I Make the Best Amaretto Sour in The World

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No, really. I’m serious. In case you think I’m joking, or that you read that wrong, let me go on the record right now:

I make the best Amaretto Sour you’ve ever had in your life. No ifs, ands or buts about it, my Amaretto Sour dominates and crushes all others out there. And now, I’m going to share my secrets with you.

Amaretto Sour

There are two things that impede all other Amaretto Sours from challenging mine. First off, the obvious: they’re too sweet. One does not simply use an everyday sour recipe to make a world-class Amaretto Sour, it must be adjusted for this particular liqueur.

Second, and this is a big one: amaretto isn’t strong enough on its own to stand up to a bunch of other ingredients. It’s weak. It needs help. And for this, I enlist the assistance of an old friend. One that knows amaretto’s strengths and weaknesses. Or, mainly, its weaknesses. One that works with amaretto, to complete it like Jerry Maguire completes Rene Zellwiger’s character, whatever her name was. And that, my friends, is cask-proof bourbon.

I also employ a little bartender’s secret and use an immersion blender to froth up the drink (which contains egg whites and make a cocktail nice and frothy) before I shake it with ice, which is better for froth than shaking it by hand beforehand.

The Video on Small Screen Network

My friends at Small Screen Network and I made a little video about the Amaretto Sour in my apartment a while ago, for a series we’re calling The Morgenthaler Method. Click below to watch the video:

 

The Amaretto Sour on How To Drink

Our friends over at How To Drink put together a great video about the Amaretto Sour that you should definitely check out. Click below to watch the video:

 

And, the recipe below…

Amaretto Sour Print Me

  • 1½ oz/45 ml amaretto
  • ¾ oz/22.5 ml cask-proof bourbon
  • 1 oz/30 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp/5 ml 2:1 simple syrup
  • ½ oz/15 ml egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake without ice or (even better) use an immersion blender to combine and froth.
  2. Shake well with cracked ice.
  3. Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherries, if desired.
  5. Serve and grin like an idiot as your friends freak out.

Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com

89 Replies to “I Make the Best Amaretto Sour in The World”

  • My first drinking experiences in college were drinking overly sweet sour mix drinks, and I have to say I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for those drinks. Hence my current penchance for bringing fratboy drinks back without the fratboy dickery. Can’t wait to try this out, Jeff.

  • I’ll confess to having had more than my share of sickly sweet Amaretto Sours. They’re still my sister’s favorite mixed drink.

    I’ll confess to having thought, “I should make a real one of those,” followed immediately by, “or I could just wait for J-Mo to do it for me and it’ll be even better.”

    Thanks for not letting me down!

  • Linda Diaz De Leon says:

    killing me softly

  • Rocky Yeh says:

    Mmmmm, upgraded.

  • Jessica Hutchinson says:

    “Drink this, bitches”!

    Nice recipe. Really sounds perfect!

  • nice, the whiskey is a nice touch

  • Tokyo Tea says:

    I’ve utilized higher proof neutral grain spirits in the past (i.e. vodka) in the past to make customer 1st dates more interesting and make sure I don’t have to drink 15 or more for a buzz. However, I do love a little wood in my mouth. Nice touch!

  • SeanMike says:

    In college, I used to love amaretto sours, because I was in a sorority. But too often they gave me heartburn, or didn’t get me drunk enough to just lie there and think of what decorations my ceiling needed.

    This weekend, though, I’m going to make up for at least one of those mistakes! Also, I’m going to try your version.

  • Max Tagher says:

    What is cask-proof bourbon? “Cask proof bourbon” in google returns only 5 results

  • Mr. Liles says:

    So now, the question is, how many Amazing Amaretto Sours must I drink before you say, ‘screw this, I never want to make one of those again. EVER!’

  • cask proof bourbon refers to the proof of the whiskey while it’s in the barrell, around 120 proof.cask proof is more commonly known as barrell strenght

  • dominik mj says:

    Nice touch Jeffrey!

    I’ve learned long time ago, to substitute the simple syrup with orange juice [same measures] in all sweet sours. The orange juice gives it a bit more tartness.

