How to drink Amaretto
Amaretto became known to Russians in the 90s. This was a sweet foreign liqueur, which conquered the hearts of women and not only. It was strikingly different from the alcohol present on the shelves at that time. Whenever possible, it was the first thing on the table to surprise guests and let them enjoy the exquisite taste. In this article, we will learn how you should drink amaretto, share recipes for making it yourself at home, learn what cocktails to make with it.
- What is amaretto
- A little History
- Composition and calories
- How to drink amaretto properly
- With ice
- What Glasses to Drink from
- What to drink with
- With what to drink
- Amaretto Cocktails: Recipes
- Cherry Rose
- Hot GOLD
- How to make amaretto at home
- The Easy Way
- The hard way
- Amaretto from moonshine
- Tips from the pros
- Amaretto Benefits and Harm
- How to spot a fake
- Interesting Facts
What is amaretto
Amaretto is a liqueur which has a darkish color, usually brown. Its origin is considered to be Italy. It has a sweet taste with a bitterness, smells like almonds. The alcohol content does not exceed 28%, rarely it reaches 30.
The drink did not get its name by accident. If we translate the first part of the word, it has a double meaning: it is both love and slight bitterness. The difference is one letter: love is amore and bitter taste is amoro. The latter translation accurately describes the essence, but the former brings back pleasant romantic memories and inspires positive action.
To recognize the true liquor in the supermarkets, pay attention to the bottle. If the liquid is poured into beautiful square-shaped glass containers, then the drink is natural. This peculiarity was invented by the Venetian glassblowers of Murano, the island located in a couple of kilometers from the central historical part of Venice. They even managed to create a special cork in the form of a square cap for such a "container. If the legend is to be believed, such a variant was invented specially for you to find your favourite amaretto even in the pitch-dark.
A bit of history
The fame of the liqueur came from the Italian painter B. Luini, a pupil of Leonardo de Vinci. Another legend has it that he had to come to the convent of Saronno on business to paint a fresco. For the work he needed a model to embody the image of the Madonna. Out of a huge number of applicants, Luini settled on a beautiful widow.
Working together brought the artist and the sitter closer, and feelings arose between them. When parting, the woman gave her lover a liquor made from her own recipe of brandy. Of course, the secret of preparation, she did not disclose. This legend has long been supported by the image of a beautiful lady with a mysterious smile on the label. But it remains a mystery how the classified recipe made its way to the copyright claiming family of Disaronno.
There are many varieties of delicious liqueur. Let's list some of them. First on the list, of course, is Disronno Amaretto Originale, followed by other brands:
- Di Piza;
- San Marco;
- San Giorgio;
- Di Verona;
- Del Castele;
- San Lorenzo;
- Di Saronno;
- Grande Genova, etc.
Especially prized are Disaronno and Lazzaroni. They are much more expensive than the others, and also superior in taste. If the first one has an obvious bitter taste, then the second one doesn't have it. Lazzaroni has a delicate sweet taste with imperceptible bitterness.
The distinctive feature of this liquor is its viscosity. The liquor has not only a noble darkish hue, but also a thick consistency. If you pour it in glasses of wide shape, you can see and observe how the viscous liquid will overflow a lot of colors and look great in goblets.
Types of liqueur may differ in taste, but the general recipe will be followed. That is, the almond flavor will be preserved, combined with the added herbs. The drink will be sweet with a pleasant bitterness. Depending on the fruit used in the preparation, the varieties will be different. Each kind has its own original bouquet of flavors, and may also differ in strength of alcohol. Therefore, each of them must be known and properly consumed, which will be discussed below. But first let's consider the composition and caloric content of the product.
Composition and calories
Let's note right away that the main ingredients in all varieties are the same. These are:
- syrup from grapes;
- almonds of two kinds: bitter and sweet;
- apricot kernels;
Orange juice or wormwood in the form of tincture is added to some kinds. The proportions are known only to the producers themselves, so we cannot say how much. The secret is kept in the strictest secrecy. It is known that the original method of making amaretto was also under the ban for a long time.
Whatever it is and whatever is added in the making, all varieties have a distinctive feature - an imperceptible bitterness. To feel it, you should not rush and do not drink alcohol in one gulp, but enjoy small sips, letting the drink unfold. Then the pleasant bitterness of the aftertaste will not be long in coming.
