How to Make Amaretto

Updated: Oct. 18, 2023

This recipe for homemade amaretto liqueur is just what your bar cart needed!

Amaretto is a much loved almond-flavored Italian liqueur, perfect to have on hand in your home bar. But did you know it’s also a great drink to make yourself? This homemade amaretto recipe requires just a few simple steps and a couple of days to rest, leaving you with a delicious liqueur to use in cocktails, pour over ice cream or give as a tasty gift to friends.

Key Ingredients for Amaretto

  • Sugar: The mix of brown sugar and cane sugar provide the sweetness to balance out the vodka for a smooth finish.
  • Vodka: This is the base of the drink, so you want to use a high quality vodka for a delicious final product.
  • Almond extract: Almond is a key flavor in amaretto. A little goes a long way.

Amaretto Recipe


  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Step 1: Make sugar syrup

In a small saucepan, bring cane sugar, brown sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool liquid completely.

Step 2: Mix ingredients and store

Once cooled, transfer sugar syrup to a 1-quart glass jar. Add remaining ingredients—vodka, almond extract and vanilla extract—and shake well. Cover with a lid and let stand in a dark place for 1-3 days to allow flavors to blend.

When it’s ready, pour into glass bottles and label them with the date. Seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months.

Recipe Variations for Amaretto

  • Vanilla: For a slightly different vanilla flavor, use the vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract.
  • Spice: Flavor your amaretto with some whole cloves or star anise for a more herbaceous final product.

How to Store Amaretto

Store your amaretto in a cool, dark place for the best quality and longest storage. It doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, so it makes a great centerpiece on your bar cart.

Tips for Making Amaretto

Amaretto served with lemon on the sideTMB Studio

How long does homemade amaretto last?

This homemade amaretto recipe lasts for up to 2 months when stored properly. Make sure to store it somewhere cool and dark, and you’ll have it on hand for plenty of time!

What cocktails can you make with amaretto?

Amaretto makes delicious cocktails. Try it in a variety of sours, like this apple amaretto sour. Or go the sweet route with a tipsy coffee.