Amaretto Liqueur

Words by Simon Difford

Amaretto Liqueur image 1

Amaretto is a fragrant almond flavoured liqueur made with oil extracted from bitter apricot kernels, and it is these kernels which give the liqueur is strong almond flavour and slight bitterness.

Surprisingly, quality amarettos such as Disaronno Originale don't contain any almonds or indeed nuts - the nutty almond flavour comes only from apricot kernels. Infusions and distillations of various botanicals, most importantly vanilla, contribute to the liqueur's flavour, as does burnt sugar caramel which also gives the liqueur is dark chestnut hue.

The name amaretto comes from a diminutive of 'amaro', the Italian word for bitter, referencing the bitter almond (mandorla amara) so essential to the balance of a good amaretto. Some say the name means 'a little bitter while others say amaretto is a conflation of amaro (bitter) and amore (Italian for love), perhaps a reference to the fairy-tale story of the creation of DiSaronno, which claims to be the original amaretto.

Amaretto is thought to have originated in Saronno, a small town near Milan, Italy and DiSaronno, was originally called 'Amaretto di Saronno', literally 'Amaretto from Saronno'. There are hundreds of brands of amaretto made in Italy and other countries but DiSaronno, which is still family-owned and made in Saronno, remains the best-selling brand of amaretto.

Amaretto is a versatile cocktail ingredient and we have over 100 amaretto cocktail recipes here on Difford's Guide.

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Disaronno Originale amaretto image

Disaronno Originale amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Adriatico Caroni Cask Amaretto image

Adriatico Caroni Cask Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Amaretto Adriatico image

Amaretto Adriatico

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Luxardo Amaretto image

Luxardo Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 24

Galliano Amaretto image

Galliano Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Saliza Amaretto Veneziano image

Saliza Amaretto Veneziano

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Strega Amaretto image

Strega Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Giffard Amaretto image

Giffard Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 25

Bols Amaretto image

Bols Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 24

Gabriel Boudier Amaretto Almond Liqueur image

Gabriel Boudier Amaretto Almond Liqueur

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Lazzaroni Amaretto liqueur image

Lazzaroni Amaretto liqueur

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 24

Gozio Amaretto image

Gozio Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 24

De Kuyper Amaretto Liqueur image

De Kuyper Amaretto Liqueur

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 30

Bols Amaretto Foam Liqueur image

Bols Amaretto Foam Liqueur

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 24

Sette Vie Amaretto Classico image

Sette Vie Amaretto Classico

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Disaronno Originale 20% alc./vol. image

Disaronno Originale 20% alc./vol.

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 20

Knight Gabriello Amaretto Di Toscana image

Knight Gabriello Amaretto Di Toscana

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 28

Mazzetti Amaretto image

Mazzetti Amaretto

Category: Liqueurs / alc. cordials
Sub category: Nut liqueurs
alc./vol: 25

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