Orgeat syrup is a common ingredient in different cocktails. This syrup is made of almonds, rose water, and sugar, and the original recipe contained a barley-almond blend. Some brands of orgeat use orange flower water instead of rose water as well. But what if your cocktail calls for orgeat and you don’t have this precious ingredient?
You can use almond syrup, amaretto, almond extract, orzata syrup, and many other substitutes to save your recipe! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about orgeat replacements!
Best substitutes for orgeat syrup
Choose the orgeat substitute that sounds most appealing to you as all of them will be able to complete your recipe successfully.
1. Almond syrup
Almond syrup is the closest substitute for orgeat. You can use it in all types of cocktails that call for orgeat and maintain the same ratio as you prepare your drink. This syrup brings your drink the rich almond taste but it is smoother in flavor compared to orgeat since it doesn’t contain the rest of the ingredients of it.
The difference in flavor between these two almond-based syrups comes from the fact that almond syrup lacks the orange flower water or rose water that you can find in orgeat. Unlike with other orgeat substitutes, however, if you use almond syrup, you will not need to add a sweetener since it is a very sweet syrup on its own.
If you don’t have orgeat, you can use amaretto instead and still end up with a tasty drink. Since amaretto is made of apricot pits, it will have a bitter flavor with notes of cherries and a sweet-nutty flavor. Amaretto will lack the strong almond flavor that orgeat brings to your drink but it makes up with the nutty taste.
If you want this substitute to resemble orgeat more, you can combine it with one part of rose water for one part of amaretto. In terms of ratio, substitute two parts of orgeat with one part of amaretto and if you like the flavor you can always add more. Note that adding too much amaretto to your drink might give it a bitter taste.
Amaretto can be served as a plain drink too or with ice and soda, according to your preferences.
3. Almond extract
Almond extract can save your cocktail recipe miraculously as long as you add it correctly to your drink. This extract is made of almond oil, alcohol, and water. You can add it to your desserts as well as your drinks, in the same way, you would add vanilla extract.
If you use the almond extract as an orgeat substitute, note that it is not sweet. So, you want to combine it with honey or another sweetener of your choice before you add it to your cocktail. You also want to add a small quantity of it. For instance, if your cocktail calls for one ounce of orgeat, start by adding only half an ounce of almond extract. This substitute is more concentrated than other substitutes so it will bring a more intense almond taste to your drink.
4. Orzata syrup
Orzata is a non-alcoholic syrup that comes from Italy. If you don’t like rose water, orzata can be a great alternative to orgeat in all types of cocktails. This syrup is flavored with extract of benzoin resin and it is made of nuts, seeds, and barley, that combined in perfect quantities give it a flavor that is similar to almonds.
You want to add less orzato to your drink than you would add orgeat as it has a more bitter taste. You might also feel the need for an additional sweetener of your choice to balance out the bitterness.
5. Crème de noyaux
Crème de noyaux comes from France and it is made of peach pits and cherry kernels along with sugar. It is sweet and creamy and you can use it as a substitute for any type of syrup, including orgeat. The cherry kernels and peach bits combine, giving this substitute an almond-like flavor even if it doesn’t contain any almonds.
When you use Crème de noyaux to substitute orgeat, you want to maintain the same ratio and if you like the taste, you can always increase the quantity of it. It is suitable for cocktails but also coffee beverages like cappuccinos.
6. Almond milk
Almond milk can save your recipe if you are not able to find any other substitute for orgeat in your cocktail. Almond milk can be sweetened and unsweetened and there are several brands on the market that you can try. If you use unsweetened almond milk, you will want to add your sweetener, according to your preference. This could be sugar, honey, or any other syrup.
When you replace orgeat with almond milk, you will have to add a double quantity of almond milk if you want to increase the almond flavor in your drink. The downside of adding too much almond milk is that your cocktail might be too watery and diluted. To avoid that, you can use almond milk instead of the filler liquid in your drink.
Falernum syrup comes from the Caribbean region and you can use it successfully instead of orgeat in any type of recipe. This syrup comes in different flavors, including a nutty one that is the best to choose if you want to replace your orgeat syrup.
Other falernum flavors you might find are ginger, cloves, lime, and even an all-spice flavor. It also comes in both an alcoholic flavor and non-alcoholic flavor so you can choose exactly what you need for your recipe. The spicy notes of falernum mix perfectly with any type of cocktail.
In terms of quantity, you want to use between 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce of falernum in your drink. It has an intense flavor and aroma and once you shake your drink well, you will be able to taste it.
8. Orange syrup
Naturally, the orange syrup will not add any almond flavor to your drink but it can still be a delicious substitute to rely on. If you like the taste of orange syrup, add it in the same ratio that you would add orgeat to your cocktail. Consider that orange flower water is often one of the ingredients in orgeat. So, you will get the orange flavor anyway, regardless of which one you choose from these two syrups.
However, if you don’t want your cocktail to have a citrus taste that takes over the other flavors, you want to add half the quantity of orange syrup. Either way, you will end up with a very tasty and refreshing drink.
9. Maple syrup
Maple syrup can also replace orgeat in almost any type of recipe. It is easy to find in stores and it brings an intense flavor to your cocktail. Original maple syrup has a mild maple taste and notes of caramel, vanilla, and prune. It is commonly used as a topping for pancakes but it can be a tasty ingredient in cocktails as well.
Use the same quantity of maple syrup that you would use orgeat but don’t expect the same flavor. Maple syrup will not bring the almond taste to your drink but it will give it an intense sweetness that you might even learn to prefer.
