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What is amaretto (Plus fun ways to use this prized Italian liqueur!)

Amaretto is a known Italian cordial commonly used as a condiment in baked goods and cocktail creation. It features alcohol by volume (ABV) level of between 21 percent and 28 percent (42 to 56 proof) and is notable for its almond-like flavor and thick texture similar to cough syrup.  

Its original recipe calls for apricot kernels, but current creators tend to use almonds or a combination of the two to achieve the similar taste and consistency of the classic liqueur.

What is amaretto


Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that has gone down with quite the fame in history books for its almond-like flavor and high viscosity. It’s interpreted as “little bitter,” deriving from the Italian word “amaro” (bitter) and suffix “etto” (little).

Amaretto’s flavor comes from the extract found primarily in almonds, apricot kernels, or combining the two ingredients. Then they’re flavored with burnt sugar, giving its nice dark amber color. 

Due to its versatility, amaretto is now sought and created by many makers across the globe, from the Netherlands to its origin in the town of Saronno in the northwest region of Italy. 

Its slight nutty flavor makes the ingredient a good accompaniment in a wide range of dishes. It’s fantastic to add in pancake batter, tiramisu cakes, whip cream, or your morning coffee if you’re brave enough.

What does amaretto taste like

Amaretto tastes similar to almonds. It boasts a slightly bitter taste too. The sweetness of amaretto varies from one brand to another. Also, its unique taste can improve the flavor profiles of your cocktails and sweet courses.

How to use amaretto

Amaretto is a versatile ingredient that’s often used in many recipes. The most common way to use amaretto is in cocktails; it harmonizes well with desserts too. Here are some fun ways you can use amaretto:

  1. Use it to fancy up cocktails.
  2. Mix it to pancake batter for a richer flavor.
  3. Place it to ice cream and tiramisu cakes.
  4. Pour a few drops of it into your whip cream for a nutty flavor.
  5. Add it to savory meats for almond and nutty flavor.
  6. Include it in your morning coffee.

Cooking with amaretto

To iterate, amaretto’s purpose isn’t just to liven up the flavors of your cakes, cookies, icings, sauces, or alcoholic drinks. In fact, a bottle of amaretto can also elevate the overall taste of meat dishes like this amaretto chicken or duck breast.

What is an amaretto sour?

You shouldn’t confuse amaretto with amaretto sour as both are entirely different kinds of things. Amaretto sour is a classic cocktail mainly made from amaretto liqueur. It’s sweet, refreshing, and has an almond-flavored taste. 

The original recipe calls for fresh juice and simple syrup, but a splash of lemon-lime soda makes the drink more exciting. It’s then garnished with maraschino cherries or orange slices.

The bottom line

As you’re already equipped with everything about amaretto, now is probably the right time for you to purchase one at the liquor store. Whether you try adding it to your desserts, drizzling it over ice cream, or a bowl of fruit, nothing ever goes wrong with a splash of amaretto!