How to Make Amaretto

Bottle of homemade amaretto with bowl of brown sugarHow to Make Amaretto.

If you’ve ever been out on the town with me (when I’m not drinking whiskey or wine) you know I like Amaretto. Typically it’s a double on the rocks.  My brand of choice is DiSaronno. I like the taste and how I can feverishly spin the bottle top around before serving. Don’t judge. What I don’t like, the price. It’s spendy. Around $25 bucks for the “regular” sized bottle.

I can’t tell you how many bottles I have purchased. Too many. No more. Why? I found out I can make a pretty dang near copy cat version at home for a fraction of the price. Yes homemade Amaretto baby. Go ahead and grab a glass  you’re going to want some of this.

Bottle of homemade amaretto with bowl of brown sugar

Homemade Amaretto.

After consulting with the experts, aka google I surmised that the recipe is a combination of sugars, extracts and vodka. That’s it. You probably have everything you need to make this in your pantry. Want to know what else? You can drink it immediately when you’re done.

Unlike my beloved LIMONCELLO that you have to patiently wait weeks for it to be done, this one is immediate gratification. Can this get any better? I think not.

Bottle of Homemade Amaretto with bowl of brown sugarAmaretto, great for gift giving.

We tested a few combinations of sugars and extract measurements and this is the one that we liked best. It makes about 3 1/2 cups of Amaretto. Before you ask, I’m not sure how long this will last. It doesn’t stick around long in my house. What I do know is that everyday it stays in that bottle it just gets smoother and smoother. Can you hear Rob Thomas?

Bottle of homemade amaretto with bowl of brown sugar with text overlay

To bottle the beauties I picked up some glass bottles with clamp stoppers along with those adorable chalkboard labels. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write on my bottles yet. Probably Hands Off ; )


How to Make Amaretto

Make homemade Amaretto with just 6 simple ingredients.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Vodka


  1. Into a heavy bottom sauce pan add: water, sugars and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until sugars are well dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes.
  4. To pan add: extracts and vodka. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour Amaretto into desired jars and cap. Store in a cool/dry location.


  1. 1

    I never knew amaretto was a vodka based drink! I love that stuff, but never thought I would be able to make at home.

    • 1.1
      Jackie /

      You can also make your own Kahlua! takes longer than this but well worth it.

  2. 3
    Hannah /

    So, I lovvve DiSoronno too. Although the larger bottle is only about $20.00 around here. Definitely want to try this recipe!

    One question– what brand vodka do you recommend?

    • 3.1

      Hi Hannah, I used Smirnoff Triple Distilled.

      • Hannah /

        Ok, great. Thanks!

      • William J Belmonte /

        I make my own Limoncello and for base I use Costco’s “Kirkland Signature” Vodak, I will try this for Your Amaretto.
        Thanks for all the INFO
        William J.

  3. 4

    I’ve got to try this, it looks like it would be amazing!

  4. 5

    Awesome!! I am SO going to make this right now! The hubs will flip… 😀

  5. 6

    love, love, Paula!!

  6. 7
    Diane S. in San Diego /

    I was just thinking that I would like to get some Amaretto but I’d already blown my budget for the holidays. I am going to make this tomorrow! Thank you!

  7. 8

    It’s like you read my mind! I was literally just looking at a recipe that called for amaretto and I don’t have any! This is awesome!

  8. 9

    I love amaretto sours — definitely need to try this!

  9. 10

    What a cool idea Paula. Happy New Year!!

  10. 11

    Gorgeous! Amaretto is such a beautiful drink, and I never thought to make it myself!

  11. 12

    Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing.. I’m going to give this a go as soon as I finish my bottle of DiSaronno!

  12. 13

    Hello, gorgeous.

  13. 14

    Crazy! I never knew you could make this! Amaretto sour was the first legal drink I ordered the night I turned 21 🙂

  14. 15

    So cool…I had no idea that you could make it! I love amaretto…learned to on a vacation in Italy. Thank you for this awesome tip!

  15. 16

    man if I know how to make this in college I would have been the star! This looks great Paula.

