On making orgeat syrup

Since ISPCON sucked so bad, I’ll talk instead about how I made orgeat syrup last weekend. I’ve been meaning to try it out since the falernum was so successful (and it’s gone already — time to make another batch). Here’s what I did:
Zuckervati’s Orgeat Syrup #1

  • 300g blanched whole almonds
  • 400ml water
  • 2 Tbsp rose water
  • 1 Tbsp almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp orange extract
  • 100ml brandy
  • 2:1 sugar syrup to fill 750ml

Mix almonds and water in blender and blend quickly, until the almonds are coarsely chopped (less than 10s of blending). Pour into a large bowl, cover and set aside for a few hours. Stir it occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth (I recommend this vs. coffee filters or strainers because the almonds will retain the liquid quite effectively; you’ll need to squeeze the cheesecloth until all the liquid is removed). Once the almond milk is extracted, add the rose water and extracts, and brandy. You should have about 500-550ml at this point. Fill a 750ml bottle with the mix, and top it off with the 2:1 sugar syrup). Cork/seal the bottle and shake it until the syrup mixes in with the almond milk.
Now, I really should have been using orange flower water instead of orange extract, but this was what I had in the spice cupboard. Next time, I’ll use orange flower water if I can find any. Also, my rosewater was a little weak, possibly because I’ve had it for a long time (without really knowing what to do with it until now).
The resulting batch was very mild and delicious, not anything like the commercially -made Lia Orzata syrup I have. No harsh chemical taste, no overwhelming almond sensation coating your tongue.
After a couple of days, the batch separated quite completely into two layers, but a little shake brought it back to its uniform creaminess. I’m guessing that there’s not much you can do about this, except to add something to prolong the suspension. I would have probably doubled the quantities of extracts, just to make the mild flavour more evident in mixed drinks. It’s excellent on its own, and very subtle.