    For the alcohol content, I guess that most people who ordering an Amaretto Sour will quite anticipate a rather low alcohol content [and I have to say, that it doesn’t make the drink worse].

    Your version I would not call Amaretto Sour – but it surely looks good. Well – if I would call it different, I would just swap the proportions and will have a nice almond’y whiskey sour…

    Killer idea, Jeffrey…

  • dominik mj says:

    @ Max Tagher

    In spirits you will have three main different strength:

    1) original spirit strength – it comes like that from the distillation apparatus and is between 70 and 95% [well American Whiskey is maximum 79% abv strong].
    This liquor you don’t really want to drink…

    2) barrel strength – the spirit is diluted with water, to age better and more consistent in the barrel/cask.
    I guess there are differences from producer to producer but I guess, you can think about an average of 65% – 70% abv.
    However due to the aging [and the angel share] the spirit looses some of the alcohol – and if bottled on cask strength it will have between >45% up to 65%.
    This is good stuff – however you would need usually to dilute a bit…

    3) bottle strength – the spirit is diluted further to bottle strength. This has various reasons: one is, that water is cheaper than alcohol. It brings down the price; another: most consumer would like to have a “drinkable” spirit without the need of further dilution. Then there is another price aspect: in Western countries tax on alcohol is usually calculated on the strength of alcohol – the lower the abv the less tax you have to pay.

    There are several barrel proof / cask strength spirits out – however usually they are not very commercial.

  • That epic lead picture is key.

  • Tokyo Tea says:

    @dominik mj

    I remember the same thing back when I first started bartending in the 90s and I believe they were called “stone sours” for some reason (obviously not because oranges are stone fruits). Kinda agree with you too as far as the amaretto sour is meant to be a low proof cocktail but it’s good to have a higher proof for those who only drink amaretto sours though most of those people tend to fear whiskey, unfortunately.

  • Jeff says:

    Is it okay if I grin like a jackass instead? I haven’t perfected the idiot pose yet.

  • Dshenaut says:

    I agree with squirrelfarts (did I just type that?epic shot.

  • Todd says:

    Nothing from this blog for months, and then a re-working of the first cocktail I ever loved. I haven’t been able to drink an amaretto sour in year, for the same reasons mentioned by others above. Stoked for an excuse to buy some Bookers and amaretto.

    Thanks!

  • tomas says:

    Ahoj. Youre right Jeff! When i was first tryed a.sour was like you explained. I use vodka, just want kick but still more amaretto. good idea is yours, definitely go make it! tomas from slovakia! na zdravie)

  • Johan says:

    Is it still a Amaretto Sour when bourbon is added to it?

  • Randy says:

    I had to try it, the very night I read about it. Now I, too, make the Best Amaretto Sour in The World! 🙂

    Thanks… keep the recipes coming!

  • I’m stealing the shit out of this, if only to restore public faith in amaretto. How do you price it at Clyde Common?

  • Ricky – I might suggest you take a look at this: How To Price A Cocktail Menu

  • Tony Gurdian says:

    Jeffrey, I make mine almost the exact same way. I never thought of the adding the bourbon, brilliant. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Ulric says:

    love it! Definitely one of the best bar blog on my collection! (nice picture by the way!)

  • Scott says:

    I’ve made these twice now. I haven’t had an Amaretto Sour in ages, they were too sweet. The addition of the fresh lemon and bourbon make it more enjoyable. The egg whites are a nice touch! I should freeze those yolks for something delicious in the kitchen.

  • Kellie says:

    what is the deal with the egg white? I have not heard of that being in an amaretto sour before.

  • While I will admit this looks like the best Amaretto Sour I’ve ever had in my life…

    Uh,wait, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an Amaretto sour. What’s next, the reinvention of the Midori Sour?

    But, anyway, that aside, I don’t quite “get” serving sours with egg white on the rock(s). One of my coworkers did this recently…

    Foamy egg whites combined with melting ice just don’t make sense to me… What am I missing?

