Amaretto: It is an Italian origin liqueur made using almonds. Each year Rakhi and other such festivals roll through and leave in their wake copious amounts of dry fruit, specially almond. They are generally passed on from one household to another because no one knows how to use so much almond.
We figured the best way to utilise these almonds would be to make homemade Amaretto liqueur, especially considering the fact that it can be kind of hard to source in India.
Amaretto: What is it?
It is a liqueur which originated in Italy and was flavoured using Bitter Almonds. However, nowadays Amaretto is being made using a wide variety of ingredients like Apricot Stones, Peach Stones, Cherry Stones, etc. Amaretto is a bittersweet spirit and a part of a large number of cocktails, and it is also consumed as a digestif post-meal.
Amaretto comes from the word Italian word Amaro which means “bitter”. Interestingly, Almonds naturally contain cyanide and need to be processed before they are fit to be consumed.
- 250 gms Almonds
- 500 ml Vodka
- 200 ml Brandy
- 200 gms Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Bean or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean
- 1 cup Warm Water
- Soak the almonds in warm water for 30 minutes.
- Drain out the water and finely chop up the almonds.
- In a clip top bottle, put in the almonds.
- Pour in the vodka and the brandy, close the clip top and shake the bottle
- Rest the bottle for 20 days in a cool dark place, shaking the bottle regularly (Once a day)
- On a medium heat take 100 ml water, and 200 gms water.
- Split the vanilla bean and using the back of a knife collect the vanilla.
- Add the vanilla and the vanilla bean to the sugar and lightly stir through.
- Let the sugar sit on a medium flame for 7-8 minutes to caramelise it. Let it caramelise till the sugar is evenly dark golden. Take out the vanilla bean and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Sieve the almond, vodka and brandy using a cheesecloth.
- Combine the almond flavoured spirit and the caramel in a clip top bottle.
- Let it rest at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Voila your Homemade Amaretto is ready and will easily stay for up to 6 months.
The best thing about making Amaretto at home is the fact that you can control the flavour profile of your liqueur. The best part about DIY projects is that you can adjust every aspect of the flavour profile to make a liqueur that is custom fit to your tastes and preferences. You can follow the following steps to adjust the flavour profile of your liqueur
- Increase or decrease the number of days the spirits infuse with almonds to balance the amount of almond flavour and bitterness.
- Increase or reduce the amount of caramel in the end product to adjust sweetness according to your preferences.
- You can also increase or reduce the caramelisation of the sugar to adjust the sweetness and bitter balance of the liqueur.
- You can also change the vodka is to brandy ratio for a more neutral or spirit-forward flavour profile.
- You can also play around with ingredients such as peach stone, cherry stone, apricot stones, etc.
- The liqueur can also be flavoured using spices like cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cardamom, etc.
Consider this recipe as just a guide and a base of knowledge for you to have fun with and experiment with flavours. We can’t wait to see the versions of this recipe that you guys come up with, our favourite part of doing DIY recipes is seeing the end results and how everyone makes the recipe uniquely their own.
For another interesting DIY project, you can find out how to make DIY Coconut Rum HERE.
HERE are some cocktail recipes you can use to utilise your homemade Amaretto