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D

I conducted a taste test of 8 brands of orgeat and just posted the results on Professor Cocktail:

Taste Test: Orgeat (Almond Syrup)

The brands I tasted were:

B.G. Reynolds Orgeat
Fee Brothers Orgeat (Almond) Cordial
Monin Almond Orgeat
Routin 1883 Orgeat
Small Hand Foods Orgeat
Sonoma Syrup Vanilla Almond (Orgeat)
Teisseire Orgeat
Torani Almond Orgeat

Cheers!

Great comparison, thanks!

My homemade Orgeat looks like the Small Hand stuff. I've yet to try that one, but making Orgeat is so easy I probably won't have to.

Thanks again for an excellent shootout!

D

The two times I've made it, my orgeat came out a dark brown. But now that I think of it, I used turbinado sugar, so it's not surprising that it was darker.

Yeah, I used white sugar. I had used Demerara sugar in a batch of Falernum and wasn't too happy with the extra bitterness that it brought to the party, so I was more conservative when I decided to try my hand at Orgeat.

I've made 2 batches of Orgeat, one with Rose Water and one with Orange Flower water. The one with Orange Flower water is just delicious (in my opine).

I am going to try the Small Hand product though. Looks like a nice recipe and right up my alley.

D

I think I'll definitely use white sugar the next time. Keep it simple. And although I added some Rose Water the first time, I don't think I'd do that again. I'm not wild about it. Just the orange is enough, I think.

D

I swear by all Small Hands food stuff

If you like her Orgeat, get some of the Pineapple gum syrup and follow her recipe for a Pina Colada, it will be the best pina colada you ever had

I generally use Flor de Cana 4 yr in it, however when I get some 5 Banks I will try that next

Doubt I have to say it but just the same, make sure you use Coco Lopez for the coconut cream :)

Side note, was there a particular reason you did not test Trader Tiki's Orgeat? I have heard some good things about it, however I doubt it beat the two small batch runs, but could be a 3rd best?

RB

Side note, was there a particular reason you did not test Trader Tiki's Orgeat?

FYI..."Trader Tiki's" is the old name of "B.G. Reynolds"...had to change name due to legal issues.

D

On 2012-08-20 06:33, Rum Balls wrote:

Side note, was there a particular reason you did not test Trader Tiki's Orgeat?

FYI..."Trader Tiki's" is the old name of "B.G. Reynolds"...had to change name due to legal issues.

ahh thanks, i must have missed that at some point :)

I'm sure it's hard to find (it's certainly not easy here) but Giffard Orgeat from France is also very good, though I suspect it'd rank close to the Routin 1883. All it lists for ingredients are sugar syrup, water, flavor. Anyway, food for thought...

D

I keep hoping that Giffard will get some distribution in the U.S., but nothing so far. Simon Difford always says great things about their products.

Nice comparison, thanks for posting.
I think the Routin deserves much less, maybe a B- :)
I have the B.G. Reynolds, and while it tastes great, I think it lacks the bitter almond flavor that I associate with Orgeat, but who knows, maybe I am used to bad Orgeat?

Ran

V

There is also "Moulin de Valdonne" and many more in France.

Has anybody tried using Orzata? I picked some up from an international food market for a Peach Juice I've been making, but have since been using it in my Mai Tais. I have been pretty pleased with the results.... however...
I haven't done much taste testing with others beside Torani, but I live in Portland so it shouldn't be hard for me to pick up some B.G. Reynolds

RB

Bloody Good, you can get BG Reynolds syrups all over the place here in Portland, including New Seasons grocery stores, many liquor stores, and at his own tiki bar opening up Wed 8/29 (Hale Pele, the former Thatch on NE Broadway). It can't get much easier than that!

Thanks Rum Balls, I didn't know about New Seasons. I have been wanting to try his Falernum too. If we can find a sitter, I was totally planning on going to the opening of Hale Pele next Wed. I've been watching the updates on FB for the opening....can't wait. Do you know if he's making a new mug for the place?

L
Luki posted on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 6:44 PM

Has anybody tried ordering the Small Hands products from Maxwell Street Trading Co. in Chicago?

I wrote to them about it but haven't heard back (was too busy at work today to call, ugh).

The raves sound too good to pass up!

RB

Do you know if he's making a new mug for the place?

Bloody Good, I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure I overheard an "affirmative" answer to that question during the "surprise" stop at Hale Pele on the Tiki Kon Sunday home bar tour earlier this month.

I use to make my own Orgeat, but found Ferrara Brand (they use the Orzata spelling, but they are the same)at Doris Italian Market. It's out of NY and made with sugar, not HFCS, and no artificial flavors. I find the taste works well in Mai Tais. I make a lot of home made syrups and liqueurs, the problem is using up the syrups before they turn strange. Orgeat happens to be one I don't use as often as others.

