Substitutes for Orgeat Syrup

Orgeat syrup is a sweet almond-flavored syrup with a hint of floral notes, commonly used in cocktails and various beverages. While it gives a unique flavor profile to drinks like the Mai Tai and the Japanese Cocktail, there may be instances when you’re looking to whip up a drink without having access to Orgeat syrup. Luckily, there are some substitutes you can use to achieve a similar taste without compromising the quality of your cocktails.

Almond syrup, almond milk, or amaretto can serve as effective substitutes for Orgeat syrup, giving you a range of options depending on your preference and the availability of ingredients in your pantry. Some might choose to create a homemade Orgeat syrup recipe as well, allowing for customization according to taste preferences. Keep in mind, though, that some substitutions may affect the overall cocktail’s flavor balance, so experiment diligently to find the best alternative.

Key Takeaways

  • Orgeat syrup is a sweet almond-flavored syrup used in various cocktails
  • Almond syrup, almond milk, and amaretto are potential substitutes for Orgeat syrup
  • Experiment with different alternatives to find the best flavor balance in your cocktails

What is Orgeat Syrup

Orgeat Syrup is a sweet almond-based syrup with a subtle floral essence. The main ingredients in Orgeat Syrup are sugar, water, and almonds, which are combined to create a smooth and luscious syrup. To achieve its unique taste, a touch of orange or rose water might be added during the process.

You might know Orgeat Syrup as an essential component in various cocktails, such as the famous Mai Tai. Apart from classic cocktails, it can be used in a wide range of beverages like coffee, tea, and mocktails, along with desserts and baked goods.

Traditionally, making Orgeat Syrup involves blending raw almonds with water and sugar. The mixture is then strained numerous times to remove the almond solids. The distinctive flavor and aroma of this syrup are derived from the delicate balance between almonds and the floral addition.

While Orgeat Syrup is known for its almond flavor, it is worth noting that the name “orgeat” comes from the French word “orge,” which means barley. Initially, it was made with barley, but over time, almond became the main ingredient, giving the syrup its current identity.

In some instances, people might use other ingredients like amaretto or almond syrup as substitutes for Orgeat Syrup. Each of these alternatives may have slightly different flavors and textures, but they all share the almond base that defines Orgeat Syrup.

Popular Cocktails with Orgeat Syrup

Orgeat syrup is a crucial ingredient in several well-known cocktails. It adds a unique, sweet flavor to these drinks, making them stand out in a crowd. Here are some popular cocktails you can make using Orgeat syrup:

Mai Tai: This iconic tiki cocktail is a staple at any bar and has a rich history in the Caribbean and Polynesian drinking culture. A classic Mai Tai combines light and dark rum, lime juice, orange curaçao, and of course, Orgeat syrup. The almond-flavored syrup brings balance to the drink with its irresistible sweetness.

Japanese Cocktail: This lesser-known but equally delicious cocktail is made with brandy, aromatic bitters, and Orgeat syrup. The result is a delightful mix of flavors perfect for sipping at your favorite bar or at home.

Scorpion: A popular tiki drink served in elaborate Scorpion bowls, the Scorpion cocktail consists of light and dark rum, gin, wine, orange juice, lemon juice, and Orgeat syrup. The blend of various spirits, fruits, and the sweetness of the syrup creates a refreshing taste that transports you to the Caribbean.

Trader Vic’s Grog: Named after the famous Trader Vic’s Tiki Bar, this cocktail contains three types of rum, apricot brandy, lime and grapefruit juice, grenadine, and a splash of Orgeat syrup. The syrup adds a layer of complexity to the cocktail by enhancing its fruity flavors.

When making cocktails with Orgeat syrup, remember that a little goes a long way. Its potent sweetness can easily overpower the other flavors in your drink if not used in moderation. That being said, with the right balance, Orgeat syrup can transform your cocktail into a luxurious and memorable treat. So, grab your shaker and shaking tins, and get ready to impress your friends with these delectable concoctions!

Substitutes for Orgeat Syrup

If you’re in need of a substitute for orgeat syrup, there are several options available that can provide a similar flavor profile. Some common alternatives include:

Falernum: This Caribbean syrup is made from sugar, lime, and spices like ginger and cloves. It has a slightly sweet and spiced taste that can work well as a substitute for orgeat in many cocktails.

Almond extract: Combine almond extract with simple syrup to achieve a similar flavor to orgeat. Start with a few drops of almond extract in your syrup and adjust according to your taste preference.

Simple syrup and almond milk: Mixing equal parts of simple syrup and almond milk can produce a similar consistency and flavor to orgeat syrup. Keep in mind that using this substitute may result in a slightly thinner texture.