Honey is a classic ingredient in many sweet recipes, from cocktails to other drinks and desserts. You will be able to combine it with other substitutes in this list but you can also use it on its own.
Honey has a syrup-like texture and the sweetness that you want to enhance the taste of your cocktail. It lacks the almond flavor but otherwise, it can bring you one of the best results. Plus, honey is very accessible and budget-friendly and you might already have it in your kitchen.
Use less honey than orgeat in your drink as it is sweeter. You want to start with a teaspoon of honey and increase the quantity only if you feel the need for more sweetness.
11. Pomegranate molasses
Pomegranate molasses has a taste that combines sweetness with sourness in a unique manner. It is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and you can use it to replace orgeat successfully in all types of cocktails. Note that it might be challenging to find this alternative in grocery stores though and it is not one of the cheapest options.
Since it brings a certain sour flavor to your cocktail, you want to add just half the quantity of orgeat that you would normally add to your drink. Pomegranate molasses can be a great ingredient for exotic cocktails as well as other types of sweet drinks as long as you don’t add too much of it.
12. Fruit juice
If you can’t find syrup as an alternative to orgeat, you can replace this ingredient with a fruit juice that you like. Fruit juices bring the sweetness you need to your drink but also the acidity that will highlight the other flavors.
For instance, you can use pineapple juice to replace orgeat in the Mai Tai recipe and you will end up with a similar taste. But ultimately, you can use any type of fruit juice according to the rest of the ingredients in your cocktail.
Is almond syrup the same as orgeat?
Almond syrup and orgeat are two different products, even if there is general confusion around them. These two syrups contain different ingredients to begin with, which gives them different final flavors.
Almond syrup is simply made of almond extract, water, and sugar. Different from almond syrup, orgeat is made of almonds, rose water or orange flower water, and sugar. If you add rose water instead of regular water to your almond syrup recipe, you obtain orgeat. But as you find it already made, this might not be the case.
Many people consider almond syrup and orgeat to be the same, but they are in fact, two very similar products. Thanks to their similarities, you can use orgeat and almond syrup interchangeably in most drinks and desserts.
Is orgeat the same as simple syrup?
Orgeat has the consistency and texture of most syrups, and in that aspect, it is very similar. It also has the sweetness that any other syrup brings to your recipe.
However, it is also rich in almond flavor, and the rose water or orange flower water gives it a distinct taste that separates it from the simple syrup. If you use simple syrup, made primarily of sugar and water or milk, you will not obtain the rich flavor that orgeat brings to your cocktail.
So, it is essential to treat orgeat syrup and simple syrup as two different ingredients because they will impact the final flavor of your drink differently as well.
What does orgeat taste like?
Orgeat has a distinctive taste that makes it the best ingredient for several recipes. You can use it in cocktails but also in different toppings and desserts, and you will not be disappointed.
You will love the almond flavor of orgeat that blends perfectly with the taste of rose water and sugar. If the orgeat is made with orange flower water, you will notice that your syrup has a mild citrus taste than gives it an even more interesting flavor.
Some chefs associate orgeat with the taste of liquid marzipan and find it difficult to replace it in certain recipes. However, the substitutes in this guide will help you save your cocktail even if you lack the tasty orgeat.
Best homemade orgeat recipe
If you want to use orgeat in your cocktail as well as other recipes but you don’t have it, how about you make it yourself? It is not as complicated as you might expect, and you will have it handy every time you need it!
The ingredients you need to make your orgeat are 2 cups blanched almonds, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, 1 ounce brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water or rose water.
Blend the almonds
You will need to blend the almond in your food processor until they are finely ground. You don’t want chunks of almond in your final orgeat syrup. You can even use almond powder that you purchase from your local grocery store.
This can be a great option if you don’t have a blender. When you use purchased almond powder though, make sure it doesn’t contain any other ingredients because all you need is a concentrated almond flavor.
Make the syrup
Add the water and sugar into a container and bring the mix to a boil. Let it boil for up to three minutes and when the sugar dissolves, add the ground almonds to the mix. Let the nutty mix simmer for three minutes. When your mix reaches a boiling point again remove it from the stove.
Infuse almonds mix for up to three hours and strain
Cover the almond syrup with a lid and let it sit for up to three hours. Once the infusing time ends, strain your syrup through two-layer cheesecloths. You can use the almonds for a future round of orgeat as well.
Add brandy and orange flower water
In the strained syrup, mix the brandy along with the orange flower water. Stir until all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
Store your orgeat
You can store your orgeat in small bottles or one big jar. Regardless of the type of containers, you choose to store your orgeat, make sure they are sealed with airtight lids. Your syrup will stay well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and you can use it any time you want!
Orgeat is a great ingredient in various drinks, and cocktails but also as a topping on different desserts and even baked sweets. And once you learn how to make a delicious orgeat in the comfort of your home, you will never lack this ingredient, and all your recipes will turn out perfectly.
As hard to replace as orgeat might seem to be, this complex guide offers you the best substitutes you can use in your cocktails. But because orgeat is a common ingredient in all types of desserts, you can find replacements for it in different recipes as well by checking the list in this guide.
Make sure to taste the substitute you lean to use before adding it to your drink. By doing so, you will know if you like its flavor, and you will be able to decide how much of it you want to add as well. Plus, once you taste your option, you will identify its sweetness, and you can choose to add extra sweetener to obtain just the taste you want! And if you want to remain faithful to your recipes, give our homemade orgeat recipe a try, and you will not regret it!