D

I've never tried the Ferrara brand. Maybe I'll pick up a bottle one of these days. (I'm full up on orgeat right now!)

Rum Balls thats super cool, thanks again for the heads up. I think I found a sitter, so I'm hoping to make it to Hale Pele and get some syrups tomorrow!

HT

I still so no recipes on this thread, gentlemen.

I have a question semi-related to this topic. I've never had or even seen macadamia liqueur but I was wondering if making an orgeat using macadamia nuts instead of almonds would result in something that would be a suitable stand-in for it in the recipes in Remixed. Would it be too subtle? I just have no idea what I'm trying to mimic.

On 2012-09-20 17:15, poutineki wrote:
I have a question semi-related to this topic. I've never had or even seen macadamia liqueur but I was wondering if making an orgeat using macadamia nuts instead of almonds would result in something that would be a suitable stand-in for it in the recipes in Remixed. Would it be too subtle? I just have no idea what I'm trying to mimic.

Can you get Monin Macadamia Nut Syrup? It's a similar taste to that but obviously less sweet.

Trader Vic Macadamia Nut liqueur is pretty damn awesome stuff. I haven't thought of using it instead of orgeat, primarily because I always have some around. Might be an interesting experiment. I've seen people use Drambuie as an orgeat substitute as well. I would think that a liqueur would throw your ratios all off due to the alcohol content and the sweetness level. As well as the fact that even good orgeat is about a tenth the cost of liqueur.

On 2012-09-21 04:40, Kon-Hemsby wrote:
Can you get Monin Macadamia Nut Syrup? It's a similar taste to that but obviously less sweet.

I can get that and compensating for additional sweetness wouldn't be hard. I'll check it out. Thanks!

when in doubt, i've substituted amaretto for orgeat...

T

Does anyone have experience with how long B.G. Reynolds syrups keep? No preservatives in them, so I'd assume they need refrigeration. I'm going to buy a bottle or 2 of orgeat, which I figure I can use rapidly, but I also want to buy some Passion fruit Syrup and maybe Don's Mix and Spice #2, all of which would be used a lot less frequently. Thanks!

RB

BG syrups should be refrigerated after opening. I have a bunch of them in my mini-fridge, and they're holding out fine after several months. I don't think they'll last indefinitely, though, so I need to get crackin'... :)

I do not refrigerate my store-bought Orgeat, I think it's probably chock-full of preservatives and it's time I get off my lazy ass and start making Orgeat from scratch... heh! But I do think the bottle may even clearly make the statement that no refrigeration is required, I'll have to go look later... But definitely, if I made my own Orgeat, I would not risk my labor-of-love and I would refrigerate it. I remember doing research a couple years ago online and reading about "almond milk" and some other almond derivatives and how they were highly favored through hundreds of years of history because they kept much longer than milk products and did not need refrigeration. Or something like that... But I'm a play-it-safe kind of guy with my syrups. Now, having said all that, two things about my other syrups:

  1. All others are kept refrigerated once opened or made. This is primarily done for safety, flavor and quality stabilization. But several are hard to come by or a bit pricey and they get extra care and attention.
  2. Within this refrigerated group, with the exception of my simple syrup because it's so easily made on-the-spot by aggressively blending and never heating, ALL my home-made syrups are stored with the addition of 1 or 2 ounces (depending on bottle size) of neutral grain spirit (Everclear) as a preservative for additional safety. This came about as a result of speaking with Jeff Berry back when I started making my first Falernums and started moving into making other syrups at home.

"Syrup care" is important especially when you start investing time and effort into making syrups and flavorings from scratch. My routines have evolved and no doubt will continue to evolve. I think the use of the neutral grain alcohol is a good tip from Jeff Berry, although it is a slight departure from the "purist" tendencies in me, but a practice which I have come to readily embrace. I consider the neutral alcohol preservative a practically inconsequential element in a finished cocktail -- I think more impact on flavor is generally made by either slightly over- or under-pouring any one of the other ingredients, or shaking too long, blending too long, etc.

I'm still developing and refining my home-made syrup repertoire. I'm very comfortable with Falernum and once a year have a "Falernum making party" at my house with two other friends who have taken quite a liking to that syrup. I think Orgeat is next on my list to try.

I'm interested in hearing other thoughts and comments on the above.

T

I found the "official" answer to my own question. According to the B.G. Reynolds website (not their sale site http://okolemaluna.com/) the syrups can be refrigerated for up to 60 days once opened. Not too bad for a product with 0 preservatives.

