Do not throw the almonds into hot water and blanch them, as in other recipes for Almonds, but throw them into cold water, after shelling them, until the peeling of skin comes off easily. Then mash them and pound in a mortar till they are reduced to a fine powder, adding, from time to time, a little water and the well-grated zest of a lemon. When this paste is perfectly made, moisten it with one-half of the water, and then squeeze it hard through a linen cloth, each end of which is held by someone, when you will have drained thoroughly of milk. Then return the paste to mortar, throw over the rest of the water, mix thoroughly, pounding well, and then squeeze again through the towel. Put the sugar into a farina boiler, and let it boil to the degree of le petit casse, or crack, that is till it forms a thick Syrup that will not cling to the teeth in tasting, or instantly snaps asunder between the fingers after testing in cold water. Then take the Syrup off the fire and add the milk of Almonds, stirring well. Return it to the fire, and let it simmer gently till it begins to boil. Let it boil for several minutes. Then take it off the fire and let it cool. When cold, add the Orange Flower Water, and mix well. Drain all through a cloth or bag, and fill and seal the bottles.
Orgeat, being made of the milk of Almonds, easily decomposes or sours, because the oil of Almonds, being lighter than the other ingredients, rises to the top. For this reason, it is well to look at the bottles frequently, and shake them daily. This will preserve the exact mingling of the mixture and preserve the Orgeat for use.
Orgeat is a great Creole Syrup. It is not only a most delicate Drink, but a healthy, popular and traditional one. In old Creole households, upon the birth of a babe, the friends who call to congratulate the parents upon the new addition to the household are served with a glass of Orgeat; the mother drinking with her friends in honor of the little angel just sent from heaven. This is an ancient Creole custom, dating from earliest days in Louisiana.
Use only the finest white loaf sugar in making Sirop d’Orgeat.