Tiki Tastings: Giffard Orgeat

Tiki Tastings: Giffard Orgeat

Giffard Orgeat is an pearlescent pinkish-white liquid that immediately stands out from other syrups when you see it on the shelf. We immediately gravitated towards it, both because it was so pretty and because it looked so different from the other orgeat syrups we have seen. When it comes to orgeat, the options are rather limited because it is a specialty product. Many bars simply use an almond-flavored syrup to add a hint of almond and skip the orgeat altogether. This is an effective way to add a splash of almond, but it often lets us down in the cocktail department because we like orgeat to change both the flavor and the consistency of the drink. The Giffard product promised a more interesting orgeat experience from the outset.

The syrup is made in France with sugar and natural almond flavorings, and it is non-alcoholic. It has a strong almond aroma with a few floral notes and tastes of marzipan, with both a distinct almond flavor and an intense sweetness. The syrup is thickened with gum arabic to give it a thick, creamy texture which carries over into cocktails. The syrup is very sweet on its own, but orgeat is not meant to be drunk on its own (just as simple syrup isn’t meant to be drunk on its own) so that is a good thing in this case. Its intensity means that the orgeat will really add flavor, texture and sweetness to cocktails – something that many other commercial orgeat syrups simply don’t do. That makes this our favorite commercial orgeat so far – and by quite a wide margin. The large bottles of Giffard will last you through quite a few Mai Tais, so it’s a good investment for your bar.

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