If we talk about the caloric content, it all depends on the components - on average 260 kcal per 100 grams of liquid. But since it contains a sufficient amount of sugar, in comparison with other alcohols, the index of calories will be an order of magnitude higher. The leader in the number of calories can be considered Mozart, Baileys and Amarula liqueurs. Their caloric content is over 300. And the lowest calorie can be called Campari, the number of calories in which only 112.
How to drink amaretto correctly
Sweet alcohol refers to the category of drinks that are served at the end of the meal. You should not drink it before a meal. The liquor is sweet and can overpower the appetite.
The liquid is poured into small glasses or shot glasses of no more than 100 ml. The temperature of the liquor must be room temperature, i.e. 20°C.
There are three ways of consuming sweet liquor:
- Pure, i.e., without dilution.
- With ice.
- Mixed with other drinks.
This method will suit gourmets, true connoisseurs of quality alcohol. It is important that the drink is not cold or heated, it is kept in the room for several hours before serving. Therefore, if you keep it in the refrigerator or in a cool place, it is advisable to take it out and keep it slightly warm before "pouring" it.
Amaretto is suitable for shot glasses, flutes or small glasses. It should be drunk in small sips, taking your time to "open up" the taste and "feel" the entire bouquet of flavors.
This is not a popular method, as at low temperatures the flavor of the drink "volatilizes" and you can not feel it. But with this variant of consumption you can significantly reduce the strength of alcohol.
You should know! Remember that amaretto is a medium strength liquor: 20 to 30%. In order not to get tipsy quickly, you should savor the drink and not drink it in a rush, especially when it comes to undiluted liquor. If you add ice to the glass, then the strength will decrease. Perhaps this option will suit those who do not particularly like strong alcohol and do not want to be drunk and ridiculous in society.
Herbal alcohol combines perfectly with juices or other spirits. For this reason, amaretto is used to make a wide variety of cocktails, where it serves as a base.
A great option is to dilute it with cherry or orange juice. The proportions are the same, i.e. 1 to 1. This is an excellent refreshing alcoholic drink, the strength of which will be insignificant.
In nightclubs it is diluted with Coca-Cola. And the amount of cola is twice as much, i.e. 1 to 2. Such a cocktail will resemble a coke with a cherry. It is suitable for people who prefer low-alcohol but pleasant mixes.
The liqueur can be added by the spoonful to coffee or tea. Some people prefer to add it to add a refined flavor and aroma to hot chocolate. The result is a warming, delicious chocolate and almond concoction.
Worth knowing. In cooking, amaretto is widely used as an additive in ice cream or desserts. Alcohol is not felt at all in such dishes, but the almonds make themselves felt.
For the lovers of hard drinks it will be useful to know that the liqueur can be diluted with vodka, giving it a nice touch of almond flavor. You can mix it with vermouth, whiskey, etc. There are many options, the main thing is not to go overboard with both dilution and consumption.
What kinds of glasses to drink from
As we said, amaretto is suitable for:
- shot glasses;
- shot glasses;
They should not be large, their volume should not exceed 100 ml. If you use wide flutes, it is possible not only to enjoy the taste, but also to admire the shimmering colors of the noble spirits.
With what to serve as an hors d'oeuvre
Usually the liquor is served after the main meal, so as an appetizer you can offer:
- hard cheese;
- unsweetened desserts;
- Fruit, preferably sour.
Since the drink itself is sweet, sugar-free lemon wedges are an excellent option.
Fans of amaretto believe that the liquor does not require an appetizer, as its composition is already rich. But if you plan to organize a mini buffet, it is worth adhering to our tips and serve the guests snacks from the list above.
What to drink
Professional tasters do not advise drinking amaretto with it. It can ruin the drinking experience. If the taste of the liquor is tart, it can be slightly diluted before drinking, depending on the preferences of the hostess and guests. If it is impossible to do without drinking, then juices are used.
Cocktails with amaretto: recipes
If you are at home and waiting for guests, you can surprise them by preparing amazingly delicious cocktails with liqueur.
