It is good to celebrate the holiday and in the morning, Italians can tell everything that happened. Their gourmet spirits are appreciated all over the world. One of the brightest representatives of the alcoholic world of Italy is Amaretto. This is an almond-flavored liquor. But, surprisingly, some species do not contain almonds at all. We will tell you about which brands produce the best amaretto, how this wonderful drink appeared, and much more.
If 50 years ago the alcohol market was not full of varieties of amaretto, then the question of choice did not arise at all. Now the situation is more complicated. Small companies can produce liquor, not filled with extracts of herbs, but with dyes and flavors. Therefore, it is very important to know the most famous brands. The oldest and most proven brands are Amaretto Disaronno and Amaretto Lazzaroni:
- Amaretto di Saronno, today called the Disaronno Originale, has a characteristic bitter-sweet taste of almonds (although it does not contain almonds and any other nuts) and contains 28% alcohol. Known for its original appearance: a rectangular glass carafe with a massive square lid. They make liquor in Saronno, but it is sold all over the world. The company describes the composition of the drink as "an infusion of apricot oil with alcohol, burnt sugar and extracts from 17 herbs and fruits." It has a bright amber color. Despite the fact that buyers are still called dishono amaretto, but since 2001 this word has not been in the name.
- Amaretto Lazzaroni (Lazzaroni Amaretto) - liqueur produced by Paolo Lazzaroni & Figli and positioned as "one of a kind". It is based on the infusion of amaretti cookies disaronno, which gives the delicate almond-apricot aroma to the drink. Contains 24% alcohol. Its history began back in 1718, and mass production dates back to 1851. The Lazzaroni family keeps the amaretto recipe a closely guarded secret.
There are several other brands that produce decent liquor: Italian Luxardo, Dutch Bols and De Kuyper, American Hiram Walker and Mr. Boston Russian versions of Amaretto type Amaretto San Lorenzo are more likely subspecies of the drink and are significantly inferior in taste to the original.
Although Disaronno is not called amaretto now, the whole world loves and knows exactly this kind of liquor. With her we will get to know each other better.
History can be considered disaronic as amaretto history. It counts almost half a millennium. Like many Italian products, the birth of this drink is associated with a beautiful legend.
Amaretto's roots go back to one of the most beautiful, creative and romantic periods - the Renaissance. In 1525, the artist Bernardino Luini was commissioned to make a fresco of the Madonna in Saronno. As a prototype, the author chose the beautiful Saronne innkeeper. As a sign of gratitude, she presented the master with a decanter of a fragrant, unique drink in amber color. So Amaretto was born - a gesture of goodwill, filled with secret ingredients.
The name "amaretto" arose from the word amaro, which means "bitter." This indicates the taste of the almonds used in the recipe. Bitterness is not repulsive and is tinted by the addition of sugar. Thus, the name of the liquor can be translated as "a little bit bitter." The similarity of the words amaro and amore (love) often leads to romantic associations.
In the early twentieth century, Dominico Reina opened a store located in the center of Saronno. It was in it that the disaronic originals were mass-produced and marketed.
The very first bottle was a classic, and then gradually the manufacturers developed the original decanter. In 1942, the first square bottle came out, complementing the uniqueness and originality of amaretto.
The first big export and surge in world popularity came in the 60s. First, the liquor was a victorious procession in Europe, and then conquered the United States. Its popularity outside Italy turned out to be much higher than what the manufacturers expected. In 1971, thanks to the glassblower from Venice (Venezia), the bottle disaronally acquired the final design.
In 2001, manufacturers made a clever marketing move. To distinguish its product from the Amaretto liquor line, it was decided to change its name to "Disaronno Original". Its recipe and manufacturing method is a secret enterprise of I.L.L.V.A. Saronno.
Of course, the homemade amaretto recipe is not too close to the original, but its taste will definitely please you. The union of a small number of components and a minimum of action under your leadership will give birth to a wonderful liquor.
So you will need:
- 0.5 l of alcohol (90 degrees);
- 0.5 l of water;
- 350 g of sugar;
- 250 g of bitter almonds;
- 1 g of cinnamon;
- 3 g of coriander.
