Last updated: August 7, 2021

Our method

16Products analysed

30Hours spent

17Evaluated articles

113User reviews

Welcome to our big Amaretto Test 2021. Here we present all the amaretti we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best amaretto for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy amaretto.




Summary

  • Amaretti is the plural of Amaretto in Italian. However, an Italian almond biscuit, the amaretti or amarettini, is also known by this exact name.
  • Amaretto does not necessarily have to be made from almonds. The bitter almond oil, which produces the typical Amaretto flavour, can also come from the kernels of other fruit (e.g. apricots, plums).
  • Amaretto belongs to the genus of liqueurs. It originates from Italy, but can be produced anywhere in the world.

The Best Amaretto: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an amaretto

Whether amaretto or almond liqueur, amaretti or amarettini, apricot kernels or plum pits: are they one and the same, or if not, what else do they have to do with each other and how do they relate to each other?

Amaretto is Italian liqueur with a nutty aroma reminiscent of marzipan. (Photo: jadis96/pixabay.com)

In the following, let's get to the bottom of it and find out what this Amaretto is all about and whether it really is such "awesome stuff", as Spliff already sang in their song "Carbonara" in 1982.

How much does Amaretto cost?

You definitely don't have to spend a fortune on a bottle of Amaretto. In the retail trade, a bottle of Amaretto is available for as little as four to five euros. These are the own brands of various discount stores. In general, you can say that a bottle of Amaretto is available for between five and 25 euros. This also includes bottles with a litre content and not just the usual "suspects", the 700 millilitre bottles. Anything over 30 euros is most likely a limited edition. You can enjoy non-alcoholic amaretto in a price range of up to 12 euros.

Type Price
Discounter Amaretto ca. 4-5 €
Amaretto ca. 5-36 €
Alcohol-free Amaretto ca. 4-12 €

What are the ingredients of Amaretto?

Even though Amaretto tastes of sweet and/or bitter almonds, this does not necessarily mean that almonds are involved in its production process. There are amaretto liqueurs that do not contain a single almond. Instead of bitter almonds, amaretto can also be based on apricot kernels. The bitter almond oil, which causes the typical Amaretto taste, can also be obtained from apricot kernels (or the kernels of other scattered fruit, such as plums, damsons, cherries and peaches). All the above-mentioned fruit varieties, as well as almonds, belong to the rose family. Alcohol, sugar syrup, spices such as bourbon vanilla, cocoa and herbs, and natural and nature-identical flavourings are added to the seeds of scattered fruit.

Artificial flavourings are banned under the EU Spirits Regulation. With the help of the colouring agent sugar couleur, the final result is recoloured many times. Despite the ingredients just mentioned, you can never be quite sure what exact additives, ingredients or flavourings the producer has used; often they do not disclose them. It can also happen that an amaretto is not based on bitter almond oil, but neutral alcohol is mixed with amaretto-like flavours or essences. According to the EU Spirit Drinks Regulation, the alcohol can be ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, a distillate of agricultural origin or a spirit drink in the sense of the regulation. Since amaretto belongs to the category of liqueurs, the minimum alcohol content must be 15 per cent and the minimum sugar content must be 100 grams per litre (however, most amaretto varieties contain significantly more sugar).

People who have a nut allergy should make sure to buy an amaretto liqueur made from apricot kernels. Here, consumption should not cause any problems. So nut allergy sufferers do not have to do without amaretto.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate amaretto

Now we will present you with the main criteria for distinguishing, analysing and evaluating different types of amaretti. This should give you a quick overview and make your decision easier when you are about to buy an amaretto!

  • Origin
  • Alcohol content
  • Flavour
  • Use

Origin

Amaretto (plural: Amaretti) originally comes from Italy. However, since there is no protected designation of origin in the EU regulation, Amaretto can be produced anywhere and worldwide under the same name. It only has to follow the generally applicable rules of the spirits or liqueur regulations: The alcohol content must be at least 15 per cent and the minimum sugar content should be 100 grams per litre. Internationally, there are already numerous liqueur and spirits producers who have included Amaretto in their range and produce it themselves. These include above all German, Dutch, French and US brands.

