A sweet liqueur, which has the distinct flavour of almonds, despite being traditionally made with apricot kernels.
Amaretto is said to have originated in Saronno, Italy in the 1500's. A young woman mixed brandy with apricots and almonds (or perhaps just apricot kernels) gathered from her garden. The artist Bernadino Luini received this drink as a thank-you gift for painting a flattering picture of her on the shrine of Our Lady of Miracles. Luini had used the young widow who happened to run the local inn as his model when commissioned to paint the shrine.
This divine drink is golden brown in colour, and often used as a dessert, and cooking liqueur due to its distinctly strong flavour and sweetness. As a beverage it can be served straight, on the rocks, or as a mixer in cocktails. It is also a delicious additive to some exotic tasting creamy coffees provided by cafes. Amaretto is the most popular nut liqueur on the market.
Although the first Amaretto liqueur originated in Italy, many distilleries make their own versions. Good quality amaretto can be expensive to buy, and is well worth the cost, however there are many Amaretto imitations on the market. There are also a wide variety of recipes for Amaretto using other liqueurs such as vodka or brandy, combined with extracts and sugar. Some say that these imitations can taste as good as the real thing, for a fraction of the cost. I'm a little unsure about that, but here is a recipe anyway - if you try this, I would be very interested to know how it turns out.
this recipe is from a cocktail forum and is labelled as public domain by the author
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Vodka
- 2 Cups Brandy
- 1 Ounce Almond Extract
Method: Combine the sugar and water in a medium sauce-pan. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring at regular intervals to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Stir in liqueur and almond extract. Transfer into bottles while still hot. Cover tightly.
Although this recipe is said to work, the heat may affect the alcoholic nature of the drink. You may wish to add the alcohol when the liquid has cooled down a little, and is warm (as opposed to being hot).
Makes 6 Cups.