Amaretto Liqueur History

Amaretto is relatively new to North American palates

You may find it hard to believe that importation of amaretto liqueur to the United States did not occur until the 1960's. The almond-flavored cordial quickly became a hit in cocktails and food preparation. By the 1980's, it was second in sales only to Kahlua. Before trying one of the many , learn a little bit more about it and how to use it.

What is Amaretto?

Amaretto is a liqueur with an almond flavor, but surprisingly, it may or may not contain almonds.
The standard base of the liqueur is primarily made from apricot pits, and may contain any number of added spices and flavorings. The original version was made in Saronno, Italy. Amaretto is Italian for "a little bitter."

Amaretto History

The Lazzaroni family of Saronno, Italy, claims the title as the inventors of amaretto. They invented the Lazzaroni amaretto cookies around 1786 for the King of the region. Then in 1851, they created the Amaretto Liqueur, which consisted of an infusion of their cookies with a little caramel for color.

Another legend from the Reina family (who formerly worked for the Lazzaroni family) tells of amaretto being created by a widow who posed for Renaissance painter Bernardino Luini in 1525. The widow fell in love with the painter and made her amaretto potion for him. Her original recipe has purportedly been handed down from generation to generation without change and is currently marketed as Disaronno® Originale Liqueur.

More about Amaretto and Amaretto Recipes:

What is amaretto?
Amaretto Cooking Tips and Substitutions
Cooking with Alcohol Basics
Amaretto Recipes


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