French Almond Water From Victoria's Kitchen

A delicate liquid pick-me-up

Almond water is all grandmotherly warmth and rainy Parisian streets compared to coconut water's tropical-beach associations.

A traditional beverage in France, this delicate, slightly cloudy liquid has just arrived Stateside thanks to husband-and-wife team David and Deborah Meniane.

Their company, Victoria's Kitchen, takes its almond-water recipe (and the company's name) from David's grandmother, Victoria. First, the nuts are soaked for hours to capture their flavor, then cane sugar is added to the resulting liquid to give it a hint of sweetness.

Fear not, though; the sugar level is kept in check. Unlike some heavy-handed beverage categories, almond water ($12 for six; click here to buy) thrives on nuance. Served chilled, it is best left unadulterated so its barely nutty, perfumed flavors can be savored.

But for days that require a mature edge, almond water plays as well with rum and citrus as its cousin, orgeat, does. We chased our winter blues away by using it in a mellow version of a mai tai.

French charm and beachy sex appeal, all in one glass. Watch your back, coconuts.