instead, but if you have to stir by hand, the process takes a little longer.
Not shown is the drinking straw used to suck the froth layer off the top of the syrup. The froth tastes good, but it is too chaulky to allow to remain in the syrup.
Fill the blender about two-thirds full of almond milk. Pour in sugar until the level of the liquid is not quite to the top (leaving room for the following). Next try to pour in a drop of orange blossom water. A lot more than a drop comes out. Do two more of those and do one of the rose water. The dark area at the bottom of the mixture in the photo is the wet sugar that has yet to be dissolved.
Screw on the blade (Magic Bullet) or put on the lid (regular blender). So far, this has all taken up about 15–20 seconds.
If the almond milk was refrigerated, blend for about 30 seconds. If it was unopened and came off the shelf (i.e., room temperature), blend for only 10–15 seconds. It only takes about five seconds for the ingredients to mix together, the majority of the time is just dissolving the sugar. So... this part doesn't have to take up a whole minute.
Minutes Two Through Six
Let the liquid settle for five minutes so that the froth can rise to the top.
Hey! Where am I? Oh, yeah.
While I waited, I decided to wash off the blade, shave some ice...
...round up a jigger of Mount Gay Eclipse and a jigger of Coruba, plus a shot of Appleton Estate 12 year for the topper...
...sneak up quietly behind and unsuspecting stand of mint...
(Ha! Caught one!)
...and make myself one of these babies.
Minutes Seven Through Ten
Now that the liquid has stratifed as much as it's going to, it's time to suck the froth off the top with the straw.
Ta da! It's done.
Decant into an appropriate dispenser.
Orgeat & Rock Candy Syrups are like the Salt & Pepper of tropical drinks. You can use a dash (or more) of each in almost any tropical drink. They're must haves.
NOTE: Since these pics were taken I've gone back to using plain corks from wine bottles as stoppers. The orgeat and the rock candy syrups have opposite effects on the corks. The orgeat makes the cork swell up and the rock candy syrup makes the cork shivel up. Whenever I replenish a batch I just wash and switch the corks, which restores them. I've tried different kinds of stoppers, but these two syrups just seem to destroy them.
Rock candy syrup is not all the same, nor does simple syrup compare. The more unstable the rock candy syrup the better. Its instability refers to its propensity to precipitate sugar crystals (in the form of rock candy). Here's a pic of the bottom of the jar that previously held the syrup in the preceding photo. That's about three weeks of crystallization.
It's about time to dissolve that rock candy and turn it into another batch. Anyway, I like to keep kick-ass rock candy syrup on hand at all times.
Emergency Orgeat Syrup does not have nearly the character of the orgeat that is made from home-made almond milk, heated to 125º F, gradually adding sugar, set out for a day to stratify, then separated from its froth and sediment layers. It does, however, do a fantastic job considering the few minutes it takes to produce.
[ This Message was edited by: The Gnomon 2009-08-06 12:05 ]