Amaretto is the curious, nutty liqueur that you’re never quite sure how to make the most of. On its own, it has aninterestingtaste, but when mixed in cocktails, Amaretto drinks can be some of the best!
From the classic Amaretto Sour, right through to the creamy Espresso Amaretto Martini, there are a ton of excellent Amaretto cocktails you can prepare at home.
Let’s take a look at the traditional Amaretto, and then we’ll dive into a few of our favorite Amaretto cocktail blends!
What is Amaretto?
Okay, but what exactly is Amaretto? You’ve likely seen this drink in the liquor store, or you may have even tried a cocktail with Amaretto on the ingredients list, perhaps without even realizing it at the time!
Amaretto liqueur is an Italian alcoholic drink prepared using a mixture of nuts, almonds, apricots, and several other herbs. Amaretto varies in strength but is generally around the 25 percent mark in terms of alcohol content.
Amaretto offers a somewhat bitter, sharp taste (Amarettoliterally means ‘little bitter’ in Italian) that’s also paradoxically quite sweet. As you’ll see, though, there are a lot of ways you can enjoy this unusual combination.
Can you drink Amaretto straight?
Amaretto is most commonly seen as a liqueur mixer, but to really understand this unique drink’s tastes and aromas, it’s a good idea to try it on the rocks. This is the simplest way to enjoy a little bit of Amaretto, and in Italy, the nutty flavor makes it a popular dessert drink.
The best way to enjoy straight Amaretto is to simply pour a measure of Amaretto into an old-fashioned glass tumbler and drink it on the rocks. To get the perfect ice, try using an Ice ball maker!
What are the best Amaretto mixers?
Straight Amaretto is often too bitter-sweet for many palates, particularly if you’re not used to drinking liqueurs straight. It’s also relatively thick in texture, and so most people enjoy it with a mixer or as part of a cocktail.
In terms of simple drinks with Amaretto, there are several ways to enjoy the liqueur with both non-alcoholic mixers and with spirits (without having to mix complicated cocktails.)
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Amaretto and coke served over ice.
- Amaretto, vodka, and coke served over ice.
- Amaretto, bourbon, and club soda.
- Amaretto and coffee liqueur.
- Amaretto and cherry.
- Amaretto and lemon.
- Amaretto and lime.
Enjoy simple Amaretto beverages over ice, and don’t forget to garnish them with a couple of pieces of fruit, too.
If you’re looking to try out your creative side and enjoy mixing up classic drinks at home, then it’s well worth taking the time to prepare Amaretto cocktails.
The following amaretto drink recipes are all straightforward and offer a range of flavors, aromas, and textures to suit all palates. From a light Amaretto Sour to a creamy Espresso Amaretto Martini, here are the best Amaretto cocktails.
#1 Amaretto Sour
The Amaretto Sour is the simplest (and most traditional) Amaretto cocktail. For the Amaretto Sour, you’ll need Amaretto, lemon juice, cherries, and ice - it’s easy yet deliciously bitter.
If you’re feeling particularly sour, then you can add an egg white to the drink, too. Another alternative is to mix in bourbon or whiskey and the Amaretto for an added depth to the ultimate Amaretto Sour!
#2 The Godfather
The Godfather is another easy Amaretto-based cocktail that requires just four ingredients. This strong cocktail is said to have been inspired by The Godfather movie, although that may just be some intelligent marketing!
To prepare The Godfather, you need to mix whiskey or bourbon with Amaretto. Pour over ice into an old-fashioned glass, and serve with a twist of orange to garnish.
#3 The Italian Margarita
Amaretto adds a unique Italian-inspired element to the traditional Margarita recipe and gives this popular cocktail a very unusual twist.
Margaritas call for tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. While they both call for tequila and lime juice, the Italian Margarita combines Amaretto in place of triple sec.
Serve your Italian Margarita over crushed ice, or better yet, how about a frozen Italian Margarita?
#4 Espresso Amaretto Martini
Given that I’m a coffee addict, this is my all-time favorite! Because of its nutty flavor, Amaretto is often paired with coffee or coffee liqueurs, so of course, there’s no escaping the inevitable Espresso Amaretto Martini!
This is one of our top Amaretto drinks because an Espresso Amaretto Martini offers a caffeine hit and an alcoholic punch. Who can turn coffee down anyway?
To make this delightful (yet incredibly strong) cocktail, you’ll need an espresso mix, coffee liqueur, Amaretto, and vodka. Mix everything together with crushed ice in a cocktail shaker, then pour into a martini glass.
Serve with a few coffee beans or almonds on top, and rim the glass with chocolate or coffee for a beautiful garnish.
Does Amaretto need to be refrigerated?
Amaretto is a long-lasting liqueur, so technically, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Safely store it at room temperature if you need to. However, Amaretto tastes so much better when given a chance to chill in the fridge or sit for a little while in the freezer!
It has the potential to be a very refreshing drink when served chilled and over ice. In addition, always make sure the top is tightly sealed when you’re not pouring drinks; that way, it stays super fresh.
Is there a difference between Amaretto and Disaronno?
Disaronno? Amaretto? You might be wondering if there’s a difference between these two Italian liqueurs; after all, the Amaretto flavor is distinctly similar to the flavor of Disaronno.
Both are different drinks, although they are admittedly very similar. Amaretto is always made using almonds and other nuts, while Disaronno doesn’t contain any nuts at all - the nutty-almond flavor comes from apricots.
If you have a nut allergy, then, Disaronno is the way to go!
Other than that, these two drinks have an almost identical taste, especially when mixed into different Amaretto recipes.
Mix it your way!
Amaretto is certainly a unique-tasting liqueur, but with the right pairings, this is one beverage that can be inspiring!
Known for its nutty, almond-like taste, Amaretto drinks can be sweet or sour (hello, Amaretto Sour!), creamy, or light. It’s versatile, and it certainly adds a punch to your liquor cabinet.
Enjoy Amaretto in whatever way you want to mix it!
Bookmark our recipes to our favorite Amaretto combos for future cocktail-making inspirations!