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Make Your Own Disaronno Amaretto

Amaretto DiSaronnoMake Your Own Disaronno Amaretto

Amarettoro Disaronno is an excellent top shelf Italian almond liqueur, but also very expensive. But the low end substitutes taste awful. But you can make your that's very good quality for much, much less than the Italian brands or knock-offs. It's easy and takes only 10 minutes to make (not counting the time for the sugar water to cool).  And it tastes GREAT!  I doubt most people could tell the difference. The flavor of Amaretto almond, but they often use apricot pits or almonds or both in Italy. We will just use almond extract!  For other liqueurs you can make, see this page.  Here's how to make it:

Yield: about 1.1 liter

Ingredients:Amaretto ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360 ml) water, quality filtered water.
  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar; honey won't work well,
    but if you want to reduce calories, you could use Stevia or Splenda.
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1 fl ounce, 30 ml)  pure almond extract - Get REAL, not imitation extract
  • 2 teaspoons ( .33 fl ounces, 10 ml) pure vanilla extract - Get REAL, not imitation extractAmaretto vanilla
  • 3 cups (720 ml) Vodka or Brandy.  I prefer brandy,
    but in either case, don't  go cheap on the brandy, you want a good quality smooth brandy. 
    I've found E&J or Christian Brothers VS are very good for this.
    For vodka, use Stolichnaya, Absolute, Finlandia, etc.



  • Large glass jar (quart jars or 1/2 gallon) with sealable lid
  • Pot, spoons, measuring cup



Step 1 - Dissolve the sugar

In a heavy-bottomed pot (to avoid burning) heat the water and white and brown sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugars are dissolved.Amaretto pot with water and sugars




Step 2 - Cool to warm

Remove the sugar solution from heat, and allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes so it it is warm but not how (say 90 - 110 F, 35 - 40 C). This is to avoid causing the extracts to breakdown and the alcohol to boil off.









Step 3 - Add the extracts and alcoholAmaretto extracts and alcohol

Add the almond and vanilla extracts and the brandy or vodka. Stir well.

Step 4 - Pour into jars

I save old Amaretto jars, but you can use any clean, glass jar that can be sealed, like mason canning jars..

Step 5 - Final aging

Now let the mix age for at least a day or two. Basically, the longer, the better. Or so they say.  It gets consumed before too  long in my house.




Cost comparison

  • water - free
  • 1 cup granulated sugar - $.025
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar - $0.50
  • 2 tablespoons pure almond extract (from Costco / Sam's, about $7 per 8 fl ounces (236 ml) = $0.90
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract - (from Costco / Sam's, about $12 per 16 fl ounces (236 ml) = $0.25
  • 3 cups (720 ml) Vodka or Brandy.  I prefer brandy, from Costco or Sam's Club, $22 for 1.75 liter.  = $9.00.

Total cost: $11 per liter


Amaretto Disaronno generally costs about $39 / liter plus tax  (2020, Atlanta, GA retail)


So, the homemade is about 1/4th the price, even using good brandy! 


Background of Amaretto

  The original Amaretto comes from Saronno, Italy and the word, Amaretto is Italian for "a little bitter", hence the name "Amaretto diSaronno", or "a little bitter from Saronno".

2 families claim to have invented the liqueur:

  • in 1851, the Lazzaroni family of Saronno, Italy, who also invented the Lazzaroni amaretto cookies in the late 1700's as a gift for the King of their region of Italy.
  • the Reina family claims it was invented by a widow who posed for Renaissance painter Bernardino Luini in 1525. The widow made a love potion for the painter, the potion is now called Disaronno┬« Originale Liqueur.

Amaretto was not imported to the U.S> until the 1960's.

Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book