AceExplorer, making your own orgeat is really easy. It just takes a bit of time to steep the various ingredients. I've been happy with my homemade orgeat when I've toasted the blanched and slivered almonds. Some recipes say to do it while others don't. Oh, I've also been really happy using orange blossom water instead of rose water.

Rumballs, do you like the syrups by B.G. Reynolds? Good value for the money?

[ Edited by: TikiTie 2012-11-09 14:27 ]

RB

TikiTie, I do like the BG Reynolds syrups a lot...but I do admit to a bias: Mr BG himself is a friend, and his Hale Pele bar is not far from my house, so A) I do like to support the locals, especially if they're a friend, and B) I'm not paying shipping costs.

All that being said, the syrups are top-notch IMHO.

I wished the results of the test were posted here...I'm getting a 404 on the link in the original post.

Looking to restock and wondering what the current consensus is for best orgeat...and maybe which one is best balance of cost vs. quality.

I went to the website and found this review:

http://professorcocktail.com/ingredients/taste-test-orgeat-almond-syrup/

It looks like he recommends BG Reynolds and Small Hand Foods.

R

*On 2019-07-26 08:43, jimsflies wrote:*Looking to restock and wondering what the current consensus is for best orgeat...and maybe which one is best balance of cost vs. quality.

These days of the orgeat's I've tried:

1a Latitude 29 - I tend to grab this one for tiki drinks with a spice profile or that are really rum forward.

1b Liber & Co - I tend to use this one in other drinks. The flower water comes through and I find it doesn't go as well with drinks that tend towards a spice profile.

2 Small Hand Foods. Liber & Co is a bit more intense but this is really, really close

3 BG Reynolds. Decent but IMO not as good as the above 3. The old formulation where it was opaque brown instead of clear was much better IMO.

I recently bought some Maison Routin 1883 Orgeat. Much better than the Torani I had but probably not as good as some of the others. It was significantly cheaper than the Small Hands at $15/1000ml vs $15/250ml

In my Mai Tais I use 3 parts Routin 1883 as a base, plus one part BG Reynolds (provides a silky mouthfeel) and one half part Small Hand Foods (for depth).

@rangda - the BGR Orgeat isn't brown anymore??

R

On 2020-01-25 16:50, kevincrossman wrote:
@rangda - the BGR Orgeat isn't brown anymore??

Not the thick opaque brown that it used to be back in the Trader Tiki days, no.

To update my post I've since made a bottle of my own Orgeat which I like better than any of the commercially available choices. I need to play the the rose & orange flower water to get the exact ratio I want but I really like the almond flavor of made from scratch. Using shaved almonds with the skin still on them might have something to do with it.

[ Edited by: rangda 2020-01-25 21:42 ]

I miss the old BGR formula. I swore by it for years. Made bajillions of delicious Mai Tai's with it and even poured it on pancakes cuz it was so tasty with just the right consistency. Other than cost considerations, I don't understand why they changed it to something so inferior. It was pretty much the only commercial syrup I still purchased rather than made at home cuz I felt the price and quality could justify it. Since then, I've done 15 different experiments trying to hone a product that's similar to their original but can't quite match it. I've tried different methods and proportions that each yield great results, typically better than any of the other commercially available products, but not quite what I'm trying to achieve. Can we start a campaign for them to bring back the old stuff please?

T
K

Thats the new formula - you wanna see the old label that states "Trader Tiki" or even when it was renamed "BG Reynolds" but kept the old art.
@MIkeHooker - have you considered emailing Blair? I once knew the reason why the change, but it made sense. Funny, because a lot of people said they didn't like the old orgeat but I also swore by it. Loved how nutty it was.

R

I don't understand why they changed it to something so inferior.

The reason given to a local shop that stocks some BGR products was production volume; they were selling enough volume that they switched to a new production facility and different formulations. IMO most of the BGR products took a big step back when they did this, at this point most of them are gone from my shelf.

R

On 2020-01-30 15:56, tikiskip wrote:
This is brown.
Don't know if that's the old stuff or not.

That is the new syrup. It's brown but translucent. The old formulations are so old at this point that even if you found a bottle I doubt it would be any good. Here's an old photo I found of them, notice that the orgeat is an opaque brown rather than translucent.

[ Edited by: rangda 2020-01-31 07:16 ]

Thanks, Rangda. I get what you're saying.

[ Edited by: kevincrossman 2020-01-31 08:48 ]

Oddly enough, with this thread on my mind, I decided to look in the deep dark depths behind all the freshest bottles of BG orgeat at my local spirits shop and found one that appears to be the old formula. Expiration is still a year out and there's plenty of fatty matter from the almonds floating around but no mold. I've had bottles last me six months after opening without turning, although I've had friends report their bottles growing mold within a couple weeks. I just hope to get a buncha good mai tai's out of this.

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