Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a strong almond flavor and a bitter finish. It is often served neat but can also be served over ice or as a long cocktail. The name means “little bitter one” in Italian, and the flavor is reminiscent of almonds. This liqueur has a high alcohol content, and the word “amaretto” has an etymological relationship with “love.” Many other Italian drinks have some form of amaretto flavor, and a premium brand is sweeter than the cheaper varieties.
The flavor of amaretto varies a bit depending on the brand and the batch. However, many consumers describe the liqueur as having a distinct almond flavor with notes of apricot. It is often bitter and slightly sweet and is used to make cocktails. The most popular amaretto drinks are the Alabama Slammer and the Amaretto Sour. If you’re unsure what it tastes like, try it in a small glass and let your imagination run wild.
What is Amaretto?
Amaretto was first developed in Italy in the early 1530s. The Italian liqueur was created by a student of Leonardo da Vinci and was quickly embraced by American drinkers. The sweet flavor of almonds is balanced by a slight bitterness, and Amaretto differs in its sweetness. Some are made with molasses, some contain cherry flavor, while others are sugary and low in alcohol.
Though Italians enjoyed amaretto for centuries, it did not enter the American market until the 1960s. It quickly rose to popularity as a drink and now is a staple of many cocktails. The Godfather shooter and the Italian amaretto are both popular. And it’s one of the most famous liqueurs worldwide. Its recipe dates back to 1525 and is claimed to be the original amaretto.
Amaretto is a very rich liqueur. Its flavor is derived from apricot kernels, which are the most common source of amaretto. Some varieties have an intense almond flavor, while others are very bland. However, aiming to make amaretto as authentic as possible means using a variety of almonds. If you’re using real apricots, they’ll give a more robust flavor. Then again, you may find bitter apricots, which would produce a more pronounced flavor.
What does Amaretto Taste Like?
While most amaretto products are sweet, some are bitter. Its name is derived from apricot kernels, but some aren’t. Other brands of amaretto are made with actual apricots, and some brands use brandy or beetroot instead of grain. Some do not mention which alcohol base is used to make the liquor. In general, amaretto is a fruity, almond-like liqueur that is a favorite amongst Italians.
Amarettos like Disaronno are known for their candy sweetness, but they also have a lot of almond and cherry notes, similar to marzipan.
Benzaldehyde is present in all of them. The smell of benzaldehyde is similar to almonds, and Amaretto is known for its almond-like aroma.
This liqueur can sweeten and flavor syrups, sauces, and desserts, but it’s best known for being a key ingredient in drinks like the Godfather and the amaretto sour.
What are Some Popular Brands of Amaretto?
This almond-flavored alcohol is produced by several companies due to its popularity. So, if you’re planning on making amaretto cocktails, these are the best amaretto liqueur brands to have on hand:
Disaronno – The most well-known amaretto brand, Disaronno, is made in Saronno, Lombardy. Amaretto di Saronno was its original name. In 2001, it was renamed Disaronno Originale. It’s made from apricot kernel oil infused with alcohol, burnt sugar, herb, and fruit essence and tastes like almonds.
Di Amore – Amaretto di Amore is made from crushed apricot essence and has a sweet palate with caramel undertones. On the other hand, its creation is not entirely open to the public. If you want to try this cheap brand’s saccharine flavor, you can find it quickly across the United States.
Lazzaroni – According to legend, Lazzaroni amaretto was the first amaretto. The liqueur version of amaretto was born in 1786 when the Lazzaroni family attempted to replicate the flavor of their amaretto biscuits. The crushed biscuits are soaked in alcohol to make this liqueur. Meanwhile, beet sugar and cocoa sweeten the flavor of this alcoholic beverage. Overall, it tastes like roasted almonds with a hint of spice.
Luxardo – The main ingredients in the Luxardo brand are cherry, peach, and apricot kernels. This liqueur has a rich, complex flavor with hints of spice and orange peel.