Alcohol content

Amaretto (plural: Amaretti) originally comes from Italy. However, since there is no protected designation of origin in the EU regulation, Amaretto can be produced anywhere and worldwide under the same designation. It only has to follow the generally applicable rules of the spirits or liqueur regulations: The alcohol content must be at least 15 per cent and the minimum sugar content should be 100 grams per litre. Internationally, there are already numerous liqueur and spirits producers who have included Amaretto in their range and produce it themselves. These include above all German, Dutch, French and US brands.

Taste

Curiously, the taste of amaretto has nothing in common with its name ("amaro" = Italian for bitter), which is due to the flavouring with bitter almonds. The bitter almond oil and its main ingredient benzaldehyde give amaretto an intense, marzipan-like and very sweet taste. Furthermore, you can taste the aroma of sweet and bitter almonds. The taste of different brands of amaretto can vary because, in addition to the base of bitter almonds or apricot kernels, other flavourings are added, such as vanilla, cinnamon, honey or various herbs.

Use

If there is one thing that Amaretto is certainly not lacking, it is its versatility. Whether drunk straight, as an ingredient in long drinks and creative cocktails, or topped with cream in a hot coffee: there are many recipe ideas for Amaretto. If you drink Amaretto pure, you can do so either unchilled, on ice or warmed (with a cream topping).

Did you know that the most famous Amaretto-based cocktails are called Amaretto-Sour, God-Father, God-Mother and French Connection? The Sour variant is combined with lemon juice, the God-Father relies on the addition of Scotch Whiskey and the God-Mother cocktail has vodka added. The French Connection is characterised by the combination of Amaretto and Cognac.

In the Amaretto-Longdrink variant, apple, orange or cherry juice in particular are excellent companions. The best-known Amaretto cocktails are Amaretto Sour (with lemon juice), Mai Tai (with rum and orange liqueur), Godfather (with Scotch whisky), Godmother (with vodka) and French Connection (with cognac).

Facts worth knowing about Amaretto

What is the difference between Amaretto and almond liqueur?

There is no difference between Amaretto and almond liqueur! An Amaretto is also an almond liqueur. The term amaretto is a flavouring for liqueurs that originally came from Italy and used bitter almonds (Italian "mandorla amara") or bitter almond oil for flavouring. The word "amaro" is Italian and translates as "bitter"; the form "amaretto" is the diminutive or belittling form.

The next time you stand in front of the supermarket shelf and remember that there was something with "Amaro" in it, please do not confuse Amaretto with an Amaro! A liqueur directly called amaro is a herbal liqueur; the most famous representative is probably Ramazzotti.

Did you know that you can use Amoretto syrup if you like the fine almond flavour of traditional Amaretto? The syrup alternative offers a unique taste experience without alcohol.

Who invented amaretto?

The history of amaretto is closely linked to that of the best-known and oldest amaretto from Italy, Amaretto di Saronno. It is based on a romantic legend. In the 16th century, the painter Bernardino Luini, a student of Leonardo da Vinci, was looking for a suitable model for a Madonna painting in Saronno near Milan. A young owner of a tavern where Luini was staying posed for him. She fell in love with him and to please him, she prepared a liqueur from brandy, apricot kernels and other spices. The first Amaretto was born. The recipe that the Italian woman gave to the painter survived the generations and one of Luini's descendants began to produce Amaretto commercially at the beginning of the 20th century. Amaretto Disaronno was bottled for the first time in 1942.

How is Amaretto made?