Crème de Noyaux: This almond-flavored liqueur is made from apricot and peach kernels, giving it a hint of nuttiness similar to orgeat. Replace the orgeat syrup with crème de noyaux in equal parts.

Orange flower water and almond extract: By adding a few drops of orange flower water and almond extract to simple syrup, you can create a fragrant and flavorful substitute for orgeat syrup.

Ginger: If you’re looking for a more subtle, warming substitute for orgeat, try incorporating ginger syrup into your recipe. Its spiciness will add a unique touch to your cocktails.

Orujo: This Spanish liqueur has an almond essence that makes it a suitable alternative to orgeat. Use it in moderation, as the alcohol content is higher than that of orgeat syrup.

Orzata syrup: Orzata syrup is a non-alcoholic Italian version of orgeat, made from water, sugar, and bitter almonds. It may be an ideal substitute, considering its similar ingredients and flavor profile.

Homemade Orgeat Recipe

If you’re looking to make your own orgeat syrup at home, you’re in luck. This homemade orgeat recipe is simple, cost-effective, and allows you to personalize the flavors to your liking.

To make your homemade orgeat, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water

First, coarsely chop your blanched almonds, or you can pulse them in a food processor until they’re broken down. Next, combine the almonds and 1 1/4 cups of water in a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Pour the blended almond mixture into a large bowl and let it sit for at least 3 hours, or overnight for the best results. This allows the flavors to fully develop and the almonds to infuse the water. Once the mixture has rested, strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, collecting the liquid in a separate bowl.

In a small saucepan, add the granulated sugar and 1 cup of the strained almond liquid. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. You can discard the remaining almond solids.

Finally, remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water and rose water. You’re now ready to use your homemade orgeat syrup in any recipe that calls for it.

Once cooled, store your homemade orgeat syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for up to two weeks, but always check for any signs of spoilage before using. Enjoy your homemade orgeat and the versatility it provides in your cocktails and other recipes!

Orgeat Syrup Alternatives in Different Drinks

When you’re looking to recreate the rich, nutty flavor of orgeat syrup in your drinks, there are several suitable alternatives that you can use. Let’s explore some of these options in different types of beverages:

For coffee, you might consider using almond milk or almond extract to create a similar taste profile. Simply add the desired amount of almond milk or a few drops of almond extract to your coffee, and you’ll achieve that nutty essence reminiscent of orgeat syrup.

In rum-based cocktails, like the Mai Tai or Rum Swizzle, a good substitute would be Falernum syrup. This syrup, made from almonds, cloves, ginger, and lime, will give your drink a rich and complex flavor profile. To use Falernum syrup in place of orgeat, just swap it in equal amounts.

If you’re crafting a drink with lime in it, such as a Margarita or a Gimlet, using amaretto liqueur can provide a complementary nutty taste. Amaretto’s almond-like flavor will work beautifully with the tartness of lime, creating a smooth and delicious beverage.

For desserts that call for orgeat syrup, almond-based options are the way to go. Almond syrup or almond extract can be used in place of orgeat to provide a similar flavor profile in desserts like fruit tarts, almond cake, or even custards.

In summary, there are a variety of alternative options for orgeat syrup depending on the type of drink or dessert you are creating. Almond-based substitutes like almond milk, almond syrup, almond extract, and even amaretto liqueur can offer the desired nuttiness when used in coffee, rum cocktails, lime drinks, and various desserts. Meanwhile, Falernum syrup provides a versatile and complex substitute for rum-based mixed drinks. With these substitutes in mind, you’ll confidently be able to enjoy the rich, nutty flavors of orgeat syrup in various forms without missing a beat.

Health Considerations for Orgeat Substitutes

When choosing a substitute for orgeat syrup, it’s essential to consider any health and dietary concerns. Keep in mind that some orgeat alternatives may trigger allergies, affect sugar intake, or contain artificial ingredients.

If you have nut allergies, avoid substitutes made from almond milk or other nut-based products. It’s best to opt for a nut-free alternative like maple syrup, honey, or fruit juice. Remember to check the labels for hidden nut-derived ingredients to ensure the safety of your choice.

Maple syrup is a popular orgeat substitute that adds a natural sweetness to your recipes. While it’s high in antioxidants, it also has a high sugar content. If you’re watching your sugar intake, opt for a sugar-free syrup or stick to a small serving size. Keep in mind, the intense sweetness of maple syrup might alter the flavors of your cocktails or baked goods.

