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Amaretto Sour

Crafting an Amaretto Sour is easy. The challenge is deciding which ingredients to add. Since we add both Disaronno Amaretto and Bourbon, our Amaretto Sour recipe is technically a Disaronno Sour recipe and it’s delicious.

Amaretto Sour on Ledge
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Reconnecting with the Amaretto Sour has been a sweet pleasure.

After drinking the sweet yet sour cocktail during our college years, the drink exited our cocktail loving minds over the past decades. We moved on. The version we had imbibed in our early 20s was concocted with store-bought sour mix and, to be honest, was more of a gateway drink than a crafted cocktail.

Amaretto Sour with White Background
Crafting an Amaretto Sour at home is easy. It’s also fun thanks to our recipe’s two-part shaking step. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Times have changed and so has the idea of using cheap, subpar ingredients. Once we crafted Amaretto Sours at home with just a handful of wholesome ingredients, we had two questions…

First, we wondered why the Amaretto Sour isn’t as popular as other Italian cocktails like the Negroni and Aperol Spritz. And second, we questioned how soon we could drink Amaretto Sours again.

Discover more of our favorite Italian cocktails.

History Of The Amaretto Sour Cocktail

Amaretto Sour with Black Background
The Amaretto Sour’s history is as short and sweet as the cocktail itself. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While our history with the Amoretto Sour dates back to the latter part of the 20th century, the drink’s history goes back to the 1970s. However, while cocktail historians suspect that the sweet cocktail was invented in the United States, nobody knows exactly who deserves credit for its creation.

Regardless of its creator, the sweet drink hit a nerve with the 70s disco generation before being relegated to fresh university students and octogenarian grannies. Most everybody between these two demographics eschewed the 70s era cocktail as ‘passé’ for decades.

Fast forward to the 21st century and bartenders like Jeffrey Morgenthaler have re-invented the Amaretto Sour by removing the sour mix and adding extra ingredients like bourbon and egg white. Some add maraschino liqueur to their Amaretto Sour recipes while others add a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

What Is A Disaronno Sour?

Amaretto Sour Next to Amaretto Bottle
Disaronno Amaretto is the key ingredient in a Disarrono Sour. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Since we use Disaronno Amaretto in our Amaretto Sour recipe, our cocktail is technically a Disaronno Sour. However, our recipe is different from the official Disaronno Sour recipe since we add bourbon and ‘dry shake’ the cocktail before adding ice. More about dry shaking later.

Based in Italy’s Lombardy region, Disarrono is the world’s most prolific amoretto producer. Its almond flavored liqueur has a 28% ABV but, ironically, doesn’t contain any almonds. Instead, Disarrono uses apricot kernels to achieve its sweet flavor.

Fun Fact
Amaretto is no unitasker. It’s also a key ingredient in amaretti cookies. Some bakers also add the liqueur to tiramisu, a popular Italian dessert.

Ingredients

Amaretto Sour Ingredients
The primary ingredients for our Amaretto Sour recipe include amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white. We also use ice to shake the cocktail and maraschino cherries as garnish. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Some cocktails have a specific recipe that rarely if ever changes. The Amaretto Sour is not one of these cocktails. In fact, it seems like every recipe is different beyond the drink’s two main ingredients – amaretto liqueur and fresh lemon juice. Even the garnishes are different, typically maraschino cherries, orange slices or both.

After taste testing a few variations, we settled on the following ingredients for our Amaretto Sour cocktail recipe:

  • Amaretto
  • Bourbon
  • Egg White (optional)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Simple Sugar
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)
Liquor Bottles for Amaretto Sour Recipe
Amaretto and bourbon are the two liquors in our Amaretto Sour recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Our Amaretto Sour recipe includes two liquors – amaretto and bourbon. We’ve consciously chosen to use a higher ratio of amaretto compared to other recipes.

We also use less lemon juice than other recipes plus a relatively small amount of Four Roses bourbon. The result is a cocktail that retains its amaretto flavor and isn’t too tart.

Discover our favorite bourbon cocktails.

Adding an egg white results in a silky top layer that looks and tastes great. Feel free to omit the egg white if you don’t feel comfortable ingesting raw eggs or if you’re vegan. Another option is to replace the egg white with a tablespoon or two of aquafaba.

Discover more cocktails with egg white to craft at home.

How To Craft An Amaretto Sour

Amaretto Sour Mise en Place
You probably have most or all of the ingredients and tools required to craft an Amaretto Sour at home. If not, each item should be relatively inexpensive to purchase. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The first step in this recipe is to measure the amaretto, bourbon and fresh lemon juice. We use a Japanese jigger to ensure clean and accurate measurements.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Amaretto for an Amaretto Sour
We used two hands to pour the Disaronno Amaretto from its pretty glass bottle. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The second step is to separate and measure the egg white. You can skip this step if you’re vegan or if you’re uncomfortable with drinking raw egg product.

