November 9, 2021
Let’s start at the beginning. What is an amaretto sour? It’s a frothy, sweet cocktail with a tangy kick.
Amaretto is an Italian, almond-flavored liqueur made from apricot cores, peach stones, or almonds themselves. The name originates from the Italian word “amaro,” meaning bitter.
A classic amaretto sour balances the Italian liqueur’s bitterness by adding sweet syrup. Another key ingredient in an amaretto sour is egg whites. And, while amaretto sour opt for easy mixers and sodas instead of more elevated ingredients, egg whites are an important component in this drink recipe.
Amaretto sours aren’t the only cocktails that contain egg white. This ingredient works to bind liquids together, resulting in a drink texture that is ever-so-slightly thick and incredibly smooth. Cocktails made with egg whites lend well to slow sipping.
If you can’t get on board putting eggs in your cocktails, you’re still in the right place. You can easily omit the egg white from the recipe below and still end up with a tasty drink. That said, if you’re feeling adventurous, try making this cocktail with egg at least the first time around. We have a feeling you won’t regret it.
How to make amaretto sour
Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: None
Total time: 3 minutes
- 1 ½ ounces amaretto liqueur (like Disaronno)
- ¾ ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- ½ ounce egg white (roughly half of the white of one medium egg)
- Lemon peel as a garnish
- Maraschino or brandied cherries as a garnish
- Rocks glass (a short cocktail glass)
- Combine the amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake well, without ice. (This method is known as a “dry shake.”)
- Add ice to the shaker and shake again.
- Strain the drink into a rocks glass over ice cubes and garnish with speared cherries and a twist of lemon peel.
Bartender’s tip: You don’t need any fancy kitchen tools to separate an egg white from the yolk. A metal separator can help, but you can use the shell of the egg, too. Break the egg in half over a bowl and pass the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell until the yolk separates fully from the white. The whites will drip into the bowl. If you do this slowly, you might be able to separate out the egg white in one shot. Use the sharp edges of the shell to your advantage. They help separate the two parts of the egg by “cutting” away the yolk as you move it between the two sides of the shell.
If this seems like too much pressure, you can buy egg whites in a carton.
Recipe adapted from Liquor.com
Can I make a vegan, egg-free preparation of this drink?
You can easily make an amaretto sour egg-white-free by substituting this animal product for one or two tablespoons of aquafaba, which is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. We know this may not sound like a likely drink ingredient, but aquafaba acts as an excellent binder, and doesn’t taste like chickpeas in small quantities. Now, the question is what you are going to do with all those leftover garbanzo beans. Might we suggest blending up a batch of hummus to accompany your cocktail?
You can also omit the binder entirely; the drink won’t be as thick and frothy, but it’ll still be delicious.
What are other cocktails with amaretto?
Some examples of classic amaretto drinks include an almond joy and a toasted almond. Then, there’s something called an Alabama Slammer, which strays from the almond theme. This cocktail is peachy, citrusy, and bright with a hint of botanicals thanks to gin, the drink’s base liquor. You can combine amaretto with your favorite cola for an instant cocktail that’s nutty and sweet.
Isn’t consuming raw egg dangerous?
Consuming any raw or undercooked animal product can be dangerous as these foods may contain harmful bacterias. Some sources recommend letting amaretto sours or other drinks made with egg rest for roughly ten minutes before you drink. This gives the alcohol and acidic ingredients time to kill off bacteria. This method may not be foolproof, so proceed with caution.
What’s the difference between amaretto and whiskey sours?
The recipe above contains bourbon, a type of whisky, so you may be asking yourself why this isn’t a whiskey sour recipe. There are many variations for sour cocktails, depending on the liquor you want to use. Bourbon isn’t necessarily a traditional ingredient in an amaretto sour, and this drink doesn’t always require it. Some recipes only call for amaretto, sweet and sour mix, and a top up of lemon-lime soda like Sprite or 7-up. A whiskey sour contains bourbon, lemon or lime juice, syrup, and egg whites.
What is amaretto?
Amaretto has a mid-range alcohol content of roughly 20%. This sweet aperitif is made from apricot cores, peach stones, or almonds. No matter what ingredients the distillation process uses, the spirit always has a nutty almond flavor thanks to the benzaldehyde in the drink. Benzaldehyde is a byproduct of the fermentation process of apricots, almonds, cherry pits, and more. Now, that’s a word you won’t be able to say after a couple of amaretto sours.
Having a video cocktail hour with your friends? The theme is amaretto. Challenge your pals to make the best amaretto cocktail possible, and remind them that they can order everything they need for their bar experiments from Gopuff.