Today, I’d like to share a recipe with you for making homemade amaretto.  I found it in our old recipe box and my sister does not recall anybody making it, but I figured I would give it a try.  So while I won’t give you a definitive answer on whether this is a ‘good’ recipe, I decided to post it, explain why, and let you decide for yourself.

First of all, I don’t drink amaretto very much because I don’t like it.  But I thought I would use the same approach as I did with the Homemade Bailey’s recipe – make a batch, buy a bottle of the real stuff, and do a side-by-side taste comparison.  You don’t necessarily need to like something to decide if a homemade version of something tastes like the commercial one.

Amaretto Glasses

Visually, you can tell the difference for sure.  The real stuff is darker in color and while they do taste similar, there is a difference.  The darker colored drink has a slightly richer, more carmelized flavor.  And as I tried to figure out why, there are a couple of factors I should point out.

First is the type of brandy that goes into the recipe.  The color and flavor can be different depending on its variety and age (which helps explain the difference in color of my two drinks).  I don’t know much about brandy, so I tried to pick out a brand from the liquor store that wasn’t too cheap.  For this recipe, I chose E&J brand, with an XO classification (meaning extra old).  To learn more about the different types and classifications of brandy, check out this article in

The second thing is the brand of amaretto I bought for comparison purposes.  And since I don’t know much about amaretto either, I used the same approach and tried not to get anything too cheap.  So I got a bottle of Disaronno, which is the darker colored stuff in the bottle on the right.  Check out Wikipedia for information on amaretto.

Amaretto Bottles

I do think the homemade recipe tastes very similar to amaretto.  The trick is knowing what brand of amaretto you prefer – and then choosing the right type of brandy to produce the same taste and color.  So if you like amaretto and know a little about these types of liquor to decide which to use in the recipe, I do think it is worth giving it a try!

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pint of brandy
  • 2 cups of vodka
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  1. Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan
  2. Heat just until mixture reaches boil, stirring frequently
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, cool completely to room temperature
  5. Add brandy, vodka, and almond extract, stirring well to combine
  6. Store in airtight glass bottles


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