Another sweet option is honey. Like maple syrup, honey offers health benefits due to its antioxidant properties and natural origin. However, it also has a high sugar content. If you’re diabetic or trying to reduce your sugar intake, consider using a smaller amount or seeking out a sugar-free alternative.

Fruit juice is another suitable orgeat substitute, but not all fruit juices are created equal. Opt for unsweetened and 100% natural fruit juices to avoid added sugars or artificial ingredients. Additionally, the acidity and flavor profile of the chosen fruit juice might impact your recipe’s final taste.

To add a tangy twist to your recipe, citric acid can work as a substitute for orgeat syrup. However, use it sparingly, as excessive citric acid might cause a sharp and overpowering flavor. Balance it with a sweetener like simple syrup or agave nectar for a well-rounded taste.

In summary, be mindful of potential allergies, sugar content, and artificial ingredients when selecting a substitute for orgeat syrup. Weigh your options and choose the best alternative that aligns with your health considerations and the desired flavors in your recipe.

Storage and Shelf Life of Orgeat Syrup

Storing Orgeat Syrup properly is essential to maintain its flavor, quality, and shelf life. To ensure the best storage conditions, always refrigerate your Orgeat Syrup after opening. Keeping it in a cool, dark place will help prolong its freshness.

When storing the syrup, make sure to close the cap tightly and keep the bottle upright. This will help prevent any leaks or spills, as well as minimize exposure to oxygen, which can cause the syrup to degrade more quickly. It’s also a good idea to label the bottle with the date it was opened, so you can easily keep track of its age.

The shelf life of Orgeat Syrup varies depending on factors like the freshness of the ingredients and the storage conditions. Generally, an unopened bottle of homemade Orgeat Syrup can last up to 1 month when stored in the refrigerator. For commercial Orgeat Syrup, check the label on the bottle for an expiration date or a best-by date. Once opened, it’s recommended to consume the syrup within 1-2 months. However, if you notice any signs of spoilage such as mold, off-odor, or a change in texture, discard the syrup immediately.

Remember, proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality and flavor of Orgeat Syrup. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy its distinct taste in your favorite cocktails and recipes for as long as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a good alternative to orgeat syrup for cocktails?

A popular alternative to orgeat syrup in cocktails is almond syrup, which has a similar flavor profile. Other options include falernum, a sweet syrup containing almond essence, and Amaretto, an almond-flavored liqueur. Experiment with these substitutes to find the best balance of taste for your cocktail.

Can I use almond syrup instead of orgeat?

Yes, you can use almond syrup as a substitute for orgeat syrup. The primary difference between them is that orgeat syrup contains orange or rose flower water, providing a subtle floral taste. If you cannot find orgeat syrup, almond syrup will still give you an almond flavor, but it may be slightly less nuanced.

Is amaretto a suitable replacement for orgeat in Mai Tais?

Amaretto can be used as a substitute for orgeat syrup in Mai Tais. However, be aware that Amaretto is an almond liqueur, so it will add a distinct alcoholic content to your cocktail. If you wish to maintain a non-alcoholic option in your Mai Tais, stick to orgeat syrup or use one of the other non-alcoholic substitutes.

How does orgeat syrup flavor compare to other syrups?

Orgeat syrup has a unique flavor profile, combining the tastes of sweet almond with subtle hints of orange or rose flower water. This combination creates a versatile syrup that pairs well with a variety of cocktail ingredients. Other syrups, like simple syrup or grenadine, may not possess the same complexity in their flavor profiles, which is why orgeat stands out in cocktails.

Are there any non-alcoholic substitutes for orgeat syrup?

Yes, there are non-alcoholic substitutes for orgeat syrup. Almond syrup is one option, with its sweet almond flavor but without the added floral taste from the flower water. Additionally, falernum is another non-alcoholic option, containing both almond essence and sweet spices like cloves and cinnamon.

What other syrups can be used for making Mai Tais?

In addition to orgeat syrup, you can use other syrups, such as simple syrup or grenadine, for making Mai Tais. However, keep in mind that substituting with these alternatives will likely alter the cocktail’s taste, making it less authentic. Be open to experimenting with different syrups to achieve the desired flavor for your Mai Tai.

Homemade Orgeat Syrup Substitute

Homemade Orgeat Syrup
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks, Substitute
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 88 kcal


  • 2 cups blanched almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water


  • In a food processor, pulse the blanched almonds until they are finely ground.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the ground almonds and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.
  • Discard the almond pulp and return the liquid to the saucepan.
  • Add the sugar to the saucepan and stir until dissolved.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the almond extract and orange blossom water.
  • Transfer the syrup to a clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Calories: 88kcal
Keyword orgeat syrup substitute
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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