Homemade Amaretto Liqueur

Homemade Amaretto Liqueur
Cultura/Brett Stevens / Riser / Getty Images
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Cool: 20 mins
  • Servings: 16 servings
  • Yields: 750 milliliters
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
263 Calories
1g Fat
39g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 263
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 20mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Amaretto is an essential liqueur in the bar that is used for a variety of cocktails from the amaretto sour to the godfather. While it's easy to find a number of commercial brands in the store, it's just as easy to make your own amaretto at home.

Homemade amaretto is made using just a few ingredients that are commonly found in the kitchen. It has a vodka base and is sweetened with both white and brown sugars. Rather than commercial amaretto's apricot kernels, the flavor in this recipe comes from almond and vanilla extracts. With everything at hand, you can have your very own bottle of amaretto within one hour. And, if you have not made a liqueur from scratch before, this is a perfect introductory recipe.

Not only will your amaretto make a nice addition to your home bar's liqueur stock, but it's also a nice gift idea. Put it in a gift basket along with a few extras to create a selection of cocktails, include some almonds to munch on, and you're all set!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups​ vodka
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the sugars. Reduce the heat, simmer, and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

  4. Add the vodka and flavoring extracts and stir until it's well mixed.

  5. Pour the amaretto liqueur through a funnel into a bottle and seal.

  6. Serve the amaretto on its own over ice or mix it into your favorite cocktails and enjoy.


  • If you notice the flavorings are separating from the liqueur, give the bottle a really good shake to incorporate them.
  • Whenever you make liqueurs at home, keep in mind that the quality of the base liquor will affect the taste of your finished product. While it's not necessary to use top-shelf vodka, your amaretto will be better off with a vodka you wouldn't mind drinking on its own. Luckily, there are a number of great tasting inexpensive vodkas on the market that are perfect for projects like this.
  • The vodka will add to the shelf life of your homemade liqueur. It should keep well for at least a month and can be stored just like any other liqueur. Refrigeration is not required.
  • The recipe makes about 750 ml (3 cups) of amaretto, which is the same as a fifth (the average-sized liquor bottle). This makes it very convenient to recycle your vodka bottle to store your amaretto under a tight seal.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, use whole vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract. Typically, one bean should be enough to add a nice flavor, though some people prefer two. Cut the vanilla bean into pieces and add it while making the syrup—after the sugar has dissolved. Let it continue to steep for about an hour after adding the vodka and almond extract. Strain out the bean before bottling.
  • Rum makes a nice base for homemade amaretto as well. A white rum would be an excellent choice, though you could add dimension to the liqueur's flavor by using an aged rum.
  • Use this recipe as inspiration for other easy homemade liqueurs. For instance, you could use mint extract and white sugar exclusively to create a mint-flavored liqueur.
  • Another possibility is to add any flavor you like with fresh herbs or fruits to create a flavored simple syrup before blending it with vodka and water. For most flavors, a little vanilla extract will round out the taste with a nice richness.

How Strong Is Homemade Amaretto?

When made with an 80-proof vodka, your homemade amaretto should have a final alcohol content around 26 percent ABV (52 proof). This is right in line with the average commercial amaretto.