Are you preparing flavorful drinks, desserts, and baked goodies, but you run out of orgeat syrup or can't find one while you're shopping for ingredients? Maybe you're serving someone with nut allergies?
What should you do? Use the best orgeat substitute!
While only a few options work well as a substitute for orgeat syrup, it isn't impossible to find one. To make the task easier for you, I'll share with you my tried-and-tested substitutes for the syrup.
4 Best Orgeat Substitutes
Whether you need to give your recipes the same level of sweetness, strong almond flavor or mild nutty flavor, and/or orange flower water undernotes or reduce the sweetness, the following are my go-to options for replacing orgeat syrup:
1. Almond Syrup
I love almond syrup because it gives coffee, cocktails, Italian soda, desserts, and baked goodies their much-needed almond flavor and sweetness. It also has a thick consistency that mimics orgeat syrup.
While it has a strong nutty flavor, I find that almond syrup won't give your beverages and treats the rich bitter flavor.
It also lacks citrus-like flower undernotes. After all, it doesn't contain orange blossom and rose water.
The good news is I have a suggested solution to this issue. Grab any rose water and orange essence from your specialty, baking, or grocery stores. Then, add a drop or two of each ingredient to your almond syrup.
Of course, you can always use the almond syrup on its own.
So, how do you replace your orgeat syrup with almond syrup? Simply follow a 1:1 substitution ratio. But if you don't want to serve food and beverage with a nuttier flavor, you can only add three-fourths of the amount indicated in the recipe.
Best for just about anything.
2. Almond Extract
The almond extract contains oil made from bitter almonds, water, and alcohol, so it has a more concentrated almond flavor than orgeat and almond syrup. It's why I only add half the amount of what the recipe calls for to avoid overpowering other ingredients.
Of course, increasing the amount added to your recipe is perfectly fine if you're preparing something that requires a pure almond taste and aroma, such as almond puff and scone.
As you noticed, the almond extract doesn't contain any sugar, unlike almond syrup. It's why it's my favorite substitute for orgeat syrup when I need to reduce my recipe's sweetness.
For those who need some sweetness or sugar in their recipes, go ahead and add a tiny amount of honey, agave nectar, or simple syrup.
Best for desserts and baked goodies.
3. Falernum Syrup
This thick, rich, and silky Caribbean mixer is made from almonds or almond extract with added sugar, lime juice, ginger, allspice, and/or cloves. It has an intense flavor profile, so I only add half the amount of what the recipe calls for orgeat syrup.
This flavor profile also makes falernum syrup a popular ingredient in summer cocktails or those mixed and garnished with lime and pineapple juice.
One thing I want you to note about falernum syrup products is that there are alcohol varieties. Some of them contain rum, while others gin.
While the percentage ABV is low, you have to make sure you read the label, or you'll end up with cocktails with an alcohol content that is higher than what you intend to prepare. I recommend reducing the amount of alcohol listed in your recipe if you happen to purchase or have falernum syrup with alcohol content.
Best for cocktails.
4. Almond Milk
Almond milk is the most accessible orgeat syrup substitute but won't work for cocktails because you will most likely have a muddy-looking drink. That isn't too appetizing, right?
Still, almond milk can work for cooked and baked dishes, tea, and coffee. I just want you to keep in mind that the milk has a more subtle nutty taste or almond taste than orgeat syrup. It also doesn't have bitter and floral undertones.
But like with almond syrup, you can always add rose and orange blossom water essence to your dish or beverage if you want a flavor profile as close as possible to orgeat syrup.
For those looking for a substitute because they need to reduce their recipes' sweetness or sugar content, make sure you use unsweetened almond milk. You'll also find sweetened almond milk, but it still doesn't have the same sweetness as orgeat syrup.
Of course, adding a tiny amount of sweeteners like honey, stevia, and sugar is perfectly fine if you need to match the orgeat syrup's sweetness. That is, whether you use sweetened or unsweetened almond milk.
Whichever variety you use, make sure you only add half the amount required in your recipe. For instance, replace every tablespoon of orgeat syrup with half a tablespoon of almond milk.
Best for hot beverages and food recipes.
3 Best Nut-Free Substitutes for Orgeat Syrup
What if you need to remove the almond from the equation because one or more of the individuals you're serving have dietary restrictions? Don't worry; I have found the best nut-free orgeat substitutes!
Surprisingly, this Italian liqueur has a nutty almond flavor even though it doesn't contain almonds. That's because it's made from apricot pits! It's also sweet and has cherry undertones, giving beverages and food a rich taste.