To prepare it, we will need:
- amaretto - 20 ml;
- orange juice - 20 ml;
- ice - at hostess' discretion;
- Dry champagne - to dilute it.
- We mix the liqueur with orange juice.
- Add ice and shake (mix) everything well. It is better to use a shaker for this.
- Pour into a flute and stir in champagne.
- Decorate with orange or lemon slice or cherry.
The cocktail has another name - "Cherry Rose". For its preparation we will need the following components:
- vermouth (preferably pink) - 50 ml;
- Amaretto - 10 ml;
- ice cubes - 150 g;
- cherry juice - 100 ml.
- Prepare a tall glass and fill it with ice.
- Pour into the ice cubes vermouth, juice and liqueur.
- Stir the mixture well. It is better to do this in a shaker, so that it is well mixed.
- Pour the liquid and ice into the flute glasses.
- We decorate with a fruit slice or a whole cherry.
Hot GOLD (gold).
To prepare it you will need:
- orange juice - 140 ml;
- lemon - a quarter;
- amaretto - 70 ml;
- Orange - few orange slices.
- For this recipe, we will need a small saucepan. Pour the alcohol into the pot and mix it with the orange juice.
- We then squeeze the juice of a lemon (quarters of it).
- Then put it on a low flame and heat it. It should not be allowed to come to a boil!
- Pour the warmed up drink into cups and decorate as we wish. Lemon or orange slices (thinly sliced) are good for decoration.
- As an appetizer to the hot alcohol served on the table prunes or apricots.
This is a strong alcoholic drink. It is prepared simply from the usual ingredients:
- vodka - 50 ml;
- ice cubes - 100 gr;
- amaretto - 30 ml.
- Prepare a glass and pour ice on the bottom.
- Stir the liqueur and vodka and pour into the glass with ice. Whisky may be used instead of vodka.
- Shake lightly and serve the guests.
There are many other recipes for making delicious cocktails using amaretto. You can become one of the authors of such recipes. Do not be afraid to experiment, take into account the taste preferences of your guests, not only to surprise them, but also to truly enjoy the aroma and taste of the drink.
If you do not know that you can not spend money to buy expensive foreign alcohol, and you want to make your own amaretto at home, then read on. We will reveal the secrets of making the noble liquor at home comfortably.
How to make amaretto at home
Let the manufacturers keep the recipes of the exquisite liqueur a strict secret, but we, knowing the approximate composition, can make it ourselves. And for this we do not need to rent industrial equipment or professional tools. We will conduct the process by improvised means from available, but quality ingredients.
On the Internet there are many recipes that can hardly be called true. Such pseudo-recommendations are better to skip, otherwise you will only harm yourself and your loved ones. For example, the addition of bird cherry to a real amaretto is nowhere recorded. And if you have an excess of berries, you should not spoil a noble drink with them. Better try to prepare a tincture. Such alcohol from bird cherry, cranberries or cranberries will be amazing.
Let's move on to recipes for homemade liqueur.
The Easy Way
The process is not complicated, so a lot of time and products will not require. It is enough to prepare as ingredients:
- high-quality vodka - 500 ml;
- water - 150 ml;
- almonds (you can mixed sweet and bitter) - 50 gr;
- sugar - 350 g
- apricot pips (core) - 50 gr;
- vanillin - a pinch, if vanilla sugar - 2 tsp;
- cinnamon - a pinch
- cloves - a couple of cloves;
- paprika - 3 peas;
- instant coffee - 3 grams.
- Pour almonds for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, that it was easier to remove the skin. We cool it and peel.
- We give them to dry and fry without oil until a golden hue.
- While roasting, add cloves and peppercorns to the almonds a couple of minutes before they are ready. When heated, these additives will saturate the drink with their aroma and flavor more quickly.
- Prepare the caramelized mixture. To do this, pour the sugar in a pan, dilute it with 50 ml of water and heat, stirring constantly. The fire must be low, so that nothing burns. As soon as the mixture begins to darken and become light brown or brown, add the rest of the water (100 ml) and pour the vanilla or vanilla sugar. Stir everything and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Prepare jars for infusion. At the bottom we lay roasted almonds with pepper and cloves. Add peeled apricot kernels and a pinch of cinnamon. Pour hot caramel syrup over them.