Grind the almonds and mix it with cinnamon and coriander. Put the spices in a glass jar and fill with alcohol. Close the jar tightly and leave it to rest for 4 weeks in a dark, cool place.
When the tincture is ready, remove the precipitate by filtering the solution. Boil sugar with water for several minutes (until a syrup is obtained). Cool, add aromatic alcohol to it and pour the solution into the bottle. Forget it in a cool, dry, dark place. After 3 months, you will find homemade amaretto.
Following short recommendations, you can adjust the taste of homemade amaretto to your preference:
- If you do not really appreciate the light bitterness disaronno, then you can completely replace the bitter almonds with a sweet variety.
- To get a more saturated color, you need to use not white sugar, but brown.
- Water must be bottled or purified, otherwise impurities can affect the final taste of the drink.
- As spices, you can additionally add crushed apricot kernels, dried cherries, vanilla extract.
- If you are in a hurry, you can skip the period of infusion of spices, replacing them with ready-made extracts.
What to drink and how to use it in cooking
Amaretto can be drunk both independently and by adding ice. He is good with any aperitif. Therefore, combine it with your favorite snacks. Very popular coffee with the addition of liquor.
There are many alcoholic cocktails based on amaretto. Among them, the most famous and beloved:
- French liaison: amaretto 35 ml, cognac 35 ml, ice cubes 2 pcs.
- The Godfather: whiskey 35 ml, amaretto 35 ml, ice cubes 5 pcs.
- Godmother: vodka 35 ml, amaretto 35 ml, ice cubes optional.
- Goddaughter: amaretto 50 ml, cream 50 ml, ice cubes.
- Jenny Hurricane: Amaretto 50 ml, carbonated drink such as 7-up or Sprite 50 ml, ice cubes.
- Roasted almonds: Amaretto 40 ml, Calua coffee liquor 40 ml, cream 25 ml, ice cubes.
- Lazy lizard: dark rum 45 ml, amaretto 15 ml, cola 180 ml, ice cubes.
- Almond tree: equal amounts of amaretto, orange juice and soda, ice cubes.
- Amaretto Colada: white rum 50 ml, amaretto 30 ml, coconut liquor 30 ml, pineapple juice 130 ml.
- Amaretto Sauer (acid version): Amaretto 20 ml, bourbon 40 ml, lemon juice 15 ml, sugar syrup 10 ml, egg white 10 ml.
Amaretto is a component of many cooking recipes. It is added to desserts, including ice cream. It enhances the taste of pastries with almonds and emphasizes the chocolate flavor. Tiramisu (a famous Italian cake) is often soaked with original liquor or its non-alcoholic version.
Unsweetened recipes are also not alien to the liquor. They are poured various types of meat, in particular chicken. A few grams of amaretto can be added to the pancake dough. This will enrich their taste.
Amaretto is an indispensable ingredient in Almondine sauce, which is seasoned with fish and vegetables. If you like to cook cream cakes, then a couple of drops of liquor will make the taste of your treat simply unforgettable.
Disaronno acts as an excellent substitute for Orge syrup in those places where the latter is difficult to buy, or to reduce the sweetness of dessert.
Price in Russia and Italy
In Russia it is possible to find almost all well-known brands that produce amaretto. The most expensive purchase will be Disaronno Original, its price exceeds 2000 rubles per 700 ml. The approximate cost of 700 ml of a drink from other reputable companies will be:
- Lazzaroni Amaretto 900 p.
- Luxardo 1200-1300 p.
- Dutch Bols and De Kuyper 1300-1400 p.
Russian versions of amaretto can be bought at a price of up to 400 rubles per 500 ml. In Italy, it is possible to buy Disaronno Original at a price not exceeding 20 Euro per 700 ml. A drink from the Lazzaroni family will cost about 11 Euros per 750 ml.
Now you know everything so as not to be mistaken when choosing a quality amaretto. Live soberly, love intoxicatingly and travel competently. Fedor Uglov once said: "Tell people the truth about alcohol, and they will stop drinking." To paraphrase a Soviet surgeon, we retort: "Tell people the truth about Italian alcohol, and they will start drinking amaretto!" But remember, alcohol is not a way to turn into an animal, it is an opportunity to emphasize the taste of dishes and have a good time.