My Recipe Box

Orange flower water is perfume for food

by Dabney Gough

fromFine Cooking
Issue 92

If you were to taste our Classic Baklava blindfolded, you’d probably detect a flavor that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. That would be the optional orange flower water. Rather than adding true flavor, orange flower water adds a subtle aroma to Middle Eastern desserts and old-school cocktails like the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Straight from the bottle, orange flower water is extremely potent, but it mellows once it’s mixed with other ingredients. It’s distilled from the flowers and not the oranges themselves, so the aroma is more floral than citrusy.

Look for orange flower water in specialty food markets, gourmet shops, and Middle Eastern grocers, or online at

Photo: Scott Phillips

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