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Here’s the perfect amaretto sour recipe that will impress everyone! It’s got just the right balance of amaretto with bourbon and lemon.

Amaretto sour
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Introducing: the perfect amaretto sour! Are you burned from those syrupy amaretto sours made with sweet and sour mix? Let us be the first to convince you: made correctly, this drink can be one of the best cocktails out there. It’s tangy and sweet tart, with a hint of almond that’s balanced by the secret ingredient: bourbon. We didn’t think we liked amaretto sours: until we tasted this one. If you’re not drinking your amaretto sour this way: well, it’s time to start!

What’s in an amaretto sour?

An amaretto sour a classic sour cocktail made with amaretto liqueur. Sours are defined as three parts: liquor, citrus, and sweetener. The most well-known of all sours is the whiskey sour. But there are so many more without “sour” in the name: like the margarita, mojito, and more. Behind the pisco sour, the Amaretto Sour is probably the next most popular in the family. The ingredients for an amaretto sour are:

  • Amaretto (Italian almond liqueur)
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup or maple syrup
  • Egg white
Amaretto sour

The secret ingredient: a hint of bourbon!

Many amaretto sour recipes call for only amaretto. This makes for a straightforward almond flavor that can be a little overpowering. The secret? Balance it out with bourbon! The bourbon whiskey provides just the right notes of oak, vanilla and caramel to balance the almond notes. It makes for a rich and complex flavored drink!

How to make an amaretto sour (basic steps)

The amaretto sour is quick and easy to make: the only time involved is juicing the citrus and separating out the egg white! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds without ice.
  2. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain into a glass and garnish. Voila!

The technique above is a fancy way to get that beautiful frothy white foam on top. Keep reading for how…

Amaretto sour

A “dry shake” makes the best egg white foam

Bartenders have added egg whites to cocktails since the 1860’s to add a frothy texture to the surface, as well as a creamy rich flavor. How to get the perfect foam? The best frothy egg white form is achieved by doing a dry shake. This move is used in classic cocktail recipes like the Gin Fizz. Here’s how it works:

  • The first shake without ice lets the protein in the egg begin to form foam, instead of being diluted by the ice.
  • The second shake with ice cools the drink and strengthens the foam. Strain it into the glass and you’ll get a thick, white frothy layer.

What is amaretto?

Amaretto is an almond liqueur that originates from Italy. It tastes both sweet and bitter all at once (amaretto means in Italian “little bitter”). It has such a distinctive flavor that once you’ve had it once, you’ll remember it forever. You may know the flavor from amaretto cookies, a popular Italian sweet.

It’s worth getting a bottle of amaretto for your shelf: you can use it in cocktails and in cooking, especially desserts! Try more amaretto cocktails like the Italian Margarita, Godfather, Amaretto Coffee, or French Connection.

Amaretto

Can you make an amaretto sour with sour mix?

You can! But only if you make it with homemade sweet and sour mix. The store-bought version is overly sweet and can be packed with artificial flavors and colors. Make up a batch of this Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix, then combine:

There is an entire cocktail family called sour cocktails, some with the word “sour” in the title and some without. A sour has the following basic elements: liquor, citrus (usually lemon juice), and simple syrup. Many sours also have an egg white, a classic 1920’s move to add a creamy rich flavor and frothy surface texture. Some of the most popular sours are:

Another related drink? The light and fruity Amaretto Stone Sour, which adds orange juice and uses sour mix.

When to serve an amaretto sour

The amaretto sour is a sweet tart, balanced drink that works anytime! It’s great for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Amaretto sour

Perfect Amaretto Sour


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4.8 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Here’s the perfect amaretto sour recipe that will impress everyone! It’s got just the right balance of amaretto with bourbon and lemon.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) amaretto
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 egg white (optional)*
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • For the garnish: Cocktail cherry or Luxardo cherry, lemon slice

Instructions

  1. Add the amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, syrup, egg white, and bitters to a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
  2. Add the ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake again for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain the drink into a glass; the foam will collect at the top. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Notes

*Substitute 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) for a vegan variation.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More sour cocktails

Sour cocktails are a family of cocktails that blend liquor, sour and sweet in the perfect proportions! Here are some of our favorite sours:

  • New York Sour Make a classic whiskey sour and float a layer of red wine on top. Stunning!
  • Classic Sidecar One of the best classic cocktails of all time! This sour is the perfect balance of Cognac, Cointreau and lemon.
  • Classic Daiquiri The Classic Daiquiri is actually not frozen! It’s rum, lime juice, and sweetener. Or try a sophisticated spin, the Hemingway Daiquiri.
  • Tom Collins Cocktail A Tom Collins is also known as a gin sour: is light and bubbly with soda water.
  • White Lady A sophisticated, citrus-forward drink! It’s a classic sour featuring gin and lemon with a frothy egg white topping.

Last updated: July 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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13 Comments

  1. Nikki O. says:

    Absolutely delicious. The splash of bourbon and the bitters is a great addition! Pretty downed this like water….whoops!






  2. Anju Jose says:

    This tastes awesome. Thank you. Drinks with lemon always good.






    1. Meharit says:

      you are right, i personally try its very awesome taste.






  3. Chris Mandros says:

    Tastes awesome, but you’re gonna wanna double it up to make a big boy or girl drink. Otherwise you’re stuck with a baby drink.






  4. Max Spence says:

    I made these for my boyfriend and his roommates last night and everyone was so impressed. This might be my new favorite cocktail!






  5. Jeffrey M says:

    This is a Morgenthaler Amaretto Sour which Jeffrey Morgenthaler created/updated the plain, boring amaretto sour that used sickly sweet and sour mix. First listed it on his website back in 2012… Eggnog recipe is also amazing and worth a try.

  6. Amy says:

    Made this last night with my boyfriend and it was delicious. I usually cannot stand bourbon. We may have made 4 drinks each. :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Haha! Glad you enjoyed :)

  7. Sabrina says:

    a nice cocktail ,love lemon in almost anything, and bitters are always fun too, I like exploring new ones, thank you!

  8. Brian says:

    That is a DELICIOUS drink. My attempt tonight was my first amaretto sour, but won’t be the last. May drop the lemon to 0.75 oz for my own personal taste, but everything else is going down way too fast…

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Glad you enjoyed!

  9. Melissa Hall says:

    My new favorite drink!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you love it!