Easy Homemade Amaretto

How to Make Amaretto

Amaretto always makes me think of my failed teenage attempts to raid my parents' liquor cabinet. Invariably, all I'd find was an ancient bottle of almond liqueur with its cap sealed shut by sugar. And prying it open would only get me a sugar high, not a buzz.

Almond liqueur is, of course, supposed to be sweet, but most bottles are undrinkable sugar bombs full of artificial coloring and flavoring. The thing is, when this classic liqueur is made well, it really is delicious. So we decided to develop a simple recipe for making your own amaretto at home. Our version uses almonds, dried apricots, apricot kernels, and dried cherries to infuse vodka with big, almondy flavors. Then we sweeten it—just a bit—with brown sugar syrup.

The only hard part about our recipe is being patient: It takes about four weeks for the flavors to come together. But the payoff is big: You'll have a versatile liqueur suitable for gifting, mixing in cocktails, drinking straight, or baking with.

Here's our recipe for Homemade Amaretto.

And here are recipes you can use it in:
Amaretto Pound Cake
The Fedora
Cranberry Culprit
Olive Oil Cake
Amaretto Hot Chocolate

Amy Wisniewski is the former food editor at CHOW.