Since Amaretto is subordinate to liqueurs, various liqueur production methods come into question:

  • Maceration (cold extraction) of almond shells in neutral alcohol
  • Flavouring of neutral alcohol with almond extract (and possibly also apricot kernel oil)

In maceration, the ingredients, i.e. apricot kernels or (bitter) almonds, are soaked in neutral alcohol. The maceration can last from several hours to weeks. Subsequently, the extracted essential oils are distilled once or twice together with the alcohol. The aim is to collect the rising vapours. The second distillation is called rectification. Distillation also has the side effect of eliminating prussic acid, which is toxic to the body and is present in both bitter almonds (but not sweet almonds.) and apricot kernels. After distillation, sugar as well as natural and nature-identical flavourings and spices are added to the product. However, the addition of artificial flavouring extracts is prohibited.

What else can you do with Amaretto?

Amaretto is not only suitable for pure enjoyment and in cocktail combinations. There are no limits to your imagination when it comes to finding a reliable Italian in the kitchen and especially for one or two desserts! A classic among desserts is the tiramisu, Italy's most popular dessert. Popular versions soak the ladyfingers in a mixture of espresso and amaretto and / or sweeten the mascarpone cream with a shot of amaretto. Amaretto also refines creams, parfaits, ice cream sundaes and is very popular in Christmas cuisine. In hot drinks, it is not only good with coffee, but also with hot chocolate, tea, Viennese melange or as a shot in mulled wine or punch.

In conclusion, it remains to be said that Amaretto can be experimented with in many different ways and can be used in dishes that you may never have thought about before. We only have to say amaretto pancakes or crèpes, nut cakes, amaretto balls (instead of rum balls), marble cake, apple pie, cheesecake, gugelhupfe, jam, quark or stollen! In combination with almonds, marzipan, cherries, chocolate, apricots and plums, Amaretto is an absolute perennial favourite. If you're wondering what the Amaretto's namesake is all about, the Amarettis (or Amarettinis): they only have the typical taste in common with Amaretto. The Italian macaroons contain finely ground almonds or bitter almond oil or flavouring, but no amaretto liqueur.

Is there alcohol-free Amaretto?

Alcohol-free amaretto is called amaretto syrup and is now readily available in supermarkets. It is a sugar syrup made from almond extracts, which is in no way inferior in taste to the original. It is especially popular in the preparation of desserts and in hot coffee. It is an absolute must for people who want the taste of Amaretto without alcohol.

Can you make almond liqueur or amaretto yourself?

It is quite possible to brew your own glass of almond liqueur. There are various possibilities and different degrees of gravity. The starting point is always neutral alcohol, which can range from monopoly alcohol (prima spirit) to vodka to grain. However, you have to be careful that the neutral alcohol is as tasteless as possible in order to achieve a good result. If you use flavoured alcohol, the aromas and flavours of the essence or stone fruit will not come through properly.

The easiest way is to mix neutral alcohol with (rock) sugar and amaretto essence in a bottle. If you like it a little more "natural", replace the essence with plum pits, plum pits, mirabelle plum pits, peach pits, apricot pits or (bitter) almonds. The kernels are filled into a bottle with rock candy and neutral alcohol and stored for several months (about three to four months). With the kernels, you have to be careful that they are not destroyed or damaged so that the prussic acid they contain does not pass into the alcohol. But even if the seeds remain undamaged, small amounts of prussic acid are released into the liquid. However, the amount is very small and should be harmless if you do not drink several hundred millilitres per day for days or weeks.

It is interesting to note that plums and damsons have only about one third of the prussic acid content of apricots or bitter almonds, and apricots are the fruit with the highest prussic acid content. This is probably why you are more likely to find recipes with plums and damsons on the internet that describe in detail how to make it step by step.

What is the shelf life of amaretto?

Unopened amaretto should not be limited to a period after which it goes bad. The situation is different with an opened bottle of Amaretto. Once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and will thus last for the next two years. Unrefrigerated, this period is reduced to half, one year, because after that the aroma will leave the bottle.

Condition Shelf life
Unopened Amaretto unlimited
Opened Amaretto (refrigerator, cooled) min. 2 years
Opened Amaretto (unrefrigerated) min. 1 year

Picture source: Pixabay.com / jadis96

Why you can trust us?

Reviews