Orange Flower Water - Drink Secrets

Orange Flower Water

Orange Flower Water: New Uses For A French Tradition

Orange flower water is a clear distillation of fresh biter-orange blossoms. Traditionally it has been a French and Mediterranean concoction used to flavor dessert dishes, but has found its new place as a great addition to many mixed drinks to add that exotic new taste. Used frequently as an ingredient in Middle-Eastern cooking and in the Arab world it is added to ill fated drinking water to enhance its taste.


Although there are many places where you can purchase this culinary delight, some of the best brands are best left imported. With the availability of global purchasing on the Internet, finding a traditional brand is not as hard as it was just a decade ago. It can become pricy, however, and getting the exact potency that you would like to mix with your favorite spirit can be tricky. It is easy enough to make orange flower water yourself, less expensive and you have more control over the ultimate potency and taste.


Although pure orange flower water requires steam distillation, there is an easy home method that will still give you a similar product that is fragrant enough for your needs. Traditional orange flower water is made from Seville orange blossoms, you can experiment with other varieties, or use rose petals as a substitute.

Making it yourself will take about an hour, and several weeks, so if you are going to attempt to make it yourself, make sure to plan ahead.


What you will need

  • Orange flower petals, if you can, from the Seville orange trees
  • Distilled water
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Large covered jar (air tight)
  • Smaller sterilized glass jar for storing the product once finished
  • Strainer

How to make it

  • After washing the fresh blossoms and petals in cool water, macerate the petals using a mortar and then let it sit for several hours
  • Place petals in a large glass and then cover with distilled water. Add as little as possible to cover the petals, you can always dilute it further after the water is prepared
  • Put the mixture in full sun for a couple of weeks undisturbed. Check the glass every so often for the potency of the fragrance, it will be the best indicator as to when it is finished
  • Strain the blossom into several other jars, it is then that you can experiment by dilution to get the right potency for your palate
  • Store in a cool location (such as the refrigerator)


The best way to use orange flower water is through experimenting with different tastes. Here, however, are some tried and true recipes that always get a wow.


Bare Back

Bulleit Bourbon, orange flower water, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur


New Orleans Fizz

Egg white, gin, lemon, lime, orange flower water, seltzer water, sugar sweetened cream


Orange blossom

Curacao, gin, lemon juice, orange flower water, orange juice, simple syrup


Orange flower water has a distinct taste and flavor all its own. Whether you purchase it pre-made or make a batch up yourself, experiment with it to make your own signature drink. It will add a little bit of pizzazz to your get together.

Drinks with: Orange Flower Water

Ramos Gin Fizz drink image
Ramos Gin Fizz

Category: Timeless Classics


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