  • dominik mj says:

    Jeffrey – what is your idea on the eggy smell of drinks with egg white?

    I read recently an article in Imbibe [UK]; Tony Conigliaro suggested, that you can aromatize your eggs with hydrosols [flower/herb waters], I tried it – however the smell is still there.
    To use hydrosols as perfume [or the peel of citrus] works a bit better, but at the end you still have the smell, which I see as major setback for egg white.
    I really don’t like to use the egg white substitute [like metil cellulose, which taste/smells a bit artificial and dusty] – but I don’t see a lot of alternatives.

    Your thoughts?

    • Erik – I don’t have a problem with egg whites and ice, but of course we’re using the whites to just add a nice silky texture to the drink, not for the purpose of throwing on a three-inch head as others might be doing.

      Dominik – I don’t have a problem with the egg smell/taste that a lot of people get. My guess is that some are really sensitive to it and others aren’t. My best recommendation would to be to simply leave the egg whites out for those folks.

  • Jordan says:

    Love all your recipes Jeffrey. My fiancé really liked the eggnog you served at Clyde’s Common during the holiday. I made some for my office party and it went over great. I love Amaretto Sours, but just made your recipe and it knocked it out of the park. I had to splurge on the Bookers (which I sampled with a little water and it is excellent by itself) but well worth it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jordan says:

    Oh. Also, did Adam ever redeem his free hug coupon?

  • Ted Mills says:

    Just tried this with one modification: no cask bourbon in house…used Canadian Club (I’M SORRY!). It was either that or Jameson.

    Still!!! Blooooody hell this is good. And frickin’ strong!!

  • Max Boivin says:

    Very nice recipie! But i still think my recipie is the best one. I use pretty much the same “sweet, sour’n’egg white” but i do mine with calvados instead. Way more frutier wich i think fits more the palate of original Amaretto drinkers. If you want to try something good too, switch the sugar for maple syrup! Few drops of Angostura and you got one funky fresh Amaretto sour!!
    But nice try man!!

  • Max Boivin says:

    Yeah, i saw it after hitting the “submit comment” button.. I’m from Montreal and french is my first language, «never bin goud in de riting in Inglish». Can’t wait to try your french next time i’m in Portland! Sans rancune!

    Nice blog btw, nice reference for all the bartenders!!

  • AMS says:

    Amazing as always

  • Scott says:

    Hi Jeffrey,

    I’m living in a country (Qatar) with a limited selection of liquor. (It is indeed dispiriting!) So I’m wondering if the extra proof is absolutely essential for this recipe, which sounds fabulous. That is, could I use regular-proof bourbon to similar effect?

    Thanks!

  • Claire says:

    Hmmm… I’m just not sure if yours sounds quite as good as this one here…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EftbeRqqZr4

  • Dear friend, if I get a visa to visit your country, I’ll definitely go to your bar just to try this cocktail.

    Best regards from the far south

  • Terry says:

    is it 1/2 oz of beaten egg white or 1/2 oz of unbeaten egg white, beaten(=3/4-1oz of beaten egg white)

  • Devon says:

    I’ve been making my amaretto sours for years with 1/2 oz. of bonded apple brandy, so it’s pretty gratifying to see that that’s your secret trick (essentially). I might up it to a full ounce, seeing that you’re using 3/4 of cask strength bourbon, which is fiery stuff.

  • Francisco Soto says:

    Jeffrey Morgenthaler! UR recipe=I made best amaretto sour last night. Very happy guests! Thanks!

    PS- For those of you who are scared of bourbon. The guests I served had no idea I put the bourbon in until I told them.

  • JD says:

    Just made it today. Used old fitzgerald bourbon bottled in bond. Friggin delicious. Am going to serve these at the next get together

  • I will have to try this, I am always looking for a better Amaretto Sour, and the drink is my go to test of whether a bartender is worth ordering a cocktail from or just getting a beer.

    Having been drinking Amaretto Sours for over a decade I am glad to see a professional bartender recognize that the drink is really a whiskey sour with amaretto (although walk into a bar, order a whiskey sour, and see what garbage you get).

