Homemade Amaretto

Cyd Converse

This simple and delicious recipe for homemade amaretto is perfect for mixing all kinds of amaretto cocktails. What is amaretto? Find out here!

Considering the fact that it's one of America's most popular liqueurs, you might be surprised to hear that amaretto, an Italian treat, wasn't actually imported into the United States until the 1960s.

Deliciously sweet and with a wonderful, distinctive, nutty flavor, amaretto originated in Saronno, Italy.

First made from bitter almonds, most brands now are made from either almonds or the crushed pits of cherries or peaches.

These all contain something called 'benzaldehyde', which gives amaretto its almond flavor.

Eggnog Cocktail Photo

Despite the fact that 'amaretto' translates from Italian to 'bitter almonds', the liqueur is only mildly bitter, but very sweet!

For this reason, it is best with an ice cube if served alone as it thins it a little and makes it less 'cloying'.

It also works well as a mixer in all sorts of cocktails, as it mellows out the 'bite' of many spirits.

Amaretto Cocktails 

Amaretto is used in a number of different cocktail recipes. Here are a few combinations you might like to try:

  • French Connection - amaretto and cognac
  • Amaretto Piña Colada - amaretto, rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk
  • Snickerdoodle Cocktail Martini - amaretto, cinnamon vodka and cinnamon liqueur

How Else Can Amaretto Be Used?

  • Try adding a little to freshly brewed coffee - delicious!
  • Use it in savory dishes containing almonds - it really boosts the flavor.
  • Stir a little into ice cream.
  • Use it to make Tiramisu
  • Add a dash to whipped cream for a unique and delicious flavor
  • Mix it into pancake batter for a richer taste 
  • Toss diced sweet potato with a mixture of amaretto and olive oil, then roast until golden. Sprinkle with almonds before serving
Iced Coffee Cocktail Image

Not to Be Confused With...

The name 'amaretto' can sometimes be confused with other Italian terms.

These include:

  • Amaro - these are also Italian liqueurs, but are flavored with herbs and have a much stronger, more bitter taste
  • Amoretto - these are paintings of chubby Cupids!
  • Amaretti di Saronna - these are macaron traditional to Saronno, flavored with amaretto
Homemade Coffee Liqueur Photo

How to Make Homemade Amaretto

It's surprisingly easy to make your amaretto - and you don't even need to crush almonds or cherry pits to do so! Just grab a bottle of almond extract and everything else is plain sailing.

To make it you'll need the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vodka
  • Almond extract
  • Vanilla extract

Other Amaretto Recipes

Amaretto also makes a beautiful addition to baked goods, especially decadent desserts!

This recipe for peach amaretto crumbles is delicious. Switch it up by swapping out the peaches for any other stone fruit you may have on hand.

In this amaretto cinnamon raisin bread recipe the amaretto adds a rich almond flavor to the already delicious pairing of warm cinnamon and raisins.

Of course, amaretto shines in a classic egg nog cocktail


Homemade Amaretto

    12 Servings


  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Almond Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Add the water and both types of sugar to a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  4. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, mix well and pour into a bottle. Seal and store.


Related Recipes:
Cocktail Recipes, Vodka Recipes
Recipe Yields:
12 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Cyd Converse
Recipe Yields: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
Calories 146

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
  Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 7mg
Total Carbohydrate 35g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 34g
Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.

Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

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