Pistachio rose water orgeat syrup is made with crushed pistachios infused with sugar and water, preserved with a little vodka and flavoured with rose water. The syrup can be used in cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks and in all manner of sweet dishes and is incredible with ice cream. The nuts are crushed and then infused with low GI cane sugar overnight. The resulting syrup can then be strained using a cheese cloth and the vodka and rosewater added, decanted and kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
~Traditional flavour pairings and uses for orgeat syrup in cocktails
Traditionally orgeat is made with almonds and orange flower water and is an important ingredient in tropical style tiki drinks such as the Mai Tai. Orgeat is also a key ingredient in Jerry Thomas’ Japanese Cocktail appearing in his Bar-tender’s Guide (1862).
~How is pistachio rose water orgeat different?
Pistachio rose water orgeat syrup provides a delicious and delicate variation on the traditional almond and orange flower water, with the sweetness of pistachios paired with the delicate floral of rose water. This delicately flavoured orgeat offers a wonderful seasonal modern twist on the classic Japanese cocktail orgeat – my Pistachio rose rhubarb Japanese cocktail – with flavors of pistachio and rose water complemented by rhubarb cacao bitters with wattleseed, with a warm cognac base and fresh lemon twist.
~Upcycling the orgeat leftovers into delicious ice cream
The leftover crushed nuts from the infusion can be used to make ice cream with coconut cream and frozen pineapple or as a topping for ice cream or other desserts. They are delicious – don’t throw them out. I have included the recipe below – it’s very easy to make and dairy free. I have also included steps for making a raw cacao butter and matcha glaze with orgeat as the sweetener – it forms a crunchy crust when it hits the cold ice cream and is most satisfying to crunch through. I usually like to keep some chopped frozen pineapple in my fridge for making smoothies and nice cream like this one – it’s a great ingredient to have on hand and you have the reassurance of knowing that you have preserved your pineapple and reduced any wastage – you can just use a small bit at a time without worrying that the rest will go bad.
~How to use seasonal fresh pistachio nuts to make your own homemade orgeat
I have used fresh seasonal pistachios in this recipe for pistachio rose water orgeat syrup as they were available at my local market. They have an amazing flavour and aroma – being so much sweeter than the ones that are more widely available. They come with a soft outer coating that is the most beautiful colour – magenta, red, pink and green – so gorgeous. To use them simply remove the outer soft skin and then place on a baking tray in the oven at 180 C for about 10-15 minutes or until the hard shells open. Once the shells have sprung open from the heat you can open them up and remove the nuts for use.
~Making your own orgeat is easy, you just need a little preparation
There is some preparation involved in this recipe but the process itself is easy to accomplish and well worthwhile especially if you can find fresh pistachio nuts. The method for this recipe is adapted from the recipe for homemade orgeat by Amanda Marsteller appearing in Liquor. The use of fresh pistachios and rosewater is my own invention, as is the upcycling of the leftover crushed pistachios into ice cream.
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Pistachio rose water orgeat syrupPrint Recipe
- Pistachio orgeat syrup: 250 grams fresh pistachios, outer soft skins and shells removed
- 180 grams low GI raw cane sugar
- 190 mls water
- 15 mls vodka
- ¼ teaspoon rose water
- Pistachio & pineapple coconut ice cream: 270 mls coconut cream – very cold – chill in the freezer until very thick
- ½ cup crushed pistachio nuts leftover from making the orgeat
- 1 handful of chopped frozen pineapple
- Ice cream glaze & garnish: 3 tablespoons raw white cacao butter
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha tea dissolved in a tablespoon of warm water
- 2 teaspoons of pistachio rose water orgeat syrup
- Crushed pistachios, fine slices of frozen pineapple
Pistachio orgeat: Preheat oven to 180 C
Remove outer soft shells from pistachios and then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the hard inner shells open
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
When cool enough to handle remove the hard inner shell
If the shells are only partially open and hard to get purchase on use a blunt butter knife to slip between the shell edges and twist the knife to prize the edges apart and remove the nut
Or if they are closed all the way (I had very few 1-2 that stayed closed) place only a few nuts at a time in a mortar and pestle and gently tap the shells with the heavy pestle until they crack and are able to be removed – just take care not to include any shards of hard shell
Place the shelled pistachio nuts in a food processor and blend until fine crumbs
Meanwhile make your syrup by adding the water and the sugar to a small saucepan and heating over medium heat until boiling, allow to boil for 3 minutes
Then turn off the heat and add the pistachios, start on a low heat and simmer on low for 3 minutes, then increase temperature carefully watching until just before the mixture boils – then remove from the heat
Allow the mixture to cool down, once cool decant into a clean container
Allow the mixture to infuse overnight in the fridge
Strain through a metal strainer lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth – once the main syrup has been strained through, ring the cheesecloth to remove any residual syrup (keep the crushed nuts inside the cloth)
Add the vodka and rosewater to the syrup and stir to combine
Reserve the leftover crushed nuts to make ice cream or to use as a topping for desserts
The syrup may be decanted and kept in the fridge in a clean glass bottle or jar for up to 2 weeks
Pistachio & pineapple coconut ice cream: Freeze pineapple chunks ahead of time
Chill coconut cream in the fridge for 1-2 hours to become very cold and very thick
Place the chilled coconut cream, frozen pineapple and crushed pistachios in a blender
Blend until smooth and creamy
Place in a container with a lid and return to the freezer to set further
To make single serves use half of a cake pop tray
Best served slightly soft
Ice cream glaze & garnish: Combine raw white cacao butter and dissolved matcha in a saucepan over very low heat
Heat just enough to melt
Allow to cool slightly and then add the pistachio rose water orgeat
Pour over cold ice cream and sprinkle with crushed pistachios, decorate with sliced frozen pineapple
Method adapted from Amanda Marsteller Pistachio orgeat in Liquor
~Online pistachio orgeat recipes