    Question: Is there a recommended sub for the simple syrup (i.e. more egg white, or pineapple juice, or sprite zero) for someone not supposed to consume sugar?

    I will post again after I try some of these…

    • Martin

      I appreciate the kind words. However, if an Amaretto Sour is really your test of a bartender’s mettle, then I’m afraid you’re going to be in for a lifetime of disappointment. I might suggest another drink that more and more bartenders are learning to make properly, all over the world. How about an Old Fashioned? A Manhattan? A perfectly-executed Daiquiri? My fear here is that even some of the finest bartenders out there might not make a world-class Amaretto Sour, because, honestly it’s not really a world-class drink. The “classic” recipe here is 1 part amaretto, 2 parts sour mix. There’s really no venerable old recipe to revert to.

      I wouldn’t skimp on the teaspoon of simple syrup. If you’re not supposed to consume sugar, amaretto is the real culprit here. At 165 calories per 1.5 ounces, that’s 25 carbs and almost 5 grams of sugar.

  • MothyrGrimm says:

    Can’t wait to try this, it’s gorgeous! Although the egg does scare me a bit, I promise I’ll be brave… and I just had to say you’re so cute! 😀

  • Jordan says:

    I was taught to do my amaretto sours with fresh squeezed lime juice, egg white, simple syrup and a couple dashes of angostura bitters in bar school. They’re in my opinion delicious, but I’m definitely going to give this recipe a go when I get my hands on some Booker’s. Reading this inspired me to do some more research on sours and finding out that they’re all supposed to be with lemon is really eye opening. I’m a sponge for knowledge and just want to learn. Thank you!

  • Laura says:

    I know this is a stupid question but in your margarita recipe when it came to the simple sugar it said 1:1 and in this it states 2:1. What does this mean? I am not a big cocktail maker, trying to learn. Thanks.

  • Adam K says:

    @Laura – 1:1 means 1 part sugar to 1 part water. 2:1 means 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, aka rich simple syrup. The idea behind using a richer simple syrup is that you approximate the same amount of granulated sugar without adding additional unwanted water to the cocktail.

    Props, Jeffrey, on your notation that an Amaretto Sour is really not a classic drink to begin with, and double props on promptly making it one!

  • MaryS says:

    I rediscovered Amaretto last summer with a recipe for a sour using prosecco and lemon juice. Good but not what I was looking for. THIS is what I was looking for – and I have on hand a bottle Makers that has had sour cherries soaking in it for a couple of weeks. AMAZING! Try the sour cherry bourbon in this recipe. I didn’t need the simple syrup. And didn’t bother with the egg, but hey – I ain’t a pro.

  • Mrspitbull says:

    Made it just as you said! PERFECT!

  • Kate says:

    Jeffrey!! Do you ever bartend where you work now or strictly manage? I would love to come visit you while you were behind the bar. 1022 in Tacoma is my go to place for cocktails and my friends there use your recipe. It’s my “usual” drink.. although we sometimes throw in an expletive in the title for good measure. It’s that good! Thanks for making the best G-D Amaretto Sour in the world!! xoxo

  • Marie says:

    I didn’t have the bourbon on hand, so I made it with all the other ingredients. Outstanding! Can’t wait to add the bourbon. Thank you for posting this!

  • Oh man, this amaretto sour looks great! Gotta try it.

  • Concho says:

    I have to agree, I tried this drink using Woodfords reserve and although I quite like an amaretto sour I am more of a Manhattan or old fashioned kind of guy, but the addition of a decent bourbon makes this drink go up a notch. It’s bloody lovely! I dont think the new bottle of Amaretto and Woodfords reserve I just bought are going to last that long! (I think I will keep this one to myself and not let my wife in on it) Well done Jeffrey keep up the good work!

  • Concho says:

    Question: My sours come out looking nice with a silky smooth head but how do you get that yellowy colour in this one? its beautiful. I have followed your recipe to the letter but mine does not look as good in colour!

