Bright, sweet, and tart, properly made Amaretto Sours are gaining respectability among cocktail enthusiasts as well as casual drinkers.

Amaretto Sour Cocktail

History of the Amaretto Sour

When amaretto was introduced to U.S. markets in the 1960s, enterprising bartenders quickly mixed the sweet liqueur with bottled sour mix to create the Amaretto Sour. The sweet and sour cocktail exploded in popularity, with bars making sure to keep amaretto well-stocked for decades.

Today cocktail bars and programs across the world are reexamining the Amaretto Sour and its somewhat unimaginative origins. Once dismissed as the inexperienced drinker’s go-to, this humble drink has been elevated by creative bartenders using better techniques and fresh ingredients. Watch out, y’all—Amaretto Sour got fancy

Amaretto Sour Tasting Notes

Yeah, it’s three ingredients, but getting it right can be fiendishly tricky. Properly made the Amaretto Sour is a perfect balance of rich, nutty sweetness with a bright, zesty zing.

Amaretto Sour Ingredients


  • 1 ½ oz Amaretto: Disarrono is still the king of amarettos, which is why we use it!
  • 1 oz Simple syrup: Either make your own with equal parts sugar and water or buy pre-made at the store if you’re super lazy.
  • ¾ oz Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is always best.
  • Orange slice: as a garnish
  • Cherry: as a garnish

How to Make an Amaretto Sour

  • Fill a mixing glass with ice
  • Pour 1 ½ oz Amaretto
  • Pour 1 oz Simple syrup
  • Pour ¾ oz Lemon juice
  • Shake 10 – 15 seconds
  • Strain contents of the shaker into a rocks or Old Fashioned glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with the orange slice and cherry

Amaretto Sour Variations

  • Shaking the cocktail with egg whites before pouring adds a thick froth, providing a pleasantly creamy feel. If nervous about drinking raw egg whites, cartons of pasteurized whites are available at most grocery stores.
  • For a more elegant presentation, shake and strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass. This is especially pretty with the egg white variation above.
  • Booze-soaked cherries used as garnishes add a pleasant accompaniment. Options include soaking in whiskey, brandy, Maraschino liqueur, or (duh) amaretto.
  • Add orange juice for an Amaretto Stone Sour

Amaretto Sour Substitutions

  • A wide variety of substitutions are available for all the Amaretto Sour’s main ingredients.

    • Try different brands of amaretto. Some brands taste nuttier, while others have a burnt caramel flavor.
    • Use grenadine instead of simple syrup for a sweet, slightly tropical flavor and pretty pink color
    • Flavored or infused syrups can add new dimensions of flavor, such as infusions of citrus or cherry.
    • If squeezing lemons is impractical for your purposes, we highly recommend using high-quality juices from Cocktail Artist.

When to Serve an Amaretto Sour

  • For/with dessert: A sweet and pleasant way to end a good meal, especially when paired well (see What to serve with below).
  • After dinner: As a satisfying way to ease into the rest of the evening.
  • Cocktail parties: Would shaking a cocktail vigorously impress your friends? Here’s your chance!

What to Serve with Amaretto Sours

  • Nuts: especially almonds. Fun fact: not all amaretto is made from almonds! Disaronno, for example, is flavored with apricot pits. Please note, we’re not suggesting you pair Amaretto Sours with apricot pits
  • With dessert: especially nutty or fruity dishes such as tiramisu or pineapple upside-down cake
  • With fruit: especially citrus, pears, and apricots.
  • Salty foods: to complement the sweet and tart.

Always remember to enjoy Amaretto Sours responsibly!

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