  16. 17

    I made this tonight and have a glass next to me now. Easy and awesome!!!

  17. 18

    Oh my heavens! Are you for real 😀 You and your FANTASTIC hooch skills. xoxo

  18. 19

    My favorite!! Reminds me of my grandpa too!! I had know idea there was a way to make it at home, love this.

  19. 20
    Beth /

    My husband is a huge Amaretto fan particularly Gozio. I will have to make this for him. We make lemoncello all the time can’t wait to try this.

  20. 21
    Charles /

    Made this last night, and it’s great. Very sweet, though, even for amaretto. I might cut down the sugar just a bit next time.

  21. 22

    How much does this make? I may have to double it! I need to know how many bottles to order from World Market.

    • 22.1

      Hi Kimmi, it makes approximately 3 1/2 cups.

      • Kelsea /

        I actually just made this, and it makes just over 4 cups (measured it).

  22. 23
    Terri /

    Just made it – YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. 24

    Can’t wait to try this!

  24. 25

    This is great to know… never realized I could make my own. Leave it to you to create your own recipe. you go girl!

  25. 26

    Holy cow, I can not believe how easy this is!

  26. 27
    Regina /

    Has any one tried this with something less expensive than Smirnoff Triple Distilled?

  27. 28
    Lauren /

    This was a fantastic recipe! Thanks a lot for sharing it – I made it for a movie night with friends and it was even more popular than the Jolly Rancher vodka!

  28. 29

    This is definitely a must try and so easy, love Amaretto in my coffee or straight.

  29. 30
    Susan Johnson /

    How long will this store? Not that it would be a problem.
    LOVE Amaretto Sours!!

    • 30.1

      Hi Susan! Mine has never lasted very long so I’m not quite sure of the shelf life. PS I like Amaretto Sours too!

  30. 31
    Goldie Oliver /

    YES this will taste great with a cupje of my homemade coffee verkeerd I drink to relax (Frankie style), ’cause it’s a jungle out there, seriously like disorder and confusion everywhere!

  31. 32
    Jackie /

    I buy a bottle of DiAmore Amaretto for about $15, that includes tax. For about $20, I can buy everything for making it at home and I can get 2 or 3 bottles. I think it is cheaper to make it at home.

    Thanks bunches for the recipe.

  32. 33
    Kim /

    Thanks for this recipe! I made a bottle for myself and a bottle for my sister in-law as a Christmas present this year. I could not find any almond extract so i used essence… this gave it a slightly oily look but tasted gorgeous. Due to not being able to find the extract I have since found out how to make my own extract. (place a packet of blanched almonds in a jar and fill to the top with vodka, leave in a dark place for a few months) My lovely little jar or almondiness is still nestling in the cupboard. Cant wait to try this again. I intend to keep this bottle to myself as the last got devoured by enthusiastic friends and family over Christmas week!

  33. 34
    Blue /

    Made it today! Great!

  34. 35
    Sharon Clark /

    I Love You. I used Agave nectar instead of white sugar. That worked. Again, I love you.

    • 35.1
      Tracey Nelson /

      How much agave did you use? I would like to try that recipe as well.

      Thank you.

  35. 36
    Diane /

    I made a half recipe in early October. It really does get smoother as it ages. I did a taste test with Amaretto di Saronno. Straight, the commercial Amaretto has a crisper, stronger flavor while the homemade is much smoother and tastes better in coffee. As it aged the too strong dark brown sugar flavor dissipated. I recommend this recipe.

    I just now made another half batch using inexpensive brandy.

  36. 37
    Kristen W /

    Do I need the swing top bottles? Or can I use wine bottles (with corks)? Thanks

    • 37.1

      Hi Kristen, I’ve not tried it with anything but the bottles pictured.

    • 37.2
      Diane /

      Kristen, I save the little jugs that real maple syrup comes in to store mine. I also use them for homemade simple syrups in the fridge. I’ve made plain (just boiled sugar and water), ginger, lemon, vanilla, and coffee flavors.

      Just remember to sometimes rinse the rims and lids with a wet cloth because sugar dries there.