  • Rook says:

    Love the concept, love your style! Personally for me the lemon is overpowering everything, so I’m woking on adjusting the ratio’s slightly. But a delicious drink and you have every right to call it the best Amaretto Sour in the world. I’m working on mine! Thanks for the launching pad, and this one is definately going in ‘the book’!

  • Can’t wait to try this Jeffrey. I don’t have Disarronno, but I do have Luxardo’s. If i’m using superfine white sugar, how many bar spoons would that be equivalent to? Thanks!

  • Dimitry says:

    Hi Jeffery

    I am new to working with egg white and I have just use one whole egg white for the drinks I make but it dose seem inconsistent. So I see you use beaten egg white. So my question to you is how much do you whip the eggs and whats he best way to store them?

  • Hemant Samtani says:

    Amaretto sours are generally a sweet drink the name sour is just the family of drinks that encompass the recipie…lemon juice,egg white and then an alcohol…(whiskey sour, bourbon sour and then margarita which is also a sour using lime instead of lemon).
    Jeff has got a great recipe here but its not an amaretto sour….it is a twist on a classic recipe.
    If you have always found amaretto sours too sweet omit the sugar syrup completley…i make these all the time at my bar and i never add sugar unless someone asks for it. One of my recipes is called a blood rum sour…brining together my two good buddies amaretto and dark rum….same recipie with a dash of angostura bitters…cheers

  • Zuri_james says:

    Jeff,

    Inspiring recipe! I substituted the bourbon with Laphroag Quarter Barrel, added Maraschino instead of SS, then a dash of Sade Absinthe (ran out of Maryln Manson!) then mixed the egg white separately with a dadh of orgaet and folks here in Zürich werevamazed! Cheers!

  • Tres says:

    I made this drink at a party and it was an instant success the tips poured in as i made it!! Thank you!!!

  • kswillicooks says:

    I made this drink and it is awesome! I omit the simple syrup, already sweet enough. I squeeze one lemon per drink, mix in the amaretto and bourbon and froth egg white in drink with my battery operated frother. Instant success with homemade amaretto! Thanks for this great recipe!

  • John says:

    I just want to let you know that I have properly weened my friends and family off of sour mix with this recipe.

    Sometimes I play with it and swap out the cask proof bourbon for rum for tequilla, or the lemons for lemons for limes or oranges respectively. But everyome is in love with it.

    For a simple twist, I actually substituted the CPB with spiced rum, the lemoms for 1/2 oz. Of lime juice amd 1/2 oz. Orange juice, and then replaced the egg white with coconut milk. Garnished it with a a little pimeapple and everybody loved it, though I have no idea what the hell to call it now. Haha.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  • Tugger says:

    This recipe isn’t great.

    Pretty much ruined by the whiskey and too much egg-white.
    Divide the egg-white by three, and use amaretto:vodka in a 3:2 ratio and you’re on to a winner.

  • brendonintendo says:

    Inspired by your best-in-the-world Amaretto Sour I tweaked it a little and added a pear-walnut-goat cheese foam to the top. Calling it an Amaretto Tangy, 1.25 dissarono, .75 Bookers, .5 Lemon, stirred.

    here is one WAY too early in the AM

    http://globalnews.ca/video/1123688/sunday-cooking-segment-with-north-53/

  • brendonintendo says:

    Also, I disagree with Tugger, AND I am comment 69

  • Kimball says:

    Amazing!!
    I used Gentleman Jack because Bourbons aren’t that easy to find where I live.

    However after a long search i found a liquor store that sells ‘Blanton’s straight from the barrell'(129 proof).

    Can you compare that with Booker’s?

  • Mattzilla says:

    About a year ago someone asked me if I used egg whites in my sour drinks. It was five minutes before last call and after working a 13 hour straight short handed double shift I laughed and said “That is ridiculous.” He said you should try it, it’s amazing. Then he paid his tab and left.

