Drink of the Month, April 2012: Amaretto

For those of you who love almonds, you’re in luck – April 19 is National Amaretto Day. Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored Italian liqueur, made from almond pits or apricots, sometimes both. It is normally used in mixed drinks, but also can be found in a variety of recipes, especially desserts such as cookies, tiramisu and cake glazes. Perhaps the most well-known amaretto is Disaronno Originale, which actually does not contain almonds or nuts.

Earlier this year I shared a recipe for a roasted, toasted almond, which combines 2 oz. vanilla vodka, Kahlúa, amaretto and fat-free Half & Half. These are so good on a cold winter’s day. Check out my blog entry on Kahlúa, February’s drink of the month, for the recipe.

Now that warmer weather is here I want something a little bit lighter. Since amaretto sours are usually too sweet for me, due to premixed sour mixes most bars tend to use. I decided to combine some recipes I found on the Internet and came up with what I call Amaretto Sour Sangria. It combines amaretto with Prosecco (you can’t go wrong with Italian bubbly) and fresh citrus fruit for a light and refreshing summertime drink, with just a hint of nutty almond flavor to make it different from most sangrias.

Amaretto Sour Sangria

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • ¾ cup Prosecco
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup (melt ½ cup sugar in ¼ cup boiling water until dissolved, cool)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground orange peel
  • Lemon, lime and orange slices to garnish

Preparation

In a small pitcher, combine the Prosecco, amaretto, lemon juice and simple sugar and stir well.

Combine the sugar, lemon and orange peels in a bowl. Rub the cut edge of one of the citrus fruits around the rim of your glass and then evenly coat it with the sugar mixture.

Fill the sugar-rimmed glass with ice, and then add the Prosecco and amaretto mixture. Garnish with slices of orange, lemon and lime.

Happy National Amaretto Day!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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