Episode #096 – Amaretto Cocktails

Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored, Italian liqueur associated with Saronno, Italy (thus the name for one of the most popular brands, Disaronno). Most well-known versions are made from almonds but some are made from a base of apricot pits. The name comes from the Italian “amaro” (which is also a liqueur) meaning “bitter,” thus, amaretto is a “little bitter.” And for any chemists reading this, yes, the cyanide is processed out of the almond prior to being included in the liqueur.

All too often, amaretto cocktails are considered overly sweet drinks—but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. In addition to adding a nice profile to coffee, and is well known in Amaretto Sour, but there is a lot more to layer within the liqueur.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A little about how amaretto is made
  • Some of the myths of the liqueur
  • How to mix, pair, and match amaretto
  • A few cocktails featuring amaretto

Amaretto Cocktail Recipes

Alex’s Nutty Coffee

  • 3 oz pecan coffee concentrate (Chameleon is a brand Alex knows and loves)
  • 1 oz water
  • 1 ½ oz amaretto
  • 1 ½ oz dark or aged rum

Mix above ingredients. Garnish with an orange peel.

French Connection

  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 1 ½ oz Amaretto

Add into an Old Fashioned glass and stir just a little bit.

Alex’s Amaretto Bourbon Punch

  • 2 ½ cups ginger beer
  • 2 cups bourbon (something like a wheated bourbon like Maker’s Mark will work great here)
  • 1 cup amaretto
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice

Combine all ingredients except for the ginger beer in a large container and then slowly add the ginger beer after mixing up the rest of the combination. Makes 15 servings of 4 oz each.

*EDIT*: We received a request from loyal listener Anne for the single-measure version of this cocktail, so here you go!

  • 1.5 oz ginger beer
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz amaretto
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz fresh lime juice (about a 1/2 shell of lime squeezed)
  • 1/4 oz fresh orange juice

Combine all ingredients minus ginger beer in a shaker with ice and shake until blended. Then pour into a rocks glass with ice and top with ginger beer.

And now for a toast!


Who wants a pancake,

Sweet and piping hot?

Good little Grace looks up and says,

“I’ll take the one on top.”

Who else wants a pancake,

Fresh off the griddle?

Terrible Theresa smiles and says,

“I’ll take the one in the middle.”

 – by Shel Silverstein