Amaretto Sour


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Introduction to the Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour is a timeless cocktail that masterfully blends the nutty sweetness of amaretto with the zesty sharpness of lemon juice. This drink is a staple in the world of mixology, offering a perfect balance of sweet and sour that tantalizes the taste buds. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a casual drinker, the Amaretto Sour is a must-try.

Originating from the classic sour cocktail family, the Amaretto Sour has made a name for itself with its distinctive almond flavor. Its rich history and simple yet sophisticated profile make it a favorite for many. Let’s dive into the essence of this beloved cocktail and learn how to craft the perfect Amaretto Sour.

Key Facts About the Amaretto Sour:

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV (28 proof)
  • Calories: Roughly 190 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: Rocks glass
  • Typical Garnish: Maraschino cherry and orange slice

Interesting Facts about the Amaretto Sour

Did you know that the Amaretto Sour has its roots in the 1970s, a time when sweet cocktails were all the rage? This drink has stood the test of time, evolving to suit modern palates. The name “Amaretto” is Italian for “a little bitter,” which is ironic considering the liqueur’s sweet profile. Moreover, the Amaretto Sour is often a gateway cocktail for those new to the world of spirits, thanks to its approachable and delightful taste.

Amaretto Sour Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour is a harmonious concoction that offers a rich almond essence with a citrusy punch. Its velvety texture and layered flavors make it a versatile cocktail suitable for various occasions. From casual get-togethers to sophisticated soirees, this drink can elevate any event.

Connoisseurs of sweet cocktails will find the Amaretto Sour particularly appealing, while those who favor a tart edge will appreciate the lemon’s balancing act. It’s a cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, providing a refreshing sip in the summer and a comforting warmth in the winter.

History of the Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour’s history is as rich as its flavor. Amaretto, the key ingredient, has been around since the Renaissance, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that this liqueur found its way into the sour family. The cocktail gained popularity in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when sweet and sour mixes were becoming a trend in bars and homes alike.

Over the years, the Amaretto Sour has seen various iterations, with bartenders experimenting with the ratios and additional ingredients to create the perfect blend. Despite these variations, the core elements of amaretto and lemon have remained constant, solidifying the cocktail’s status as a classic.

Amaretto Sour Ingredients

  • Amaretto Liqueur: 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) – The star of the show, amaretto provides a sweet, almond-like flavor that defines the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: 3/4 oz (22 ml) – Adds a necessary tartness and freshness, balancing the sweetness of the amaretto.
  • Simple Syrup: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Enhances the sweetness and smooths out the flavors, making the drink more palatable.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling the drink and diluting it to the perfect strength.
  • Garnishes: Maraschino cherry and orange slice add visual appeal and a hint of additional flavor.

Did you know? The Amaretto Sour can be customized to your taste by adjusting the simple syrup and lemon juice ratios.

Preparing Amaretto Sour

Amaretto Sour Method


Begin by filling a shaker with ice cubes to chill the ingredients and dilute the cocktail to the right consistency. Next, measure and pour the amaretto, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup into the shaker. This is where the magic starts to happen.


Seal the shaker and give it a vigorous shake. You’ll want to continue until the shaker feels cold to the touch, ensuring the ingredients are well mixed and chilled.


Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice, which will maintain the cocktail’s temperature without further dilution. The final touch is the garnish – add a maraschino cherry and an orange slice to complete the drink’s presentation.

Serving Suggestion for the Amaretto Sour

The ideal vessel for an Amaretto Sour is a rocks glass, which is sturdy and offers the perfect volume for this type of cocktail. The wide brim allows for the full release of the drink’s aromatic components, enhancing the tasting experience.

When it comes to garnishes, a maraschino cherry and an orange slice are traditional. They not only add a pop of color but also complement the drink’s flavors. Ensure the orange slice is fresh and the cherry is of good quality for the best taste and presentation.

Elevating the Amaretto Sour

  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for a premium amaretto liqueur and use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a superior taste.
  • Proper Technique: Shake the cocktail until the shaker is frosty to ensure optimal temperature and dilution.
  • Experiment with Bitters: A dash of aromatic bitters can add depth and complexity to the cocktail.

Amaretto Sour Finished

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Amaretto Sour

If you’re out of amaretto, consider using a different nut-flavored liqueur or even a bourbon for a twist on the classic sour. For those looking to explore similar cocktails, the Whiskey Sour and the Disaronno Sour are close relatives that share the same sour profile with different base spirits.

Add a Twist to the Amaretto Sour

For a modern take, infuse your simple syrup with herbs like rosemary or thyme. Another option is to add a splash of egg white to the shaker for a frothy, silky texture. Or, introduce a splash of soda water for a lighter, more effervescent version.

Preferred Liquors for the Amaretto Sour

When it comes to choosing an amaretto, Disaronno is a classic choice that’s well-regarded for its consistent quality. However, exploring artisanal brands can also yield delightful results. The key is to select a liqueur that’s not overly sweet and has a pronounced almond character.

Similar Cocktails to the Amaretto Sour

If you enjoy the Amaretto Sour, you might also like the Godfather, which combines amaretto with Scotch whisky. The French Connection is another similar cocktail, mixing amaretto with cognac. Both offer a balance of sweet and strong flavors that are sure to please.

Food Pairings to Go with the Amaretto Sour

Classic pairings include salty snacks like almonds or mixed nuts, which complement the nutty notes of the amaretto. For something more substantial, consider pairing with a creamy cheese or a fruit platter to contrast the cocktail’s sweetness.

Amaretto Sour FAQs

Can I make an Amaretto Sour without a shaker? Yes, you can stir the ingredients over ice, but shaking is preferred for the best texture.

Is the Amaretto Sour very sweet? It can be, but adjusting the lemon juice and simple syrup can tailor the sweetness to your liking.

What can I use instead of simple syrup? Honey or agave syrup can be used as alternatives, though they will alter the flavor profile slightly.

Amaretto Sour_001

Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour is a classic cocktail that combines the sweet, almond flavor of amaretto liqueur with the tartness of fresh lemon juice, balanced with a touch of sugar. It's a delightful mix that's both refreshing and rich.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Calories 190 kcal


  • Shaker
  • Rocks glass
  • Strainer
  • Measuring Jigger


  • 1 1/2 oz Amaretto liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish
  • Orange slice for garnish


  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  • Add the amaretto liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
  • Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.


For a less sweet version, reduce the simple syrup or increase the lemon juice to taste. Adjusting the ratio can also accommodate personal preferences for sweetness or sourness.
Keyword almond flavor, Amaretto, Amaretto Sour, Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, lemon juice, Maraschino Cherry, mixology, on the rocks, Orange Slice, Simple Syrup, Sweet and Sour

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