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Amaretto Sour

We all have our favorite drink types, and if something sour is your preference, the Amaretto Sour is likely on your list. If you don’t already know how to make this drink, or if you’re sick of making it with syrupy-sweet mixes that just never get it right, it’s time to learn. This one is a perfect balance of refreshment when you make it correctly.

What Is It?

While there are many kinds of sours, they all have three things in common: citrus, liquor, and sweetener. It doesn’t really matter what type of citrus, which liquor, or what sweetener you use, but you need all three to get the right balance.

The most famous of these drinks is the whiskey sour, but the Pisco Sour and amaretto are also very popular and perhaps even a touch more sophisticated. This drink gets its name from Amaretto liqueur, which is a sweet, almond liqueur from Italy that tastes both bitter and sweet simultaneously. In fact, amaretto in Italian means “a little bitter.

Recipe – How to Make an Amaretto Sour

Some recipes call for just the amaretto, but the classic, original recipe has bourbon, too. Amaretto has a slightly overpoweringly bitter almond note to it, and a bourbon has a smooth vanilla flavor that perfectly balances this. Do NOT add too much bourbon, though, or you’ll just have a funny-tasting whiskey sour, really. The key is balance, which brings amazingly complex flavors to this drink.

Likewise, you’ll see recipes that call for simple syrup, and of course, you can also buy mixes. Avoid both. Maple syrup adds subtle complexity that you just can’t replicate in simple sugar syrup.

Amaretto Sour cocktail on the bar
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5 from 1 vote

Amaretto Sour

You can mix things up a bit, of course, but we recommend mastering the basic Amaretto Sour recipe first. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it: it's a fabulous drink and really doesn't need dressing up.
Keyword Amaretto Sour, Cocktail
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Author My Bartender


  • 1 1/2 Ounces Amaretto
  • 1 1/2 Ounces Lemon Juice or Sour Mix
  • 1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup
  • 1 Egg White Optional
  • 1 Lemon Slice Garnish Optional
  • 1 Brandied Cherry Optional


  • Juice your lemon
  • Separate your egg white
  • Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  • Shake it without ice for a few seconds
  • Then add ice and shake well
  • Strain it into a glass


Why do you shake it without ice, first? You want the egg white to start foaming before it gets diluted. That will give you a strong, frothy layer that’s as delicious as it is pretty. Worried about adding raw egg to a drink? Be sure to get your eggs from a reputable local farm with pastured chickens. Avoid factory-farmed chicken eggs at all costs.

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How to Drink It

Because this drink is both sweet and sour, it goes with a lot of things; but it can quickly overpower more subtle flavors. This is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or late-night drinks. It’s wonderful on a summer night or a hot afternoon in the shade. But we don’t recommend drinking this with any meals. It will completely overwhelm flavors like fish and chicken, and it will compete with stronger flavors in an unpleasant way.

The amaretto sour is a wonderfully refreshing drink. Ditch the mix and make it from scratch: you’ll never go back!

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by My Bartender

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