Orzata di Mandorle Siciliane (Sicilian Almond Syrup)

The almond, a product of excellence here in Sicily, is the protagonist of all Sicilian confectionery preparations: biscuits, creams, ice creams, granitas, puddings and even summer drinks. Among the latter, we can find almond milk and the orzata.

What is the difference between almond milk and orzata?

Almond milk is obtained by pressing raw almonds and it should be consumed immediately, in fact its shelf life cannot exceed 24 hours in the refrigerator.

The orzata instead is a concentrated syrup based on almonds and sugar, that gives the possibility of a longer shelf life. To enjoy this special drink, just pour a couple of tablespoons of syrup into a glass and add fresh water.

When I was a child, my Sicilian summers were enriched by this scenting and delicious refreshing drink that was always offered to guests, who preferred it to coffee during the hot summer.

The recipe, very simple, was given to me by one of my dear aunts.

I hope this recipe and wonderful drink can survive this generational change as well.

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Rest time10 Minutes
  • Cooking time20 Minutes
  • Servingmakes around 250ml syrup
  • Cooking methodStove
  • CuisineItalian


  • 1000 mltable water
  • 300 gsugar
  • 250 gshelled almonds
  • 1lemon (peel only)


  1. – if the almonds are not blanched, then bring to boil abundant water into a pot and pour the almonds into it;

    – remove the pot from the stove and wait 3 minutes;

    – drain the almonds and then easily remove their skin;

    – transfer the blanched almond into a food processor and add the table water;

    – mix everything together till you get a pulp;

    – put a linen or cotton towel or sack (sack mustn’t be washed with detergents but sterilized in hot water) onto a pot with high sides;

    – pour the almond pulp onto the pot sifting it through the towel;

    – squeeze the towel till all the liquid would have passed through and only the ground almond would have remained inside the towel;

    – sop up the sack in the pot where you just sifted the almond milk;

    – squeeze out the sack on it;

    – repeat the last 2 steps for at least 4 times;

    – add the sugar, the lemon zest and put the pot on the stove;

    – bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes;

    – remove the lemon zest and allow the syrup to reach room temperature;

    – pour the syrup into a sterilizes glass bottle;

    – the syrup can be stored into the fridge up to 15 days

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