Authentic Amaretto Sour Recipe from Italy - Ingredients: Amaretto, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Orange

Authentic Amaretto Sour

Authentic Amaretto Sour Recipe from Italy - Ingredients: Amaretto, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Orange
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Servings: 1


Authentic Amaretto Sour
Authentic Amaretto Sour

The Amaretto Sour is a classic cocktail that combines the sweet, almond-flavored Italian liqueur Amaretto with the tartness of fresh lemon juice, balanced with a hint of sugar. This delightful mix creates a refreshing and sophisticated drink that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're hosting a dinner party, enjoying a quiet evening at home, or looking for a festive drink to celebrate, the Amaretto Sour is a versatile choice that's sure to impress.


The origins of the Amaretto Sour can be traced back to the 1970s in the United States, during a time when sweet and sour cocktails were gaining popularity. Amaretto, which had been enjoyed in Italy for centuries, found its way into American bars and homes, where it was mixed with lemon juice to create this iconic cocktail. The recipe has evolved over the years, with bartenders and home mixologists experimenting with different proportions and additional ingredients to perfect the balance of flavors.


How to prepare

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a sour glass.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice.


  • There are several ways to vary the traditional Amaretto Sour recipe. For a richer flavor, some recipes include a splash of bourbon. Others add a cherry alongside the orange slice for garnish, or a dash of bitters for added depth. For a non-alcoholic version, almond syrup can be used in place of Amaretto.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To make the perfect Amaretto Sour, use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. The quality of the Amaretto also makes a significant difference, so choose a brand that you enjoy. For a smoother drink, you can add a small amount of egg white to the shaker before mixing. This creates a frothy texture and helps to balance the acidity of the lemon juice. Remember to shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

Serving Suggestions

The Amaretto Sour is best served chilled in a sour glass and garnished with an orange slice. It can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing cocktail or paired with a variety of appetizers and light meals. It's particularly well-suited to accompany savory dishes that can balance its sweetness.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing an Amaretto Sour is the shaking process. Shaking the cocktail with cracked ice not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly, balancing the flavors. If adding egg white for frothiness, ensure to shake vigorously to achieve the desired texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're out of Amaretto, almond extract mixed with a sweetener and a base liquor like vodka can be used as a substitute. In place of lemon juice, lime juice offers a slightly different but equally refreshing acidity. For a sugar substitute, simple syrup or honey can be used, adjusting the amount to taste.

Make Ahead Tips

While the Amaretto Sour is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the lemon juice and sugar mixture ahead of time. Store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to mix your drinks. This allows you to quickly assemble the cocktail when guests arrive.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, chill the sour glass before serving. A well-placed orange slice on the rim of the glass or a cocktail cherry dropped into the bottom adds a touch of sophistication. A small sprig of mint can also add color and a fresh aroma.

Pairing Recommendations

The Amaretto Sour pairs beautifully with a range of foods. Its sweetness and acidity cut through the richness of creamy pasta dishes, while its almond flavor complements nutty cheeses and desserts. It also goes well with grilled meats and seafood, offering a refreshing counterpoint to savory flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

As a mixed cocktail, the Amaretto Sour does not require storage or reheating. It's best prepared fresh and enjoyed immediately. Any pre-mixed lemon juice and sugar should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Amaretto Sour contains approximately 180 calories. The majority of these calories come from the alcohol in the Amaretto, with the sugar contributing a smaller portion.


A single serving of Amaretto Sour contains approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the sugar content in the Amaretto and the added teaspoon of sugar. The lemon juice contributes a negligible amount of carbohydrates.


The Amaretto Sour is virtually fat-free, with only trace amounts of fats that might be present in the Amaretto depending on the brand. This makes it a relatively light choice for those monitoring their fat intake.


This cocktail contains minimal protein, as the primary ingredients are not significant sources of this macronutrient. Any protein content would be negligible and not contribute meaningfully to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

While the Amaretto Sour is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, the lemon juice does provide a small amount of vitamin C, which is important for immune function and skin health. However, the amount present in one serving of the cocktail is not enough to make a substantial dietary contribution.


The primary allergen concern in an Amaretto Sour is the presence of nuts, as Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur. Individuals with nut allergies should exercise caution and consider alternative ingredients.


Overall, the Amaretto Sour is a moderately caloric cocktail with a balance of sweet and sour flavors. It is low in fats and proteins, with a moderate carbohydrate content. While not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet in moderation.


The Amaretto Sour is a timeless cocktail that offers a perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it's a versatile drink that can be customized to suit any taste. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or a casual home bartender, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your cocktail repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I discovered this recipe for an Authentic Amaretto Sour. It was back in the summer of 1965 when I was visiting my friend Maria in Italy. Maria was an incredible cook and she always had the most amazing recipes up her sleeve. One evening, as we sat on her terrace watching the sunset over the rolling hills of Tuscany, she handed me a glass of this delicious cocktail and said, "Try this, it's my special Amaretto Sour recipe."

I took a sip and instantly fell in love with the sweet and tangy flavors of the drink. The almond-scented amaretto paired perfectly with the tartness of the fresh lemon juice, creating a refreshing and sophisticated cocktail that I had never tasted before. I begged Maria to teach me how to make it, and she graciously agreed.

Over the course of the next few days, Maria taught me the ins and outs of making an Authentic Amaretto Sour. She explained that the key to a perfect cocktail was using high-quality ingredients and precise measurements. She showed me how to balance the sweetness of the amaretto with the acidity of the lemon juice, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that danced on the palate.

As we mixed and stirred, Maria shared with me the story of how she had learned the recipe from her grandmother, who had passed it down through generations of their family. The tradition of making Amaretto Sours had been a cherished one in their household, and Maria was thrilled to be able to share it with me.

After a few days of practice, I had mastered the recipe and was able to recreate the cocktail with ease. I brought the recipe back home with me to the United States, where I shared it with my friends and family. They were all amazed by the complex flavors and elegant presentation of the Amaretto Sour, and it quickly became a staple at all of our gatherings.

Over the years, I have continued to refine and perfect the recipe, adding my own personal touches and experimenting with different variations. I have passed it down to my children and grandchildren, who now enjoy making and drinking the Authentic Amaretto Sour just as much as I do.

Every time I mix up a batch of this delicious cocktail, I am transported back to that summer in Italy, sitting on Maria's terrace and savoring the taste of tradition and friendship. I am grateful for the memories and experiences that have shaped my love for cooking and sharing recipes with others, and I am proud to carry on the legacy of the Authentic Amaretto Sour for generations to come. Cheers!


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