- Let stand until the contents of the container cool.
- Pour vodka in the cooled syrup and add instant coffee. Close the jar and shake well.
- We send it to infuse for a few weeks. For this we need a dark and secluded place in the house so that the light does not reach it. We infuse it for 4-5 weeks. We do not advise to infuse more than 6 weeks.
- While the liqueur is infused, shake it regularly so that the homemade amaretto is rich and delicious.
- After the time has elapsed, we filter it.
This method will bring us a little closer to the original, but it would be difficult to call it a 100% Italian drink. It is more like an imitation, but delicious and flavorful.
But the next cooking method will be close to a real amaretto. True, it will require a lot of patience and endurance.
The hard way
To prepare an almost one hundred percent original Italian liqueur, you will need to stock up in advance:
- vodka - 750 ml;
- cognac or brandy - 200 ml;
- raw almonds - 1/4 tbsp;
- apricot kernels of seeds - 1/4 tbsp;
- anise (butternut squash can not be used) - 1/4 tbsp;
- Fennel seeds - 3 tbsp;
- Chopped peach slices or apricot - 1/4 tbsp;
- Pitted cherries - 1/4 tbsp;
- Chopped dried apricots - 1/4 tbsp;
- Ground mint leaves - 2 tsp;
- peppercorns - 1 pc;
- cloves - 2 pcs;
- water - half a cup;
- Peas of black pepper - 2 pcs;
- a pinch of cinnamon;
- vanilla - a pinch;
- sugar - 300 grams;
- water for syrup - 50 ml.
The process is long, so it will consist of stages.
- Soak the apricots in water and hold until they swell.
- Apricot slices along with peach slices we send to the jar. If you have not yet had time to cut the fruit, then cut them into small cubes.
- Add swollen apricots and cherries to the fruit cubes, removing the pips.
- Pour into a jar of brandy or brandy and half of the vodka specified in the recipe.
- Take out a mortar and grind in it peeled apricot kernels, almonds, fennel seeds and anise. Add to them the remaining dry ingredients and continue grinding. You can make the process easier. To grind, use a coffee grinder.
- Grinded or ground "flour" pour into a jar and add the ground mint leaves.
- All shake and insist 3-4 weeks. In the process of aging you will need to shake the drink regularly. At the beginning of the third week, knead the fruit pieces with wooden tools (spoon or pusher). For the last month, do not touch the jar to allow the sediment to settle.
- At the end of the aging period we filter several times to completely remove the sediment.
As a result, we get an alcoholic aged tincture, which is far from being a liqueur. To get the amaretto, we move on to the next steps.
- We prepare the syrup as indicated in the first recipe. Pour the sugar in a pan, add 50 ml of water. We stir everything and heat on a low heat, stirring all the time. As soon as the caramel syrup acquires the desired hue, pour another 100 ml of water and pour in the vanilla. Boil for another 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and let it cool.
- Separately, prepare another syrup. Mix the sugar and water in equal proportions and stir well until the sugar particles have completely dissolved.
- For the amaretto mix the rest of the vodka, caramel mixture, sugar syrup, vanillin and the resulting tincture in the proportions (parts): 3:1:2:1/3:3 respectively.
- We insist 4 days and then filter again.
All done! This homemade amaretto will be much closer to the original, both in flavor and viscosity and aroma. The process is more complicated, but well worth it.
Pour the homemade liqueur into a decent-sized bottle and serve it to your guests. It is better to use square-shaped containers, as is customary with manufacturers. Then guests will certainly not be able to find the difference between yours and the original amaretto.
Amaretto from moonshine
This is a simple version of a homemade liqueur. If it is properly prepared, it will be close to the "Di Saronno" brand in terms of taste. Samogon must be qualitative and well purified. It is better to buy it from a proven moonshiner or distill it yourself.
You will need to stock up:
- moonshine - 500 ml;
- apricot seeds - 50 g;
- almonds - 50 grams;
- sugar - a little bit less than 2 tbsp;
- 2 cloves;
- black pepper peas - 2 pcs;
- vanilla sugar - 2 tablespoons, if vanilla a small pinch;
- cinnamon - a pinch;
- instant coffee - 3 g;
- water - as needed.
