Whisk sips featuring orange blossom water

orange blossom water

Orange Blossom Water has a rich history!

Orange blossom water is just as simple as it sounds: it’s water distilled with orange tree flowers to extract their essence. To make orange blossom water, they use bitter orange trees rather than sweet, the same kind of oranges used to make orange cocktail bitters! In this case though, they use the flowers rather than the tree’s fruit. They gently boil the flower petals in purified water, and then they capture and condense the heavily-scented steam. This produces a highly fragrant liquid with a subtle floral flavor.

The orange blossom water we carry at Whisk comes from Al Wadi Al Akhdar. They’ve been a leading Lebanese food brand throughout the world since 1979. They combine traditional and exotic touches with the latest food technology to bring high-quality authentic ingredients to the global market. They focus on traditional Lebanese & Middle Eastern specialties, and their flower essences are known to be some of the finest on the market.

Orange blossom water can be a surprise to people who have never tried it before. The scent is incredibly fresh and bright, like walking through an orange grove in spring! The flavor is pleasantly bitter and floral. A dash or two can give a dish or a cocktail an elegant otherworldly quality, but be careful not to add too much! A few extra drops can take your cocktail from delicate, subtle, and refined, to a big ol’ swig from Grandma’s perfume bottle.

Orange blossom water is traditionally used to add a subtle fragrance to sweets and pastries, but it lends itself perfectly to craft cocktails as well. For use in your home bar, orange blossom water works in any recipe or liquor that would pair well with orange bitters or the fresh flavor of citrus. Therefore, the possibilities are endless, but for a little bit of inspiration, please watch the cocktail recipe video below.

The Ramos Gin Fizz

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (1 oz pasteurized egg white if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water
  • Ice
  • Club soda, chilled

Add the gin, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, cream, egg white, & orange flower water to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously without ice to combine.
Add a generous handful of ice and shake again until very frothy and shaker becomes frosty. Strain over ice into a highball or collins glass and top off with club soda. Garnish with an orange slice if desired.

Whisk Sips Video Cocktail Series Featuring Regans Orange Bitters

Named one of the top 10 bartenders throughout history, renowned New York-based Gary “Gaz” Regan has helped pioneer the idea that bartending is a profession with the potential to “change the world”. He’s written countless articles and books on the subject, and even created his own wildly successful flavor of bitters.

In the early 1990s Gaz was having a hard time sourcing orange bitters that he actually enjoyed using in his cocktails, so he decided to set about making his own. Armed with a recipe from 1939’s The Gentleman’s Companion: An Exotic Drinking Book, he set to work. The recipe called for orange peel and warm spices like cardamom, and Gaz decided to add some traditional aromatic bittering agents like gentian & cinchona for depth. He set off to the Village in Manhattan to procure the ingredients and before long his wife was calling him the Weekend Alchemist. Their apartment began to fill with jars of differing amounts and ingredients that he tended to and futzed with every day.

On his fourth try he came up with a formula that he loved, but batch number 4 ran out after only a year. When he tried re-creating the recipe on a larger scale, he ran into issues with the freshness of one of his ingredients and had to go back to the drawing board. Eventually he teamed up with the makers of Peychaud’s Bitters in New Orleans, and before long they’d reached formula number 6, which tasted great, could be reproduced on a large scale, and met all the requirements needed to be sold commercially. The rest is history!

Regan’s Orange bitters offers a delicate, yet complex orange flavor infused with spicy cinnamon and cloves. They’re most often used in Manhattans and Old-Fashioneds, but they’re tasty enough to be used in almost anything! Bon Appetit recommends using them to recreate the original dry Martini recipe, which is almost indistinguishable from what we think of as a martini today. In the early 1900’s, and the word “dry” referred to the type, not the amount, of vermouth used. Along with orange bitters, this recipe contains equal parts gin and dry vermouth! Please watch the video below to see just one way to put Regan’s Orange bitters to use in your home bar.

Classic Dry Martini
(1910-era recipe)

1 1⁄2 oz. London dry or Plymouth gin
1 1⁄2 oz. French white dry vermouth
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
Strip of orange peel

In a mixing glass, combine gin, vermouth, & bitters, with plenty of ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a strip of orange peel over the top and drop it in.