Warning
Your cocktail won’t have a foamy top layer if you omit the egg white.

Egg White for an Amaretto Sour
Cracking the egg and separating the egg white is the most challenging step in this Amaretto Sour recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Pour the liquors, lemon juice and egg white into a cocktail shaker as you measure each. We like to use a Boston shaker for this and other cocktail recipes since it doesn’t leak.

Pouring Egg White into Amaretto Sour
Pouring each ingredient directly into the shaker minimizes muss and fuss. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The third step is to measure a teaspoon of simple syrup. While you can buy simple syrup online, we prefer to make our simple syrup at home.

Pro Tip
Make simple syrup by mixing equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan and just bringing the mixture to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat immediately and let cool.

Measuring Simple Syrup for an Amaretto Sour
A teaspoon of simple syrup rounds out our Amaretto Sour’s flavor.

The fourth step, shaking the cocktail, has two parts:

First, vigorously shake the ingredients without ice for about 10 seconds. This process is called a ‘dry shake’ and allows the egg white to emulsify.

Amaretto Sour in Shaker Next to Liquor Bottles
Shaking the ingredients is when the Amaretto Sour magic occurs. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Next, after adding ice, shake the cocktail for about 20 seconds until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and chilled.

Pro Tip
There’s no need to ‘dry shake’ the cocktail if you omit egg white from the recipe.

The fifth step is to strain the cocktail into a coupe glass. You can use a lowball glass if you prefer.

Straining an Amaretto Sour into a Glass
Straining the Amaretto Sour is our favorite step in this recipe since we’re just seconds away from the sipping stage. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Finally, garnish the drink with maraschino cherries. We typically opt for luxurious Luxardo cherries; however, in this age of images and engagement, cocktail cherries photograph better due to their bright red color.

Alternatives

Daryl Enjoys an Amaretto Sour
Drinking an Amaretto Sour makes Daryl smile. You could call him a super fan. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Once you buy a bottle of Disarrono amaretto, you may wonder what else to do with the sweet Italian liqueur. Unless you want to stick with drinking Amaretto Sours, we suggest crafting one or more of the following cocktails:

  • Alabama Slammer (Amaretto, Sloe Gin, Southern Comfort and Orange Juice)
  • Amaretto French 75 (Amaretto, Gin, Sparkling Wine and Lemon Juice)
  • French Connection (Amaretto and Cognac)
  • Godfather (Amaretto and Scotch)
  • Italian Margarita (Amaretto, Tequila, Triple Sec and Lime)

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Amaretto Sour?

The Amaretto Sour is a sweet yet sour cocktail crafted with amaretto liqueur and lemon juice.

Where was the Amaretto Sour invented?

The Amaretto Sour was probably invented in the USA. Its exact history is a mystery.

What are the ingredients in an Amaretto Sour?

Amaretto, Bourbon, Egg White (optional), Lemon Juice, Maraschino Cherries, Simple Sugar and Ice Cubes (for shaking)

Is the Amaretto Sour shaken or stirred?

The Amaretto Sour is shaken, not stirred.

What type of glass is best for the Amaretto Sour cocktail?

We like to serve this cocktail in a coupe glass but you could use a lowball glass or small martini glass instead.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Amaretto Sour with Grey Background
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5 from 2 votes

Amaretto Sour Recipe

Leave your impressions behind. This Amaretto Sour is a sweet enough to end a meal and tasty enough to be the main event.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 255kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces amaretto
  • ½ ounce bourbon
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • ½ ounce egg white (optional)
  • 2 maraschino cherries (garnish)
  • ice cubes (for shaking)

Instructions

  • Combine amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white in a shaker.
  • Shake vigorously for 10 seconds so that the egg white emulsifies.
  • Add several ice cubes and shake for 20 seconds until the drink is properly chilled.
  • Strain into a coupe glass.
  • Add maraschino cherries as garnish.

Notes

  • We like to use a coupe glass but a lowball glass will work too.
  • You can add a slice of orange as an additional garnish.
  • The egg white can be omitted if you’re a vegan or uncomfortable with ingesting raw eggs.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: August 27, 2021

Recipe Rating




Neely Deborah

Sunday 26th of December 2021

Please tell me where that glass in the photo for the amaretto sour recipe is from. I must have it! It’s not the Reidel in your link. It’s more modern. Help! TIA

La Shikis

Friday 12th of January 2024

@Daryl and Mindi Hirsch, This is a Nick and Nora type glass.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Sunday 26th of December 2021

We bought the glass at a store called Area in Lisbon. We didn't include a link since Area is specific to Portugal while many of our readers are in the US. Good luck in finding a glass that you love as much as we love this glass!

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