Orange flower water is an intoxicatingly aromatic infusion of–you guessed it–orange blossoms in water. It’s produced largely in Lebanon and France. Used judiciously, it adds a wonderful je ne sais quois to food and drinks. Here are some ideas for how to use it.
Try adding a little orange blossom water to your favorite iced tea, for a lovely aroma, suggests Jupiter. Jim Leff notes that orange blossoms are an essential ingredient in Moroccan-style mint tea.
Marsha shares her recipe for a version of Ramos Gin Fizz with orange flower water: For 2 drinks, mix 1.5 oz fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp powdered sugar, and 2 tsp bar sugar well in a shaker. Add cracked ice, and the following, in this order: 3 oz gin, 1 egg white, 4 oz milk, and 10-12 drops orange flower water. Shake very thoroughly, and serve in fizz glasses.
Orange flower water goes wonderfully with fresh fruit. Splash a little on a citrus salad (along with some fresh mint), or add to simple syrup for drizzling over fruit.
Orange flower water also lends a subtle, haunting flavor to custards–try adding a couple teaspoons to ice cream, panna cotta, or rice pudding recipes.
In baking, orange flower water is especially good added to the syrup for baklava (Jupiter); and in brownies with orange zest and cinnamon (eaters will never guess the “mystery” ingredient, says Fleur).
Claudia Roden’s “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food,” includes a wonderfully refreshing salad of green lettuce and sliced oranges, simply dressed with olive oil, fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juices, and a bit of orange flower water.
Orange flower water can often be found at specialty and Middle Eastern groceries, or order online.
Board Links: Orange Blossom Water