1 pound blanched whole almonds
2 cups filtered or bottled water, plus some extra
4 cups sugar
1 oz vodka
1/8 tsp rose water
1/8 tsp orange flower water
Pulse almonds in food processor until coarsely ground. Alternatively, put almonds in a Ziploc freezer bag and beat the hell out of them with a rolling pin until coarsely ground. Combine almonds, water, and ½ cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Heat mixture until at a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and let stand overnight.
The next day, pour mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth (or a nylon straining bag from a homebrewing supply store). Twist cloth closed over almonds, and squeeze out as much almond water as possible. Add extra water to bring volume of liquid to 2 cups. Add remaining sugar, and heat until ALL of the sugar is fully dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Add optional vodka and flower waters. Mix well, and store in the refrigerator. Will keep a few days without the vodka, a few weeks with.
The almond oils will separate in storage. To use, break up the oil layer with a chopstick if necessary, and shake well until fully dissolved.
Who knows, maybe soon I'll revise the recipe again soon. I'm inspired by gomme syrup, a pre-Prohibition version of simple syrup. It has a little gum arabic in there to stabilize the solution (keep crystals from forming), and has the added benefit of lending a silky mouthfeel. The gum arabic will serve triple duty in the orgeat since it will also keep the flavorful oils suspended in solution.