Perfect Amaretto Sour

published Nov 16, 2021
Amaretto Sour Recipe

Whiskey gives this drink a bitter-sweet attitude you'll love.


Makes1 cocktail

Prep5 minutes

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Amaretto Sour in a glass with a cherry
Credit: Perry Santanachote

The amaretto sour cocktail had its heyday in the 1970s. The liqueur, made from almonds and apricots, is often paired with a tart mixer — usually a commercial sour mix that is too sweet for modern palates. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, an award-winning bartender and author, updated the classic drink with fresh lemon juice and a rich simple syrup to help brighten up the sour and tone down the sweet. We took his cue for this recipe, including the addition of bourbon to give the drink a bitter-sweet agrodolce attitude. Egg whites are a common addition to sours to give the drinks body and a frothy head, but totally optional. 

What Is Amaretto Made Of?

Amaretto is about 20 percent alcohol and has a nutty flavor that can come from the following:

  • Bitter almonds
  • Sweet almonds 
  • Apricot kernels
  • Peach pits
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Is an Amaretto Sour the Same as a Whiskey Sour?

The two cocktails are similar, with the only difference being the amaretto that gives the amaretto sour a nutty flavor.

Can You Drink Amaretto Straight?

Amaretto is cloyingly sweet straight out of the bottle, hence the sour addition, but if you’re game, pour the liqueur over ice and give it a sip.

Amaretto Sour Recipe

Whiskey gives this drink a bitter-sweet attitude you'll love.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 1 cocktail

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    amaretto liqueur

  • 1 ounce

    bourbon, preferably barrel proof

  • 1/2 ounce

    egg white (or 1/2 of 1 large egg white, optional)

  • 1 teaspoon

    simple syrup

  • Ice

  • Orange slice, for garnish

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish


  1. Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 ounce lemon juice. Add to a cocktail shaker with 1 1/2 ounces amaretto liqueur, 1 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce egg white if using, and 2 teaspoons simple syrup. Use an immersion blender to get the mixture thick and foamy, 10 to 15 seconds. (Skip the blending if you’re not using egg white.) Alternatively, add amaretto, bourbon, egg white if using, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and shake (without ice) until foamy, about 15 seconds.

  2. Add ice to the cocktail shaker. Seal the shaker and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty.

  3. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.