- Split the pips and separate the kernels.
- Pour water over the almonds for a few minutes, so as to remove the skin without problems.
- Roast the peeled and dried almonds over low heat until golden. Add the peppercorns and cloves, like in the previous recipe. Do this a couple of minutes before they are ready.
- Take out a mortar and grind all the dry ingredients, including the kernels and almonds. You can finely chop them with a sharp knife. Do not chop and grind the spices.
- Mix sugar with 50 ml water and put on low heat. Boil it until it turns brown. During the cooking syrup constantly stir to get a homogeneous mass. Pour the vanilla and 100 ml of water into the mixture. Continue to cook until an amber color appears and a caramel flavor comes through.
- In a bottle or jar pour finely chopped or pounded nuts and spices and pour the hot caramel syrup.
- Let it cool down and infuse.
- Pour quality moonshine into the cooled mixture and add coffee. Close the bottle tightly and shake well so everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Let it infuse in a cellar or other dark place.
- Ageing time - no longer than 5 weeks, but not less than 3. After a day or two, the contents should be shaken.
- At the end of the period, filter it.
The strained homemade amaretto prefers beautiful bottles, so it is worth finding a decent container for it and pouring it into it. The maximum shelf life is one year. The place of storage - dry and dark, without sunlight. The lid in this case should be tightly corked.
Tips from the professionals
- For the preparation of amaretto at home is not suitable moonshine with impurities and fruit additives. An incompatibility may occur, and then all the work will go to waste.
- The base of the strong liquor must be thoroughly cleaned and prepared from quality raw materials.
- Apricot kernels can be found in the store in ready-made form, but nobody will be responsible for their quality. Therefore, it is better to prepare them yourself from fresh apricots by removing the pips from the fruit, splitting it and choosing only the most worthy specimens without damage and rottenness.
- For the syrup, it is better to take a cane version of sugar rather than white. White sugar may not give the right result, and it is unlikely to achieve a caramel flavor.
The benefits and harms of amaretto
Like any alcoholic beverage, the liquor can bring harm to human health if consumed in excessive quantities.
If you add it to tea or coffee, however, amaretto will be beneficial. Thanks to it, a person will be able to:
- lower cholesterol levels;
- increase hemoglobin;
- remove the negative manifestations of hypertension.
It is not worth it for patients suffering from kidney failure, stomach and liver abnormalities.
The composition has many ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction in persons with individual intolerance to certain components. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the contents of the noble alcohol before consumption.
It is necessary to know that in almonds, as well as in apricot kernels, there is an insignificant amount of hydrocyanic acid, but with prolonged storage (more than a year) harmful substances are activated. Therefore, in order not to harm yourself and your friends, you should not buy alcohol to spare and not store for more than 10 months. Otherwise, the delicious amaretto can be poisoned.
How to rarer a fake
To avoid falling for a fake in the store, it is necessary to heed the advice. You can tell an adulteration by three signs: the square shape of the bottle, the quality of the design and the viscosity of the drink.
Tips for buyers:
- To check, as they say, without leaving the cash register, turn the bottle over. If the liquid flows slowly and continues to "crawl" down the walls even after flipping it over, then the drink is of the proper thickness.
- Pay attention to the labels. Quality liquor has labels that are even and symmetrical.
- Check the cork (cap). The original amaretto has a square cap, with no deformations or chips. The Italians know how to transport the liquor so as not to damage the container on the road.
- According to one legend, we owe the recipe for the preparation to Italian monks who lived during the Middle Ages in the country. The drink was originally prepared for sick people to help them overcome their ailments, i.e. as a potion.
- The liqueur was first made in 1525 in the Saronneau area and was then called amaretto. Only it did not mean "love", but translated as "bitterness".
- The grape syrup used in the original production breaks down the hydrocyanic acid released by almonds and apricot kernels.
Now you know what this drink is and how you can make it at home yourself. We have learned what benefits and harms it can bring, so listen to the advice of professionals and do not take risks. Be sure to look at the label and, if buying in a store, study the composition and expiration date. When buying online, look carefully for detailed information about the contents.
Enjoy a refined amaretto, experience the full bouquet of flavors it provides, enjoy your drink and stay healthy.
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