6 Amaretto Liqueurs With A Bitter-Sweet Twist


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Originating from a small town in Italy, Amaretto is a liqueur made from either almonds, apricot kernels, or peach stones. The best Amaretto liqueurs combine the bitter-sweet taste of toasted almond with herbs, spices and marzipan/cherry.

Although usually enjoyed slowly sipped neat as an after-dinner digestive, Amaretto is becoming a fast favourite for its bitter-sweet character to traditional cocktails. Its versatility doesn’t stop there; it’s a flavoursome addition to desserts and coffees.

Best Amaretto Liqueurs

The best Amaretto liqueurs are packed with the flavours of bitter almonds, marzipan, herbs and spices. Here are 6 bitter-sweet liqueurs to consider.

1. Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira Liqueur

Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira Liqueur
Credit: Luxardo

Overview

  • Distiller: Girolamo Luxardo S.p.A.
  • ABV: 24% (48 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Rich Amber

Review

Girolamo Luxardo S.p.A. is one of the oldest distilleries in Europe, still owned and run by the founding family. Today three generations work together to create the award-winning Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira Liqueur.

Its distinctive almond flavour derives from the essential oils contained in the pits of cherries, apricots, and peaches infused and matured for eight months. The brand also produces the excellent Luxardo Limoncello!

On The Nose

Aromas of toasted almond, marzipan and vanilla. 

On The Palate

Initially syrupy with the sweetness of macaroon, mid-palate brings toasted bitter almond, lemon zest and black tea. The finish is a long creamy taste of smooth marzipan and a hint of cherry.

Best Served

Perfect in an Amaretto Sour cocktail to invigorate the taste buds with the nutty flavours infused with simple syrup and zesty lemon juice, garnished off with a sliver of lemon.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Gozio Amaretto

Gozio Amaretto
Credit: Gozio

Overview

  • Distiller: Distillerie Franciacorta
  • ABV: 24% (48 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Gozio Amaretto is clearly made with patience as it requires 100 kgs of bitter almonds for just 1 litre of essential oil. The distillery was founded in 1901. They started producing Amaretto in 1950, branching out into fruit cordials and brandy also.

They keep their Amaretto recipe secret. Some ingredients include burnt sugar, alcohol, and bitter almond sourced from four continents before being infused for sixty days.

On The Nose

Delightful scents of gently spiced almonds waft up with hints of warm vanilla and floral notes.

On The Palate

Caramelized almonds with a light consistency that is not overly sweet, hints of spice mid-palate. The finish is silky smooth with a moreish cherry and nuttiness.

Best Served

Best enjoyed as a Gozio Amaretto Alexander with equal parts of Gozio Amaretto, white chocolate cream, and sour cream served on crushed ice for a delicious creamy sipping after-dinner liqueur. 

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Disaronno Originale Amaretto

Disaronno Originale Amaretto
Credit: Disaronno

Overview

  • Distiller: ILLVA Saronno Holding S.p.A
  • ABV: 28% (56 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Dating back to 1525, Disaronno had time to perfect this expressive liqueur from the age when artist Bernardino Luini used a widowed innkeeper as a model for the painting of the Madonna.

The liqueur is infused with apricot kernels and burnt sugar with essences of seventeen selected herbs and fruits. Originally called Amaretto di Saronna it was rebranded in 2001 as Disaronno Originale.

On The Nose

The aromas of bitter almond and marzipan.

On The Palate

Spiced toasted almonds to start soon become more lemony with hints of apricot and burnt sugar mid-palate. The long finish brings more flavours of almond and spice with a touch of marzipan/cherry and cinnamon.

Best Served

Try the Disaronno Fizz for a light, refreshing drink that brings out the unmistakable taste and aroma of Disaronno Originale with freshly squeezed lemon and soda water.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Bepi Tosolini Saliza Amaretto

Bepi Tosolini Saliza Amaretto
Credit: Bepi Tosolini

Overview

  • Distiller: Distillerie Bepi Tosolini
  • ABV: 28% (56 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Established by Bepi Tosolini in 1943, the distillery is now run by his three grandchildren, who still produce this distinctive Amaretto to the original recipe. 

The recipe uses no colourings or artificial aromas. Crushed almonds are macerated in alcohol spirit and then distilled in manually operated botanical steam stills. Check out the Bepi Tosolini Limoncello too!

