Have you ever been at a restaurant and saw the ingredient, orgeat or orgeat Syrup, in a cocktail or drink? If you have, you may be wondering, what is that?
What is Orgeat?
Orgeat is a sweet syrup used in drinks, cocktails, and other products. Most notably, orgeat is a key ingredient in many Tiki drinks including Mai Tais.
Is Orgeat Gluten Free?
Yes, orgeat is made from a combination of almonds, sugar, and flower water. Commonly rose or orange flower water. This is naturally gluten free and is not likely to contain any wheat/gluten ingredients unless added in after the fact with a cocktail or beverage.
None of these ingredients naturally contain gluten/wheat, but the chance to additives is possible, so we recommend talking to your server to ask if they can confirm the allergens if you have Celiac Disease or a severe gluten allergy. Another slight concern is that orgeat was originally made from a barley-almond blend, which is for sure not gluten free. However; this is not common anymore, and very little sources reference this method.
Originally the word orgeat comes from the Latin term hordeaceus, which means ‘made with barley’. It’s derived through the French, where barley is called orge. The Catalan word orxata, which is where the Spanish horchata comes from, also has the same origin. Here’s the interesting part, though both drinks derive from the word barley in different languages, neither of the two drinks contain that ingredient in modern times. (source)
Still, seeing that barley was an original ingredient in this recipe, it’s worth looking into the ingredients. Especially for older/traditional brands of orgeat that you may come across.
Popular Drinks with Orgeat:
- Mai Tai
- Trinidad Sour
- Holy Water
Looking for even more popular drinks to try with orgeat? Check out some more orgeat cocktails on Liquor.com.
Photo: Wine Dharma
Almonds, Sugar, Water, Flower Water
Here’s the full process according to The English and Australian Cookery Book, via Wikipedia: ‘Take a pound and a quarter of bitter almonds, and half a pound of sweet almonds, which have been blanched, nine pounds of loaf sugar, six pints of water, and the rinds of three lemons. Pound the almonds in a mortar with the sugar, and add the water a little by degrees; then put the mixture on the fire with the lemon-peel. After a boil pour off the syrup and press the almonds, to extract the milk; add this to the syrup, and strain the whole through a sieve. When cold add a little orange flower water, and bottle the mixture. The orgeat is used as a summer drink, mixed with water, according to taste.’
Orgeat Nutritional Facts
To give an example of both ingredients and nutritional facts from a consumer brand, we’ve come across Almond (Orgeat) Syrup from Torani.
Ingredients: PURE CANE SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, CITRIC ACID, ACACIA GUM, SODIUM BENZOATE (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS), POTASSIUM SORBATE (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS), ESTER GUM.
Nutritional Information: 2tbp serving contains 80 calories, 0g fat, 19g sugar, and 19g carbohydrates.
Learn more and read about the history of orgeat here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgeat_syrup#History