The sweet almond flavor of this liqueur makes the perfect gift to share with those you love this holiday season. Homemade Amaretto can be used in a variety of cocktails as well as over many delicious seasonal treats like ice cream.
I like to keep a small but slightly diverse assortment of liqueurs and aperitifs on my bar car and amaretto is always a staple. Whether I plan on mixing it into a seasonal cocktail or pouring over an affogato it’s one I frequently reach for during the holidays.
What is Amaretto?
The name amaretto is derived from the Italian word “amaro,” which means bitter and is used to describe bitter-tasting aperitifs and digestifs. “Etto” means little and so amaretto altogether means little bitter.
Amaretto is often thought of as an almond-flavored liqueur but it’s most commonly made using apricot pits. Some varieties use almonds or a combination of the two, but you can also prepare by adding extracts to a base liqueur.
Ingredients in Homemade Amaretto
The ingredients in this amaretto recipe are simple and ones you likely already have at home. Since there are so few I recommend using high-quality ingredients which will increase the overall flavor.
- Brown Sugar
- Almond Extract
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make Homemade Amaretto
- Boil: bring the water and both sugars to a boil over medium-high heat until sugars have dissolved.
- Cool: let cool for 15 minutes.
- Mix: stir in the vodka, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
- Bottle: Place the funnel into the mouth of a bottle and pour the liqueur in leaving about 1 inch of space at the top. Secure the top and print, cut out, and apply the labels.
How to Package Homemade Amaretto
Since this homemade amaretto makes a great gift I’ve made some labels for you to print out. You can use your home printer to make these and some label paper. Click this link for the labels and you can also buy these same bottles.
Here is a link to the free labels that you can download and print on label paper using your home printer. Then just cut them out with scissors and apply the label to the bottle. I like to finish my bottles off by tying some bakers twine around the neck of the bottle. Don’t forget to write the “bottled by” date on your label when you package them.
Equipment Need for Making Amaretto
This is one of the easiest homemade liqueurs to prepare and can be put together nicely for a gifting presentation. Below are the items I used for preparing this recipe.
- When making flavored liqueurs at home I recommend using a high-quality base liquor because it will affect the overall taste.
- Don’t forget to write the “bottled by” date on the labels if you plan on giving these as gifts.
What to Make with Amaretto
Other ways to use it:
There are many ways to use amaretto outside of making cocktails and below are some of my favorite ways:
- Make an affogato.
- Pour it over a cream cheese appetizer
- Drizzle some in your coffee.
- Mix it into banana pudding recipes.
- Bake with it by adding it to cookies and cakes.
How to Store Amaretto
Once you’ve fully prepared the homemade amaretto and transferred the liqueur to the bottles keep them stored in a cool dark spot such as a pantry or cabinet. You can also keep it on a bar cart if your cart isn’t in direct sunlight.
Where did the bottles in the pictures come from?
There are several different ways to package your amaretto and when it comes to gifting I like to find something pretty and unique. These bottles are very inexpensive and also the ones you see in the pictures. This recipe makes just enough to fill 3 of these bottles with a tiny extra leftover, which you can keep for yourself if you plan on giving these as gifts.
How long does amaretto last?
If stored properly, in a cool and dark place, this recipe will last for up 6 months. Chances are you mind find a way to use it all up long before those months come to a close.
Do I need to refrigerate after opening?
No. This liqueur doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator after opening.
Can I use different alcohol than vodka?
The flavor of vodka is masked in this amaretto recipe, however, if you truly don’t like it you can swap it up for brandy or rum.
- Small Funnel
- 3 16-ounces Bottles with Lids
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Medium Saucepan
- Labels (if making for a gift)
- Bakers Twine
- 2¼ cups Water
- 1½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 3 cups Vodka
- 3 tablespoons Almond Extract
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- Using a medium saucepan bring the water and both sugars to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently and continue to cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture has cooled stir in the vodka, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Let finish cooling if still warm before bottling.
- Place the funnel into the mouth of a bottle and pour the liqueur in leaving about 1 inch of space at the top. Secure the top and print, cut out, and apply the labels. Tie with baker's twine if using.