    Never thought about it again till I saw this article and tried your recipe. I must say, you are correct. You do make the best Amaretto Sour in the world dude! Nice job

  • David Sohigian says:

    I made a few of these (using your video and recipe as a guide) last weekend and they were fantastic. I used Stagg Jr. (which seems to be in good supply in Portland right now) and strained the drink into the glass (which you show in your video but not in your instructions). It wasn’t as good as having it at Clyde Commons, but was pretty close. Thanks for the excellent recipe and I look forward to your book which I already have on pre-order at Amazon!

  • Mallory says:

    As a bartender i am frequently looking for different recipes to test out. I love amaretto flavor (and margaritas) but can never have them because they give me heartburn. I am very anxious to try out your recipe since it doesn’t have the mix that would hurt me to drink (and actually enjoy!)
    Not really sure if you have ever made a jalapeño margarita but they are wonderful for those that enjoy something a little spicier but figure I would share anyway. If you muddle jalapeños with simple syrup, add whichever tequila and lime juice, it makes a deliciously, slightly spicy cocktail that I enjoy but doesn’t cause me to have heartburn.
    My best friend moved to Portland a couple years ago. I will find out if she has been to your bar and send her your way to try your amaretto sour and enjoy it vicariously through her. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Mallory says:

    And through her, as I live on the other side of the country in georgia otherwise I would certainly let you make it for me.

  • Andrew Garza says:

    I modified it slightly with what I had on hand, and it came out well!

    1½ oz amaretto (DiSaronno)
    ¾ oz Bully Boy White Whiskey
    1 oz lemon juice
    1½ tsp. 1:1 Demerara syrup
    ½ oz egg white, beaten

    Rich, with the complexity and lightness of the white whiskey. Delicious!

  • Chris Feltman says:

    Pasteurized egg white comes in an easy pour carton and is a real time-saver for sours, especially in a busy bar. Plus, it removes all danger of Salmonella. I keep one in my fridge at all times. You might wanna give it a try sometime!
    Cheers!

  • Amy Lewis says:

    Hey thanks Jeff. That amaretto sour just made my day!

  • KB says:

    Jeffrey,

    This cocktail is amazing. I gave it a try tonight with Whistlepig Boss Hog… My wife started doing that running-in-place-flapping-arms Jonah Hill thing. By far my favorite barrel proofer to use from what I’ve tried; Smooth Ambler BP Rye works well too but the WP is amaze-balls.

    Thanks for posting this.

    KB

  • Dave says:

    I don’t spend much time looking at cocktail recipes, but chanced across this one….and also noted the comments keep coming in. Nice job.

    In my case for a period I was enjoying a godmother with fresh made sweetened lemon/lime juice. Ameretto, (di sarono) vodka and fresh made simple syrup with lemon lime.

    Damn good drink. An ameretto sour with kick and fresh ingredients. A dynamite cocktail that tasted like candy and left a buzz.

    Now this version looks damn good. I’ll be off to try it and report back. Thanks for the tip.

  • WanderfulJen says:

    This is so yummy! Drinking it right now. Used Bulleit Bourbon because I’m a cheap ass. Thank you!

  • Mel says:

    I absolutely loved this recipe! Would love it even more if I had the recipe for multiple servings. I had to make them one by one for a party once and they were such a hit – downside only was that I was stuck making this all night!

    Could you share with me your proportions if making this for a big group? I couldn’t quite get it right. It either tasted bland or weak when I made them in big batches. Please please share with me your recipe if I were to make your killer amaretto sour for a group of about 50 people! Please please please and thank you so much! 🙂

  • Havard says:

    I fucking dissagree- go to calibar. Bergen. Norway.

  • Awesome says:

    This is the highlight of my day!!!
    This is amazing!!!
    Thank you!!

  • Luke says:

    Jim Beam are apparently reducing Booker’s production by a third and almost doubling the price. Any suggestions for a substitution?

  • ThermionicScott says:

    Just picked up a bottle of DiSaronno, and wouldn’t you know it, the hang tag features an Amaretto Sour recipe that includes cask-strength bourbon!

  • Kyle says:

    Could you call it a Sour Godfather?

  • San says:

    Omg!🙌🏾 I just made this wonderful nectar. Yes this is most definitely an upgrade! Yum yum yummy!

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