DIY Cocktail Ingredients: Salted Pistachio Orgeat
Photos by Josh Powell.
Recently I had a crazy idea for a drink. Now my drinks are usually a little crazy anyway, but this was perhaps a little more out there than usual. Somehow I had an idea in my head that I could blend together Pisco, Honey, Whiskey, Greek Yoghurt, Salted Pistachio Orgeat and Orange Bitters. Sounds wacky, but somehow delicious right? Well I tried and tried but I could not get it to work which goes to show that we can't be cocktail wizards all the time. The drink was too sour, too thin and the yoghurt kept sticking to the block ice and separating.
However we can learn from our mistakes and make something better. When you've got a whole bottle of Salted Pistachio Orgeat and no idea how long a shelf life it has you have to get a little creative.
Eventually after a few trials and errors I ended up with a drink that took me a little by surprise. The Dutch Crown is smooth, flavourful and lightly complex. It goes down really easy and is perfectly suited to cooling you down on a hot summer's day. I chose an aged Genever as the base because it would add a fantastically full character and the wood notes would help to dry the drink out a bit.
First I'll give the recipe for the Salted Pistachio Orgeat as that was an experience to make too.
I'd seen various recipes and methods, none of which were remotely similar or even practical with the things that I had on hand at the bar. I ended up mixing two recipes/methods together and using my bartender intuition to end up with something that I liked.
- De-shell 350g of Salted Pistachios (if you can only get unsalted, remember to add salt to taste later on) and add them to a food processor.
- Make a 1:1 simple syrup with 300ml water and an equal amount of sugar.
- Add in 6 dashes of Orange bitters
- 5ml of rose water
- Salt to taste if your pistachios need it
- Blend away!
- Then take a fine chinois and pass the blend through a couple of times to remove as much of the solids as you can. You can use muslin or a clean non-chemically treated jay cloth to strain through. I used the jay cloth after the chinois and found it picked up a lot more solids although it was slow to drain. I gave it a little squeeze to help it along and was left with pistachio butter in the cloth. How smooth you make it is up to you. I found I preferred mine with some body so chose to only strain so much.
- Next you need to add an alcoholic preservative. I used vodka. Just add 40ml into your mix and give it a good stir. This should preserve it at least for a week or two.
- Then just bottle it and you're done!
Use it as a fun alternative to regular Orgeat in a Mai Tai or other tiki drinks or try the following recipe:
The Dutch Crown
- 25ml/.85 oz Aged Genever, such as Boomsma Oude
- 15ml/.5 oz Green Chartreuse
- 20ml/.68 oz Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 20ml/.68 Salted Pistachio Orgeat
- 3 dashes Orange Bitters
- Egg White
- Angostura Bitters for garnish
Shake ingredients without ice for a few seconds, then shake with ice until well chilled. Strain and pour over a large block of ice in an Old-fashioned glass and garnish with an Angostura swirl.