Orgeat is an almond syrup that adds a lightly sweet, nutty flavor to cocktails.
The Mai Tai is the most well-known drink that contains orgeat–although many recipes skip it in favor of grenadine, simple syrup or other more common ingredients.
There are several fine commercial orgeats on the market, along with many too-sweet, artificial-tasting varieties.
Darcy O’Neil has a fantastic recipe for orgeat, if you want to take the time to make it right. However, if you want to experiment with a quick recipe, here’s one you can try. The flavor is deeper, richer and less sugary than the ones you’ll typically find in the store and it’ll do the job in any cocktail.
8 oz sliced almonds
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
3 dashes orange blossom water
Toast almonds at 400 degrees for five minutes, shaking half way through. Pulverize the almonds after they’ve cooled, using a blender or food processor. Heat the sugar and water until it boils, then add the almonds. Simmer and remove from heat once it boils. Cover the mixture and let it sit for at least three hours up to 12 hours. Strain through cheese cloth and add the orange blossom water. Add vodka to preserve if desired.