Amaretto cocktails - the 20 best

Words by Simon Difford

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The bittersweet almond and vanilla flavour of amaretto mixes brilliantly with dark spirits – particularly whisk(e)y and aged tequila. This versatile liqueur also mixes with a wide range of white spirits – vodka obviously but also the likes of gin with the Marsala Martini (below) being a brilliant example.

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Marsala Martini
With: Gin, marsala, dry vermouth and amaretto.
We say: The original recipe called for 69 Colebrooke Row lab kit, but we didn't have it or the patience to use it, so we subbed amaretto for almond bitters and the dried the combo by using dry marsala in place of sweet marsala in our own adaptation.

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Jockey Club
With: Gin, amaretto, lemon juice, orange bitters and Angostura bitters.
We say: This classic drink from the 1930s originally called for creme de noyaux. And some old books, including The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury describe the Jockey Club as a Manhattan with maraschino.

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Madurised Old-Fashioned Godfather
With: Bourbon, rye whiskey Scotch whisky, amaretto and madeira.
We say: As the name suggests this is an almond flavoured Old-Fashioned with medium dry madeira adding wine notes while three different whiskies also add to the drink's balance and complexity.

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With: Fino sherry, amaretto, Peychaud's bitters and absinthe.
We say: The game this drink is named after is French while the main ingredients are Spanish and Italian, but they do play Petanque in the Basque region of Spain. However, both the creator of this drink and the Peychaud's bitters used in it come from the States. Perhaps it took a non-European to bring these ingredients - fino sherry and amaretto - harmoniously together.

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Atholl Brose
With: Honey, Scotch whisky, oatmeal water, Drambuie, amaretto and cream.
We say: Forget the porridge and kick start your day with an Atholl Brose. This is our adaptation of the Scottish classic.

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Orange Brûlée
With: Amaretto, orange liqueur, cognac and cream.
We say: A great looking, beautifully balanced after-dinner drink.

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Don's Delight
With: Añejo tequila, bourbon, amaretto, lime juice, sugar and egg white.
We say: When made with Don Julio 1942, as this drink originally was, this is another memorable trick by the affable Brian Van Flandern.

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Brooklyn Godfather
With: Bourbon, amaretto, dry vermouth and sweet vermouth
We say: Described by some as being a Brooklyn but perhaps more a bourbon whisky-based Godfather with vermouth.

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Homely Smoke
With: Cognac, amaretto, Islay malt whisky, honey and Angostura bitters
We say: Honey and amaretto's rich almond flavours brilliantly balance and marry with cognac and Islay single malt whisky.

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Raspberry Frangipane Spritz
With: Prosecco, crème de framboise, amaretto, vanilla schnapps, coconut liqueur, butterscotch liqueur and soda water.
We say: Just like the eponymously named dessert this slightly sweet spritz is flavoured with raspberry, almond, vanilla and coconut. Butterscotch liqueur adds a biscuity note.

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With: Light white rum, amaretto, navy rum, overproof rum, pineapple juice and prosecco.
We say: Try saying the drinks name after a few of these rum laced, tropical pineapple concoctions.

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Amaro-etti Biscotti
With: Cognac, amaretto, amaro, vanilla bitters and Islay malt whisky
We say: A well-balanced cocktail aromatised with vanilla bitters.

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Amaretto Sour
With: Amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice and egg white.
We say: As the name suggests, this drink is dominated by amaretto, with lemon juice providing the sour balancing element and a slug of bourbon giving backbone.

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Bella Donna Daiquiri
With: Dark rum, amaretto, lemon juice and sugar.
We say: Back in 2003, this was the hit cocktail for Difford's Guide staff at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, after working at the Nightclub & Bar Beverage Convention. Try one and see why.

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Fat Godfather
With: Scotch whisky, amaretto and Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
We say: A simple 3-ingredient cocktail with wonderful notes of smoky bacon.

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Almond Tequila Old-Fashioned
With: Reposado tequila, amaretto, agave syrup and orange bitters.
We say: One to please fans of both tequila and the Old-Fashioned drinks genre with amaretto adding the headline hint of almond.

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Nutty Pear
With: Calvados, amaretto, pear purée and champagne.
We say: As the name suggests pear and almond are the main flavours with calvados providing backbone and hints of apple, while champagne dries and adds flavoursome effervescence.

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Downhill Racer
With: Aged rum, amaretto and pineapple juice.
We say: Aged rum sweetened, softened and flavoured with pineapple and amaretto. A crowd pleaser.

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Toblerone Cocktail
With: Runny honey, vanilla infused light white rum, amaretto, brown crème de cacao, cream and egg white.
We say: Nibble at the garnish as you sip honeyed, chocolate and almond flavoured liquid candy.

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Gingerbread Martini
With: Vodka, dry vermouth, amaretto, gingerbread sugar syrup.
We say: A soaking wet Vodka Martini with a festive dose of almond and gingerbread.

More amaretto cocktails

We've another 115+ amaretto cocktails on Difford's Guide.

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