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Homemade Amaretto

5 from 5 votes

posted: 12/23/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Homemade Amaretto Liqueur is easy to make! Use it in all of your favorite cocktails or package it up as a perfect homemade gift.

two glasses of amaretto sour with homemade amaretto liqueur

I came across this recipe for Amaretto the other day. It was saved by a family member and I knew that I had to share it with you. It is incredibly simple to make, and would be so perfect to package up and give as a gift.

Reader Review

I made your amaretto recipe along with 3 others. We just had a family taste test and your recipe swept first place.

How to Make Amaretto Liqueur

This recipe is so quick. You can double or triple it easily for gifting. Make sure you check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full instructions.

  1. Make the syrup base: To make your Amaretto dark in color and sweet, make a simple syrup with brown sugar.
  2. Let the syrup base cool: You are bringing this to a boil, but you want to make sure you allow it to cool before you mix together the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add in the vodka: To the syrup you will add vodka, almond extract, and vanilla extract. This will make it alcoholic and also bring in the perfect flavorings.
  4. Let it age: This old school recipe suggests that you let it age for a week. I will tell you from personal experience that it happens to be delicious immediately.
mason jar full of homemade amaretto

What is Amaretto?

The word amaretto is Italian for “a little bitter” but you likely know it as a delightful liquor with an almond flavor. It originates from the Saronno area of Italy. True amaretto is made from actual almonds. This simplified version definitely works as a replacement in your favorite recipes that call for amaretto liqueur.

Picking Vodka

Since half of the recipe is vodka, I highly recommend that you pick a brand that is delicious. If you are looking for a cost affective way to make this, there is a rumor that Kirkland Vodka is actually a high end vodka that is packaged for the wholesale company under their label.


This Amaretto Recipe is quite sweet. I think it works perfectly in cocktails and is even enjoyable over ice. But if you are looking for a less sweet version, simply use a little less of the syrup when you are making this. You can always add in more a little at a time.

amaretto liqueur being poured into a small shot glass

Swing Top Bottle

This is the bottle you see pictured. It is 8 ounces, and perfect for this recipe.
Product Image

How to Use Amaretto

This homemade sweet liqueur is delicious over ice as an after dinner drink. It pairs really well with cognac in the delicious cocktail the French Connection. It is truly delicious when paired with tequila, lime juice, and orange juice in the Italian Margarita. And of course, you can’t forget the Alabama Slammer. But perhaps the most popular use for amaretto is the Amaretto Sour. In it we pair this delicious liqueur with my homemade sour mix for a simple yet amazing classic cocktail.

Amaretto Sour Recipe

This Amaretto Sour Recipe is the classic cocktail that you love! With only three ingredients, this amaretto sour recipe is so easy to make, it is bound to be your regular go to!
an amaretto sour recipe in a glass with a cherry and orange


How long will this recipe keep?

This recipe will keep for two months when stored properly. Make sure to fully sanitize any container that it is placed in, as this is the biggest factor in extending its shelf life.

Should it be stored in the refrigerator?

No, it can be stored in a pantry

Do I really need to let it sit for a week?

While this recipe does taste better after sitting for a week, it is delicious the day it is made.

homemade amaretto in a glass flask

Amaretto Recipes

This is great over ice as mentioned above, but if you are looking for other ways to use it, I have a few amaretto drink suggestions.

If you make this delicious liqueur, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

two glasses of amaretto sour with homemade amaretto liqueur
5 from 5 votes

Homemade Amaretto

Serves: 2 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Homemade Amaretto Liqueur is easy to make! Use it in all of your favorite cocktails or package it up as a perfect homemade gift.


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup vodka
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a small sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, cooking until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow to cool.
  • Mix the syrup mixture with the remainder of ingredients. Store in glass container in a dark place to age for 1 week.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
two glasses of amaretto sour with homemade amaretto liqueur

did you make this

Homemade Amaretto

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. ColleenB.~Tx. says

    Perfect timing. Thank You
    You and your family – Have a Very Merry Christmas

    • Lisa Longley says

      You too Colleen!

  2. Jeannette Lichon says

    My absolute favorite after dinner drink – how thoughtful of you.

    Now that you’ve made a delicious amaretto liqueur, do you have a recipe for amaretto cheesecake? I’ve only had it once in the Dominican Republic and it was sooo yummy. Unfortunately the restaurant wouldn’t part with their recipe – bummer!! Hopefully you do. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. And thanks so much again.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Something to put on my list for next year, Jeannette!

  3. Fred F says

    Question: For the “brown sugar” in your Amaretto recipe – is that light brown, dark brown, or an/some other brown. Which is BEST. Am assuming you did your homework before publishing.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Both work really well. If you want to stick to the original, go with dark.

  4. Jane G. Goodson says

    I love all your ideas, Thanks for sharing.

  5. Chris Martin says

    Regarding the Kirkland vodka – they offer two vodkas under their label. If you want the best one, be sure to get the French vodka.

  6. Kathy potter says

    5 stars
    Yum thank you

  7. Amanda Holeman says

    How long will this keep? If you giving as gifts it would be good to note if there is an expiration date.

    • Lisa Longley says

      In the FAQ section I mention that it has a shelf life of 2 months when stored properly and give recommendations for that.

  8. Rory says

    5 stars
    I made your amaretto recipe along with 3 others. We just had a family taste test and your recipe swept first place.

  9. Trish S. says

    Can you use brandy in this recipe, vodka hates me

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tested this with brandy. I think it is going to be a matter of personal taste since vodka really takes on the flavor of this, where as brandy already has it’s own strong flavor.

  10. Becky says

    I love amaretto and so looking forward to making this! Thanks so much for sharing!🩷

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners