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What Is Orange Flower Water?

Know Your Ingredients: Orange Flower Water

Now that Party's cleared up the mystery around one foreign spirit, Pimm's, I'm going to attempt to demystify another mixer — orange flower water.

A delicate flavoring used in desserts, drinks, and other dishes, orange flower water is a natural extract made from distilling orange blossoms from bitter orange or Seville orange trees. Sometimes known as orange blossom water, it has a delicate yet powerful, jasmine-like scent. The flavoring can be categorized into two different genres — French flower water and Middle Eastern flower water. The French version (like the venerated Provençal brand A. Monteux pictured here) is perfumed and floral, while the Middle Eastern kind is brighter with citrusy notes.

Orange blossom water can be used to enhance the flavor of cocktailsm such as the Ramos Gin Fizz and is an ingredient in true orgeat. It's also a key component in some madeleines, cakes, and cookies. Drops may be used to flavor hot water, a common practice in the Middle East, or other desserts like fruit salad and ice cream. How do you make the most of orange flower water?

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