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Amaretto Sour

amaretto sour cocktail garnished with two cherries and a lemon twist / Tim Nusog

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that’s typically flavored with almonds or apricot stones. Its distinctive flavor can be incorporated into numerous cocktails, but it’s best known for the Amaretto Sour, a drink that tends to get a bad rap. That’s because, too often, the cocktail is overly sweet and relies on premade sour mix.

To improve the classic Amaretto Sour, Portland, Oregon, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler takes the drink in a different direction, choosing to use fresh juice and high-proof bourbon to round out the cocktail, plus egg white for a dash of body and a silky texture. Egg white may seem unusual, but it’s a traditional addition to many sours, including the Whiskey Sour and Pisco Sour.

Morgenthaler’s take is magic. The bourbon doesn’t overshadow the amaretto; instead, it bolsters the liqueur, helping it stand strong next to the tart citrus. His Amaretto Sour is frothy, sweet, sour, nutty and strong, and the changes he makes to the recipe create a more balanced cocktail.

Give it a taste, and you’ll never go back to the ’70s-era version that calls for Amaretto and sweet-and-sour poured into a glass with ice. This new Amaretto Sour is a welcome update on the original, and one you can be proud to make for friends.


Watch Now: How to Make a Refreshing Amaretto Sour


  • 1 1/2 ounces amaretto liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce cask-proof bourbon

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 teaspoon rich simple syrup

  • 1/2 ounce egg white

  • Garnish: lemon twist

  • Garnish: 2 brandied cherries


  1. Add amaretto, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white to a shaker and dry-shake (no ice) for 15 seconds.

  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist and 2 skewered brandied cherries.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.