Gozio – Amaretto from Gozio has a refined almond flavor and a creamy finish. You’ll detect almond and spice notes right away when it comes to scent, and its delicate flavor pairs well with cocktails and desserts.
An Amaretto Sour is a Cocktail made with Amaretto?
Amaretto should not be confused with amaretto sour, as they are two completely different drinks. The amaretto sour is a classic cocktail that uses amaretto liqueur as its main ingredient; and it has an almond flavor and is sweet and refreshing.
Although the original recipe calls for fresh juice and simple syrup, adding a splash of lemon-lime soda amps up the flavor. The maraschino cherries or orange slices are then garnished on top.
How to Consume Amaretto?
Amaretto is a delicious dessert drink that can be served on its own over ice. Serving a shot of amaretto over ice in a tall glass and then topping it with cola is also popular. Its bitterness enhances the overall flavor of the drink, and it can be added to dishes such as cakes and desserts. Its sweet and nutty flavor is a vital characteristic of the liquor, so choosing a gluten-free brand is essential. It’s frequently combined with liqueurs such as vodka and whiskey (especially coffee). Amaretto is a versatile spirit that goes well with many flavors, including fruits, coffee, cinnamon, and ginger. Amaretto can be found in creamy cocktails, adds a sweet note to martinis, and gives fruity highballs an excellent depth. It can also be found in a variety of shooter recipes. Amaretto is considered a staple in the modern bar because of its versatility.
Commercial brands can replace Orgeat syrup, amaretto syrup (for coffee flavoring), and homemade amaretto.
What are the Signs that Amaretto isn’t Good?
While amaretto rarely spoils due to improper storage, it can. If you’re not sure if it’s safe to drink your amaretto after it’s been opened for a long time, look for the following signs:
Keep an eye out for an unpleasant odor, just as you would with spoiled food or beverages (like milk).
Check if the color has changed significantly, from bright amber to a different hue.
Taking a sip of amaretto is an excellent way to start. It’s time to toss it if it has a sour or bitter flavor.
Is it Possible to Freeze Amaretto?
While it is possible, we strongly advise against it because freezing is difficult and dangerous. Because it’s an alcoholic beverage, it can’t be frozen, and if it does, the water in the amaretto could damage the container.
Because alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, you’ll need an icy freezer. Furthermore, as the water freezes, it expands, causing the bottle to crack or break in the freezer, particularly if it is sealed or complete.
If you decide to freeze your amaretto bottle, we recommend throwing it away rather than thawing it.
Why does the Quality of Amaretto Deteriorate?
It all comes down to oxidation, which is a fascinating process. When you have consumed a significant amount of amaretto, it is best to decant it into a smaller bottle, reducing the amount of oxygen that the liqueur is exposed to.
Temperature fluctuations also degrade the quality of amaretto. As a result, you should keep your bottle of amaretto somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight.
Finally, contaminants in the bottle can cause amaretto to spoil. Ensuring that the bottle cap is tightened and sealed correctly is critical. While amaretto is often stored in the refrigerator, many aficionados suggest keeping it somewhere dark and cool. Amaretto should be kept away from sunlight to keep its flavor fresh. While it does not spoil or go rancid like other liqueurs, it will lose its distinctive flavor with exposure to oxygen. There are also various ways to store it so as to not get oxidized.
Amaretto tastes similar to almonds, with a nutty, slightly bitter flavor. Although it is a bit sweeter than almonds, it has a distinctly almond flavor. The sweeter brands of amaretto are known as Disaronno. Some of them don’t use any added almond flavoring to achieve their unique taste, and some are more similar to a cough syrup.
Amaretto is an almond-based liqueur. Its flavor is sweet, with a nutty edge. It is usually served neat, or with cola. It is also a popular ingredient in many 1970s cocktails, which are now making a comeback in the United States. Amaretto is an excellent way to enhance the flavors of other foods and drinks. Once you know what does amaretto taste like, you’ll be able to decide how to enjoy it.