On The Nose

Aromas of toasted almonds, toffee, vanilla and orange peel.

On The Palate

Toasted almonds collide with sweet apricots and orange peel. Syrupy marzipan, almond and vanilla mid-palate. The finish is light with candied apricot and cherry almond cake.

Best Served

Best served in the Saliza Sour, it accentuates the energizing flavours of toasted almonds and the refreshing acidity of fresh lemon.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Lazzaroni Amaretto

Lazzaroni Amaretto
Credit: Lazzaroni

Overview

  • Distiller: Paolo Lazzaroni & Figli S.p.A
  • ABV: 24% (48 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Copper

Review

Produced since 1851, Lazzaroni Amaretto has been made and bottled in Saronno, Italy, following a unique family recipe. Did you know that Lazzaroni Amaretto starts life as a biscuit? 

Amaretti Chiostro di Saronno biscuits are used in liqueur production. Crushed biscuits soaked in alcohol solution before the filtered solution is blended with other ingredients to make this exquisite liqueur.

On The Nose

Aromas of marzipan, dried fruits, star anise, and bitter almond.

On The Palate

Bitter toasted almond is sweetened by marzipan and dried fruits. Cooking spices mid-palate. The finish is gentle, with a nice balance of marzipan and spice.

Best Served

A perfect refresher, try Lazzaroni Amaretto in an Italian Sunset as you watch the gorgeous sunset on the picturesque Italian coast. What’s not to like?

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Adriatico Amaretto

Adriatico Amaretto
Credit: Adriatico

Overview

  • Distiller: Mareka Spirits & Drinks
  • ABV: 28% (56 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Mahogany

Review

Adriatico Amaretto uses handpicked almonds that are roasted and macerated into natural alcohol before the distilled product is blended with vanilla, cocoa, a hint of coffee, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Only half of the cane sugar is typically used for a lighter taste before a pinch of sea salt is added to accentuate the flavours. I love the Art Deco-looking bottle!

On The Nose

Aromas of bitter roasted almonds, marzipan and cinnamon.

On The Palate

Rich bitter almonds are lifted by sweet marzipan and a hint of dark coffee. Spiced cinnamon and cocoa mid-palate add depth. The lingering finish of bitter almond and salted vanilla.

Best Served

Best enjoyed in an Adriatico Roasted Mule cocktail, with ginger beer to complement the flavours and a dash of lemon juice for a refreshing zest that invigorates the taste buds.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Ingrid’s Top Pick

best Amaretto liqueur

Disaronno Originale Amaretto

My top pick Amaretto is Disaronno Originale, and I can see why it’s so popular. Gently spiced toasted almonds to start, apricot and burnt sugar in the middle, finishing with marzipan/cherry and cinnamon. An excellent all-round Amaretto.

Amaretto Q&A

What Type Of Spirit Is Amaretto?

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur made from either almond, apricot kernels, or peach stones that give Amaretto its distinctive bitter taste. Amaretto is usually between 20% to 30% ABV in strength.

What Does Amaretto Taste Like?

Taste varies depending on the brand, but you can expect a slightly bitter-sweet taste of almonds with hints of herbs, spices, and cherry/marzipan.

How Is Amaretto Made?

Amaretto is usually made by a process called maceration, where the ingredients are infused into an existing distilled spirit for several months before being bottled at between 20% and 30% ABV.

How Did Amaretto Get Its Name?

Amaretto gets its name from the Italian word “amaro”, meaning “bitter.”

Can You Drink Amaretto Straight?

Yes, you can drink Amaretto straight. For best results, serve Amaretto neat with two or three ice cubes and a slice of lemon or lime.

Conclusion

Ingrid holding a bottle of Disaronno Amaretto
Disaronno is still my favourite!

The best Amaretto liqueurs are packed with the aromas and flavours of bitter almonds, marzipan and delicious spices. Many of these distinctive Italian Amaretto’s boast secret recipes handed down through generations.

Many Amaretto brands have retained their original roots but have added some modern-day twists. Perfect for sipping neat the traditional way (my preference) or adding to breakthrough cocktails, perhaps Amaretto will become your latest indulgence.

Looking for more of the taste of Italy? Check out my article on the 10 Best Italian Grappa Brands.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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