Thanks to a successful marketing campaign, Disaronno is likely the Amaretto most widely known by American drinkers. Amaretto is traditionally an Italian almond liqueur, however, many modern brands use peach or apricot pits in their production. It can be enjoyed on the rocks, or as an ingredient in many classic cocktails. Amaretto is also called for in many baking recipes due to its sweetness and flavor. Disaronno is very well known for its “Disaronno on the Rocks” marketing campaign, which pushed its reputation as a luxury product for sophisticated drinkers. Disaronno is owned by ILLVA Saronno s.P.a. who also owns Tia Maria, after purchasing it from Pernod Ricard in 2009.
In This Guide
History and Production
Disaronno claims the popular myth of Bernardo Luini as its origin. According to the myth, A church in Saronno, Italy commissioned one of DaVinci’s students, named Luini, to paint their ceiling. He took inspiration from a local woman as his basis for the virgin mary, and when the painting was complete she thanked him for immortalizing her by gifting him a concoction of apricot pits, brandy, and almonds. Disaronno was previously known as Amaretto Di Saronno but changed their name for branding purposes in 2001.
Disaronno is a mixture of apricot pits, caramelized sugar, and seventeen herbs and spices macerated in pure alcohol and then watered down to 28%ABV. Despite the association of almonds with amaretto, Disaronno is a nut-free product.
In addition to the classic Disaronno amaretto, Disaronno makes a few other products. Their parent company also owns Real Aromi, a company that produces natural and artificial flavors used in Disaronno and many of the parent companies’ other products, such as Tia Maria, Amaro 18, and Rabarbaro Zucca.
- Disaronno Velvet
Disaronno Velvet is a cream liqueur sold in a white bottle. It has a similar flavor as the original amaretto, but is smooth and creamy, and bottled at a lower 17% ABV. Disaronno encourages you to sip it on the rocks, for a relaxing summer drink.
- Disaronno Amaretto Riserva
Disaronno’s amaretto riserva is a blend of their original disaronno and blended scotch whiskey to create a more potent amaretto liqueur. It is a very expensive alternative to the original. Bottled at 40% ABV
Below are the latest Disaronno prices.
|Disaronno Originale Amaretto||375ml||From $22.99|
|Disaronno Velvet Cream Liqueur||750ml||From $31.99|
|Disaronno Riserva||750ml||From $349.99|
You’ve likely seen Dekuyper products behind your local dive bar before. They’re often brightly colored, overly sweet liqueurs containing almost no natural flavors. Their amaretto is no exception. As with most Dekuyper products, it will be more affordable than the competition, but lower quality. If you’re buying this to whip up some blowjob shots or m&m shots then it will serve its purpose, but for a nicer cocktail look for a nicer bottle. Bottled at 20% ABV.
Lazzaroni is usually a bit more expensive than Disaronno and a much better product. It is often preferred by bartenders because It has more flavor, which helps it to cut through other ingredients in a cocktail. Lazzaroni is slightly sweeter than Disaronno but has a more noticeable almond flavor. Bottled at 24% ABV.
A solid upgrade over Disaronno, Luxardo Amaretto another brand preferred by bartenders because it is less sweet than the sometimes cloying competition. Made from cherry and peach pits, Luxardo amaretto is bottled at 28% ABV. Luxardo has a reputation for quality that extends beyond its amaretto. They also make a number of amari, spirits, and liqueurs.
Bols has a similar reputation as Dekuyper for making overly sweet artificial neon-colored liqueurs, but many people don’t know that Bols also makes a really nice genever. However, bols amaretto falls in the former category. Its another bottle you may want if you are looking to make some sweet dessert shots, or if you want to try amaretto but don’t want to spend much, but if you’re looking to make high-quality cocktails look for luxardo or lazzaroni. Bottled at 24% ABV.
Bartender and author Jeffery Morganthaler has dedicated a lot of time to finding the perfect amaretto sour recipe. He now claims to have the best recipe in the world, and I’m inclined to agree. You may have had an amaretto sour at a dive bar before, made with disaronno and sour mix, but this is a completely different drink.
- 1.5 oz amaretto
- .75 oz cask proof bourbon
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- ½ oz egg white
Combine all in a shaker and shake without ice (or blend with an immersion blender). Shake well with ice, strain over fresh ice. Wait a few seconds for the foam to settle, and garnish with a lemon peel and a brandied cherry.
- 2 oz Blended Scotch (Godfather) or 1.5 oz Vodka (Godmother)
- .25 oz Amaretto (.5 for the godmother)
Build-in glass, Stir. This is a holdover from the 1970s, named after the popular movie. It’s sort of like a rob roy, if you replaced the sweet vermouth with amaretto. Perk this up with a dash of bitters or an absinthe mist.