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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food why Orgeat?
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why Orgeat?
Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2007-02-15 1:26 pm   Permalink

Ok, so the debate might still go on 'who created the Mai Tai', but what I wanna know is why Orgeat?
I pride myself on mixing up a few drinks. But when the originator of the Mai Tai choose to use Orgeat, why?
I mean, it tastes great, but it's seldom used in cocktails. So what prompted someone to use it as an essential ingredient in such a great drink.
Mixologists enlighten me...guide me onto the path of great cocktail consciousness.
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TraderPeg
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 91
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
Posted: 2007-02-15 5:00 pm   Permalink

I would hazard a guess that it is because the sweet almond flavor of orgeat imparts a layer of flavor that enhances both the rum and the fruit juices. It is a vintage ingredient that today would just be referred to as "almond syrup," I'll wager.

I've also learned recently that orgeat syrup is particularly favored as an offering to the Voodoo gods and modern day practitioners bring it to ceremonies along with the rums and cigars that the gods also enjoy.



 
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jazzman
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 23, 2006
Posts: 23
From: East Bay
Posted: 2007-02-15 6:20 pm   Permalink

What was your source of information regarding the use of orgeat syrup in vodou practice?
-Sam


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2211
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-15 7:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-15 13:26, Kon-Hemsby wrote:
...So what prompted someone to use it as an essential ingredient in such a great drink....



I will invite you to put your nose to a good bottle of Orgeat. The almond flavor compliments both the lime and the orange flavors and the nutty aroma brings a wonderful little bit of exotic to the nose. And, if you are still not sure, try a Mai-Tai without it.... I think you will find it a bit flat overall without it.
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5777
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-02-15 8:13 pm   Permalink

Must buy Orgeat!!!

 
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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2007-02-16 12:31 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-15 19:30, Chip and Andy wrote:
Quote:

On 2007-02-15 13:26, Kon-Hemsby wrote:
...So what prompted someone to use it as an essential ingredient in such a great drink....



I will invite you to put your nose to a good bottle of Orgeat. The almond flavor compliments both the lime and the orange flavors and the nutty aroma brings a wonderful little bit of exotic to the nose. And, if you are still not sure, try a Mai-Tai without it.... I think you will find it a bit flat overall without it.



I agree that the orgeat works perfectly, but what puzzles me is that it is hardly used in other tropical drinks, so what prompted someone to pick up a bottle and try it? Randomness, luck, spare bottle lying around..........


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-02-16 06:38 am   Permalink

Using my bar selection as example, I looked at the Grogalizer Special Search and there were 14 recipes with orgeat. A few. I would guess that it was a mixer picked up via the Carribean along with Sazerac and rum. It made its way to the US in the hands of Trader Vic or Don Beach and they started using it. It became a standard ingredient.
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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2007-02-16 08:04 am   Permalink

Cheers Swanky. That's the kinda knowledge I'm a thirsting for.

Mahalo
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aikiman44
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 08, 2004
Posts: 281
From: NY
Posted: 2007-02-16 09:03 am   Permalink

Don't excoriate me, but I've used amaretto instead of orgeat.

 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2211
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-16 09:45 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-16 09:03, aikiman44 wrote:
Don't excoriate me, but I've used amaretto instead of orgeat.



My only question to you is have you compared the flavor of one against the other? Straight, I mean. Amaretto it a liquore with an alcoholic content, orgeat is a flavoring with little to no alcoholic content. One brings more sweet to the drink than the other. Have you kept that in mind when using one to sub for the other?

And then.... what do you think of the cocktails with the substitute? Do you find them better? worse? different? What does the Amaretto bring to the drink as a substitute?


 
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Melintur
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 306
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2007-02-16 09:56 am   Permalink

It think you'll find that Orgeat was more than often a Trader Vic peculiarity.

In the Beachbum Berry seminar at the last Hukilau, he mentioned a personal last nail in the coffin about the infamous "Who made the Mai Tai" fight: At the time of the creation of the Mai Tai, Donn did not use Orgeat. Vic did.

Interestingly, Proto-Orgeat was an elixir made of almond and Barley. This substance branched off to become (through cultures and locations) Horchata and our now-known Orgeat.

Some interesting links:

http://www2.wwnorton.com/pob/SpottedD/hundred.htm

P.S. as an interesting aside - nuts were often stored historically as a cheaper source of fat. They would keep longer than a meat source of fat - i.e. you could store them as you store grain. When you'd need some fat for a recipe, you would create "almond milk" from the crushed almonds (a first step in making Orgeat). Many medieval recipes use almond milk as their source of fat due to the popularity of this contemporary lipid-source storage.

http://www.godecookery.com/goderec/grec31.htm

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Lukeulele
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 377
From: So Cal-holic
Posted: 2007-02-16 3:37 pm   Permalink

Not to get off topic here, but WHERE do you find Orgeat?? For the last three weeks, I've hit up every liquor store, supermarket, health food store, etc.... and NO ONE knows what I'm talking about. One older lady at a liquor store told me it hasn't been made since the 1930s, and the best one was from the young girl behind the counter of another liquor store that just giggled and said, "Wow, that must be brand new stuff, I've never heard of it before". ARRRGGGGGG!! Anyone got any helpful hints on where to look? I've contacted Fee Bros and the closest distributor to me is like 70 miles away. (I'm ready to take the trip!!) Someone suggested a coffee shop that specializes in gourmet flavors? Any thoughts on this??
Thanks
PS: I live in N.E.Connecticut if anyone has a source around here.


 
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DJ HawaiianShirt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 148
From: NoVA, DC
Posted: 2007-02-16 3:47 pm   Permalink

If you can't find orgeat syrup, then click on the link I've posted below. It's a recipe on how to make orgeat syrup.

But anecdotally, I just tried this recipe and it didn't turn out too well.

I'm just gonna go find some orgeat syrup online. This is DC, after all, and there are hardly any places here that would carry it.

http://www.theartofdrink.com/blog/2006/02/orgeat_syrup.php

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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2993
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2007-02-16 4:28 pm   Permalink

Don't forget the Floral element of Orgeat's makeup, either Rose or Orange-Blossom Water are added to the Almonds & Sugar, which adds incredible amounts of aroma to the drink. I believe the Orange-Blossom Water version is preferred for Mai-Tais, maybe Chip & Andy would like to add testing, & Tasting, Rose Water vs. Orange Blossom Water versions of Orgeat to their Mai-Tai Study? Have you two tried any Homemade Orgeats, like This one? It could allow you to experiment with the levels of the floral notes in the syrup.
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Lukeulele
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 04, 2006
Posts: 377
From: So Cal-holic
Posted: 2007-02-16 5:46 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-16 15:47, DJ HawaiianShirt wrote:
If you can't find orgeat syrup, then click on the link I've posted below. It's a recipe on how to make orgeat syrup.

But anecdotally, I just tried this recipe and it didn't turn out too well.

I'm just gonna go find some orgeat syrup online. This is DC, after all, and there are hardly any places here that would carry it.

http://www.theartofdrink.com/blog/2006/02/orgeat_syrup.php


Thanks DJ!
I just found this web site
http://sovrana.stores.yahoo.net/routinsyrups.html and ordered a couple bottles as well as some Passion Fruit Syrup. Anybody have any comments about this brand??

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