      You might to try making honey-brandy or ginger liqueurs.

  37. 38
    Megan /

    How long should it sit before drinking?? I just saw it today and would love to suprise my husband with a homemade bottle of his favorite drink! Thank you and I cannot wait!!!!

    • 38.1

      Hi Megan, you CAN drink it immediately BUT it gets better the longer it sits : ) Cheers.

  38. 39
    Andrew /

    Thanks. Love this and hate spending the $25 for the store stuff.

  39. 40
    Rene /

    I made this yesterday. Very simple and quick to make. And tastes GREAT!
    This will make fabulous gifts. I’ve already shared. Thanks for the recipe.

  40. 41

    I have made this several times before and I think it’s better than you can buy and needless to say consideraably cheaper.

  41. 42
    gerrit van rijswijk /

    Amaretto is not made with vodka but taste is something personal. If I would made is as you do I would at least use some home made grappa.I do it the old fashioned way that takes a bit longer, a single batch per year of about twenty lts. As far as your comment about Limoncello is concerned this is one of the quickest made liqeurs possible from natural ingredients.You just very finely grate the zest of fully ripe lemons.The zest only absolutely no white pith. The quality of the lemon is crucial.The extraction process takes only a maximum of three days very often shorter.
    If you leave it just to long it develops a bitter taste to be avoided at all costs. Add sugar to taste and make sure the final alcohol content is about 30%. It is that easy

  42. 43
    Johnny /

    This recipe is fantastic! It started off as a great DIY Christmas gift and has become a yearly request (expectation) from friends!! Love it! Especially with some ginger ale on the rocks.

  43. 44
    Alix Waddington /

    Hi Paula I love this drink and thought I would give it ago and ended up making some last night however it came out a bit oily and no matter what I did it still had the oil puddles in so I would really like to know how to make sure this doesn’t happen next time as it tastes amazing just a little oily I would really appreciate the help.
    Thank you

  44. 45
    Kat /

    I found your page through pinterest and just made this – I am in love!! I am drinking it on ice right now and am in heaven! Thank you so much for posting this, I had no idea how easy it could be to make

  45. 46

    I make my own kahlua and use grain alcohol. I was wondering if I could substitute that for the vodka.

    • 46.1

      Hi Karen. I’ve not tried that but it sounds like it could work just fine. If you try it let us know how the substitution turns out.

    • 46.2

      Yes, see my comment below…

  46. 47

    I always use Everclear (95% Alcohol) for making most liquors as it has no taste whatsoever and you get more “bang for your buck”, so to speak.

    4 Cups distilled water
    3/4 Cup demerara sugar
    3/4 Cup granulated white sugar
    1/4 Cup Stevia
    Boil all sugars and water until sugars are dissolved. Add 1 Cup Everclear, 2 TBS almond extract (pure) and 1 TBS vanilla extract (pure).
    I also added a small vanilla bean but it hasn’t sat much yet.

    makes 5 cups.

  47. 48
    Pam Marlow-Price /

    Looks fabulous, can’t wait to make it. I have all the ingredients too! You wouldn’t happen to have a recipe for making coffee liquor using Everclear would you? Used to make it years ago but can’t remember the measurements.

    • 48.1

      Hi Pam, Yay and sorry I don’t have a recipe for coffee liqueur but maybe I should look into it : )

  48. 49
    Karen /

    Thanks for the information on making with Everclear. Can not wait to taste.

  49. 50
    Jodi /

    Several years ago I made a sugar free version using erythritol. It was wonderful and smooth and taking just like the real thing. The bonus was the diamonds that formed in the bottom of the bottle from some undissolved erythritol.

  50. 51
    Debbie /

    I was wondering if I can store this in my freezer!!! I love my amaretto real cold!! Almost like a syrup, it’s Delish…alcohol doesn’t freeze but this is home made!!

  51. 52
    Shervon /

    Made my first ever liquor recipe. Easy to make and the taste is just like the most expensive brands. Amaretto is my favorite.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  52. 53

    Awesome!! Thanks for your sharing!

  53. 54

    I would definitely want to try this out when i will get free time off work


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