So, y’all know I love me a cocktail (see: evidence here). But somehow I’d never had an amaretto sour until last fall…and in Jamaica of all places.
The very first cocktail I had at the resort was truly terrible, and I was stymied on what to order. The waiter suggested an amaretto sour, I accepted, and it (weirdly) ended up being my signature cocktail for the next 8 days. So it’s time I figured out making this for myself!
Amaretto is an Italian almond-flavored liqueur that’s used as an ingredient in many cocktails. It balances sweetness and a bit of bitterness, and it’s crazy I hadn’t owned a bottle until recently because I LOVE almond flavor. It’s a running family joke that I manage to put almond extract in any baked good 🙂
So a few things to know about this amaretto sour recipe…first, it’s not light on the calories or sugar, just due to the amaretto. I feel like we have to get that out of the way.
I’ve also made a few tweaks to make it (to my mind) perfect. First, BOURBON. I strongly believe an amaretto sour needs bourbon to punch it up and balance out the sweetness and low alcohol of amaretto. I also backed off the simple syrup a bit, because I don’t feel it needs to be sweeter.
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And I do really believe it’s better with the egg white! I’ve provided the technique below, it’s really not scary, but if you really want to leave it out you can.
As you can see, I tried this in a couple different glasses (a traditional large coupe, and a small cut-crystal rocks glass). Both work great, though I think I slightly preferred drinking this out of the rocks glass.
I’ve also played around with a really pretty bitters pattern on the egg white foam instead of a cherry garnish (just pick a bitters that will complement the amaretto flavor).
It’s a tricksy business getting the bitters bottle to only give you one drop, but if you’re able to swing it, then all you have to do is pull a toothpick through it to make little hearts.
Or if you mess that up, make swirly patterns like in the second pic 🙂
Though the amaretto sour is one of the classic cocktails that became super popular in the 1970s, I believe it’s due for a major comeback!
Other classic cocktails (with slight twists) you’ll love:
- “New York” Whiskey Sour (with Optional Egg White Foam)
- Black Raspberry Irish Coffee
- Basil Gin Gimlet Cocktail
- A French Gimlet Cocktail with Gin
- Rye Port Manhattan Cocktail
Adapted from The Kitchn
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- 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice (usually ~1/2 a medium lemon)
- 1 1/2 ounces of amaretto liqueur (I recommend Disarronno)
- 1 ounce of bourbon, at least 90 proof (100 proof is perfect)
- Less than 1/4 ounce, or around 1/2 teaspoon, of simple syrup (I prefer demerara)
- Optional: 1 egg white
- Ice for shaking
- Optional: Bourbon or amarena cherry, for garnish
- Add your amaretto liqueur, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if using) to your cocktail shaker. If using egg white, put the lid on the cocktail shaker and shake for 15-20 seconds...this is referred to as a dry shake, and helps the egg white foam form.
- Add ice to the cocktail shaker, then seal the shaker and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 15-20 seconds.
- Strain into a couple or small rocks glass (I prefer without ice, but it's your choice) and garnish with an Amarena or bourbon cherry.
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