Classic Amaretto Sour Cocktail Recipe

A classic amaretto sour cocktail is the perfect way to unwind after a long day at the office, and this recipe yields two servings, so it makes plenty for you and a partner or friend to share. The amaretto sour is one of the most classic cocktails you can order at the bar, and there's a good reason why people keep ordering it repeatedly — it's simultaneously refreshing and delicious. The sweet, nutty taste of amaretto paired with the sourness of freshly squeezed lemons is a match made in heaven, and the maraschino cherry topping is literally the cherry on top. This is truly the ultimate drink! 

Recipe developer Jennine Rye of The Marshside Pantry shares this fantastic recipe that is sure to up your cocktail game and impress anyone who tries it. "I love the perfect balance between the sweetness from the amaretto, maraschino cherry juice, and sugared rim, and the sour notes from the lemon juice. It's one of my all-time favorite cocktails!" she raves.

Rye also shares her inspiration behind this drink, "When I was in my early 20s, I worked in a bar in Zurich for a year or two. I recall being taught how to make amaretto sours and they became one of my go-to drinks. I spent a good while perfecting them and performing taste tests on various friends and family who would come to visit. I still love them." We're learning from a pro how to make this classic amaretto sour. 

Gather the ingredients for an amaretto sour cocktail

Once you are ready to begin, you will need to gather the ingredients. Pick up granulated sugar, a couple of lemons, amaretto, a large egg (to get the egg white), and a jar of maraschino cherries.

"There are many different brands of amaretto. My personal favorite, when I can find it, is Disaronno," Rye says of the amaretto. "I would recommend buying the best quality bottle of amaretto that you can find; the better the quality, the better the taste. But don't let cost hold you back from this recipe; there are plenty of affordable brands out there that are delicious!"

Egg whites may sound strange, but trust us, they help make this drink great. "The addition of egg whites in cocktails is what typically creates that layer of white foam on top. Adding egg white gives the cocktail more weight and body, making it feel smoother and richer due to the protein acting as an emulsifier," Rye explains. "If you are really against it, you can always opt to omit the egg white, but it does make a superior amaretto sour!" According to Cocktail Safe, it's okay to put raw eggs in cocktails, and there's an extremely low risk of salmonella. Just make sure that you use the freshest egg possible and keep it in the fridge before using it in the drink. 

Once you have those things, you can make this classic amaretto sour cocktail.

Juice the lemons

Grab your lemons and juice them thoroughly. You should be able to get the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice you need for the drinks from a couple of average-sized lemons.

"If you don't have a juicer at home, don't despair; I don't either! I much prefer just using a fork to juice lemons by cutting a lemon in half, jabbing the fork into the inside of the lemon, and then squeezing the lemon around it," Rye says. "It does just as good a job and you don't have to clean a juicer at the end. Another technique for this cocktail is just to cut the lemons in half and throw them directly into the cocktail shaker. The shaking should get lots of that lovely lemon flavor into the resulting cocktail, though I don't think it does quite so good a job as taking the time to juice them first." 

After juicing, run the lemon rinds around the rim of your glasses to add flavor and serve as glue for the sugar.

Rim the glasses with sugar

Add the sugar to a shallow bowl or plate, which will help you dip it with ease. Then, twirl the rim of your glasses in the sugar to coat them. The sugar paired with the bitter lemon taste is a perfect combination for each sip. 

Add the ingredients to the shaker

Take out a cocktail shaker and start loading it with your ingredients. This includes lemon juice, amaretto, egg white, and maraschino cherry juice. "The maraschino juice in the amaretto sour comes straight from the jar of maraschino cherries," Rye notes. "So, to make this recipe, you want to make sure that you buy good quality dark maraschino cherries that are in syrup, not the bright red cocktail cherries!"

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Place the lid on the shaker and shake for 30 seconds to combine everything well. "The taste of an amaretto sour is a wonderful balance of rich and warming almond-flavored amaretto, the sour freshness of lemon juice, and a hint of the deep sweetness of cherry. Delicious!" Rye raves. 

Garnish and serve

Pour the liquid through the strainer into the sugar-rimmed glasses. Then, add three maraschino cherries to each glass to complete. "It isn't compulsory to skewer the cherries, but that is normally how amaretto sours are presented," Rye notes. "Aside from anything else, the red cherry juice will stain the beautiful white foam, and the cherries will be too dense to sit on top of the foam."

Now, all you need to do is clink your glasses and cheers! "I would class an amaretto sour as a dessert-style cocktail, if anything. It really packs a flavor punch of its own so I think it would overpower a lot of savory food, though I do think salty nuts or chips would be a good accompaniment," Rye shares. "I also think the flavor of strong cheeses would pair well and could stand up against the strong flavors of this drink, so it could be a good accompaniment to a cheese board." 

Classic Amaretto Sour Cocktail Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
Requiring just a few ingredients, the amaretto sour is a classic cocktail that everyone enjoys. Learn how to make the drink at home with this simple recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
classic amaretto in a glass
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup amaretto
  • 2 tablespoons egg white
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
Optional Ingredients
  • 6 maraschino cherries, for garnish
  1. Juice the lemons to produce roughly 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  2. Use the juiced lemons to rim the glass, then dip the rim into a shallow plate of sugar to give each glass a sugar-coated lip.
  3. Add the lemon juice, amaretto, egg white, and maraschino cherry juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour through the strainer into the prepared glasses and finish off by adding three skewered maraschino cherries to each glass.
Calories per Serving 266
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 30.9 g
Sodium 32.5 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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