Orgeat syrup is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water. It was, however, originally made with a barley-almond blend. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails, perhaps the most famous of which is the Mai Tai.
The word "orgeat" (/ɔːrˈʒɑː/ or /ˈɔːrdʒiːət/) is derived from the Latin hordeaceus "made with barley" through the French, where barley is called orge. The Catalan word orxata has the same origin, though today the two drinks have little else in common.
In Tunisia and Libya, it is called rozata and is usually served chilled in wedding and engagement parties as a symbol of joy and purity because of its white colour and its fresh (flowery) flavor. It comes in many different flavours, such as traditional almond, banana, mango, pistachio, among others.
In Suriname, there is a drink called orgeade, which is a similar syrup made of sugar and almonds.
In Italy, there is a drink called orzata, which is a syrup made of benzoin. It only contains some of the bitter almond flavour.
Maltese ruġġata is made of almond and vanilla essence and may include cinnamon and cloves.
In Cyprus and on the Greek islands of Chios and Nisyros, a similar syrup is known as soumádha (Greek: σουμάδα). Soumada has a very ancient history at least in Cyprus, stretching back into the Roman period, and it was given as an exotic delicacy by King Peter II of Cyprus to King Casimir the Great of Poland at the Congress of Kraków, held in Poland in 1364.
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