My one issue with amaretto liqueur is it's more bitter than orgeat syrup. It's why it's important that you experiment with the substitution ratio that works well for you. Add the amaretto gradually until you reach the taste you're looking for.
That said, the substitution ratio that I have been using for years is for every tablespoon of orgeat syrup, I replace it with ¼ tablespoon of amaretto. When I need a flavor as close to orgeat syrup as possible, I add rose water and/or orange flower water essence.
Best for espresso, cocktails, cookies, cakes, and frostings
2. Crème de Noyaux
Like amaretto, this French crème liqueur has a nutty flavor despite not having any nuts in it. In fact, it's often classified as an almond liqueur.
It's made from peach pits or cherry kernels, so it has a distinctly sweet, lemon lime flavor that goes with many ingredients used to make beverages.
Depending on the added ingredients, crème de noyaux can be crystal clear or red. The crystal clear variety of crème de noyaux is more versatile than the red one.
I don't recommend using the red variety when preparing cocktails, but it is ideal for coffee, tea, and champagne.
One distinct difference between crème de noyaux and orgeat syrup is its creamy, thicker consistency that can change the drink's mouthfeel. For this reason, I only add one-fourth of the amount required in the recipe.
Best for making beverages.
3. Fruit Juice
If you're in a pinch and have none of the above orgeat syrup substitutes, then go ahead and use any fruit juices available in your pantry.
They won't give your beverages an almond taste, but their sweetness comes close to orgeat syrup. Plus, their fruity tones will add more flavor to your cocktails and even help balance out the flavor.
Even better, most fruit juices have a good acidity level, making them great flavor enhancers. It means they will help bring out the flavors of each ingredient combined with them.
That said, I highly recommend opting for lime juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice not just because of their acidity. These fruit juices can also give your cocktails the citrus notes orgeat syrup brings to the table.
Subtitution-wise, the amount you add will depend on the type of fruit juice you plan on using. But for the three options I recommended above, you can add the same amount as what the recipe lists for orgeat syrup.
Best for cocktails.
Whipping Up Delicious Food and Beverages With Orgeat Substitutes
The best substitutes for orgeat syrup aren't perfect, and not all of them will work for all recipes requiring the syrup. However, there is always a solution to whatever a specific orgeat substitute lacks.
You can add sweeteners, orange blossom and rose water essences, and reduce or increase the recommended amount of the substitute.
As always, make sure you choose the ideal ingredient for your specific recipe and consider the main reason you're even looking for an orgeat substitute. Both of these factors can be enough to find orgeat syrup substitutes that won't negatively affect the overall quality of your beverage, food, frosting, and whatever you're whipping up.
Homemade Orgeat Syrup Recipe
- Small saucepan
- Food chopper or processor
- Large bowls
- Fine-mesh colander
- Baking sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 1.5 cups warm water (around 100F or 38C)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon each of rose water and orange flower water
- 2 tablespoon vodka or brandy, or vodka or ¼ teaspoon citric acid (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400F or 205C.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the almonds on the baking sheet, making sure they're spread out and evenly spaced.
- Put the baking sheet with the almonds inside your preheated oven and toast the almonds for four minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes.
- Once cool, put the toasted almonds in your food chopper or processor.
- Pulse to chop until the almonds turn into coarsely ground powder, much like almond flour.
- Transfer the ground almonds to your bowl and add warm water until covered.
- Allow the ground almond to soak for one to three hours. The longer you soak it, the stronger the almond flavor.
- Once done, place cheesecloth in your colander and place it over another bowl.
- Slowly pour the soaked ground almond, making sure the bowl under the colander catches the water.
- Wrap your ground almond with the cheesecloth and gently press to release the remaining liquid. Do this until the ground almond is almost completely dry. You will have approximately more than a cup of liquid.
- Put the liquid in your saucepan and warm it up over medium-low heat.
- Once warm, add the sugar and stir using your whisk for about three minutes or until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Once done, remove the pan from the heat.
- Put two layers of new cheesecloth in your colander and place the setup over a bowl.
- Slowly pour the solution over it and allow it to drain in your bowl.
- Once all the solution is in your bowl, add the orange flower water essence (and vodka, brandy, or citric acid) and stir using your whisk.
- Allow your orgeat syrup to cool.
- Once cool, transfer your homemade orgeat syrup to a glass container, seal tightly, and store in your fridge.
You can find the video in the post above. If you don't see a video, please check your browser settings.