Wednesday, February 10

Imbibe [DIY orgeat]

Every since I visited 3 Dots and a Dash in Chicago (shoutout KP, Timbo, and JLVee!), I've been interested in classic tiki cocktails. This is not your all-you-can-drink resort crappy rum mixed with frozen pina colada mix. Tiki has had a resurgence (just read this, From Tiki to Tacky...and Back; if you're into the story, this article from Eater is awesome, too).

I'm fine with admitting part of the fun is the garnish, which is all about fruit and flowers. In case that would influence your ordering decision, the menu at 3 Dots includes pictures:

Another thing I adore about tiki is the nut-influence. Macadamia garnishes, nutmeg shavings on top of a creamy coconut drink, and orgeat, an almond-based syrup found in some of the classics (think mai tai). I made my own last week, and D and I enjoyed a few tropical sippers while Jonas blew through DC. It was quite transportive. Unfortunately, our pre-storm supplies didn't include limes, so we had to stick to tiki drinks featuring lemon instead, of which there are very few. Ultimately we made The Improved Japanese Cocktail (brandy)Attorney Privilege (bourbon)and the Strange Weaver, featuring gin. We're going to try a mashup of the first two: bourbon from the AP, lemon from the JC. Or we'll just go buy some limes.

On to the recipe I used for orgeat! It's a mix of a few different recipes.

2 cups raw almonds, sliced or chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoon orange flower water
2 ounce vodka
Splash of rose water, touch of almond extract

1.Toast almonds at 400°F for 4 minutes, shaking halfway.
2. Once cool, pulverize in a blender of food processor. If you have a vitamix, make sure you don't make almond butter!
3. In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add pulverized almonds and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently. When mixture is about to boil, remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for a minimum of 3 hours and no more than 12 hours.
5. Strain steeped mixture through three layers of cheesecloth into a bowl, squeezing the cloth as you go.
6. Add orange flower water and vodka, then stir. Funnel into glass jar or bottle.

It is totally delicious, but I think I'll just rough chop the almonds next time. Without a nut bag, squeezing out the almonds was a total pain. With the vodka, this shouldn't spoil for a good long time. I might try coconut sugar next time, and cut it back- it's very sweet, but it's supposed to be. Happy imbibing!

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh! Remember the speak-easy type bar we took you guys to called Paper Plane in Decatur? They re-branded/reopened as a Tiki Bar!!!! That's a must for our night in May!


how you like dem apples?