Amaretto Sour – Original 1970s Recipe

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Amaretto Sour

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



Make a classic 1970s-style amaretto sour.


  • 1 oz 1 Lemon Juice

  • 2 oz 2 Amaretto


  • Technique: Saxe Soda Shake
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add one medium or two small ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake until the ice fully melts.
  • Without a strainer, pour the chilled and aerated drink into a glass.
  • Garnish:
  • Maraschino cherry

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The Original Amaretto Sour Vs. Modern Recipe

The Amaretto Sour was invented in the 1970s due to the popularity of the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola movie “The Godfather” The Amaretto Sour was never mentioned in the film. Still, Italian became vogue, and many new Disaronno cocktails were invented. Some of the oldest Amaretto Sour recipes are simply Disaronno and lemon juice. Most modern recipes contain Disaronno and lemon juice but add countless other ingredients trying to improve the 1970s classic. But most of these newer variations stink.

The classic recipe is delicious. It has a great lemon and cherry flavor without being too heavy or sweet. The top-ranking recipe on Google right now is amaretto, sweet and sour, and Sprite. It looks awful. The next best-looking one has five ingredients. Amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites, and It’s good, but it’s too much. Another one I saw had muddled orange slices in it. The Amaretto Sour has become a free for all. Many modern recipes are good, but give them a new name. It’s a different drink. Just because it shares two ingredients with another recipe doesn’t mean they are the same. Imagine ordering an Old Fashioned and someone brings you with whiskey, bitters, sprite, and mint. What is the point of naming something is the name means something unique to each person?

What Does The Amaretto Sour Tastes Like?

To answer my own question. Fantastic. It has a pleasant lemon cherry dessert flavor without being too sweet or sour. I resisted making one of these or trying it for many years because the combination did not sound like something I would like, but boy, was I wrong. If you have yet to try this cocktail, you must change that.

What Kind of Liqueur Is Amaretto?

Amaretto is almond liqueur. The taste is similar to marzipan or orgeat. A blend of bitter and sweet almonds that I have come to enjoy more the older I get. The taste of bitter almonds is closer to a cherry flavor than the nut flavor of sweet almonds. Almonds bought at the grocery store are all sweet almonds and do not have the characteristic nutty cherry flavor of bitter almonds. Amaretto is a nice blend of these flavors and an underused liqueur.

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