Amaretto – so elegant, so delicate and so melancholic. I used to believe that Amaretto was invented by a lover with a heartache that needed something to drawn his sorrow. And after reading more about the story of Amaretto you will notice how right I was. But this is not about me being right (it isn’t?) but about getting to know a few facts about this famous and intriguing drink.
This has its origins in Italy and it is a type of liqueur – a sweet alcoholic drink flavored with various ingredients. The name ‘liqueur’ comes from the Latin liquifacere meaning to dissolve or to melt and it refers to the process used in the creation of the liqueur. Usually, this specific type of drink is made out of almonds and apricots, but other fruits can also be added (cherries or peaches).
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Discover 7 Amaretto Interesting Facts
1. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, Amaretto is the love product of a widowed innkeeper. The legend says it was created somewhere in the 1520s in Saronno as a symbol of love and devotion towards the painter Bernardino Luini who used the widow as a model for the frescos of the local church portraying Virgin Mary. What screams out love better than booze, right?
2. Amaretto stands as a symbol of the 20th century being shown at a Louvre exhibition in 2000 belonging to the Italian artist Gianmaria Buccellati.
3. It is also a Hollywood drink being favored by Vivienne Westwood and Sadie Frost. Not to mention that it stared in the famous The Godfather (1972) signed by Francis Ford Coppola.
4. Reina family came in contact with the formula of the drink in the 18th century. Today this is known under the name of Disaronno ‘Originale’ – a mixture of alcohol, apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar and 17 fruits and herbs. This belongs to the Bacardi & Limited Company.
5. If you mix Amaretto with Cola you get a drink similar to Dr. Pepper. The only difference is that you get a little happier after drinking it.
6. Amaretto can be served straight up (usually after dinner), on the rocks (chilled, with ice cubes), with coffee, cream or various cocktails.
7. This is a very versatile drink and it can be combined in multiple ways in order to get the best cocktails ever: Almond Joy, Toasted Almond, Orgasm, Alabama Slammer, Amaretto Cranberry Kiss, Italian Sunset or Amaretto Alexander.
Amaretto Original Recipe
|1 cup dried apricots|
|1 1/2 cup distilled water|
|1/4 cup apricot kernels|
|1 1/2 cups vodka|
|1 allspice berry
|1/4 cup raw almonds
|1 tablespoon fennel seed|
|1 cardamom pod
|1 cup brandy|
|1/2 cup white sugar|
|1/2 cup turbinado sugar
How to prepare it?
1. Start by chopping the dried apricots and then soak them into 1 cup of distilled water for about half an hour. Now that you’ve started chopping real nicely, don’t stop. You still have the apricot kernels and almonds to chop. Good! Now, take a break and smash the cardamom, fennel and allspice into a mortar, leaving them broken and not dusty.
2. Remove the excessive water from the apricots and put them into a glass jar together with the spices. Drawn them in vodka and brandy, leaving them in the sealed jar for 25 days. Don’t forget to shake the jar on a regular basis.
3. Using a sieve, strain the solids and press down to get all the liquid you can. Use a coffee filter to make the operation run smoother.
4. Meanwhile, caramelize the white sugar (cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly). You know it’s ready when it turns into a brown liquid. Separately, in another pot, boil the turbinado sugar with 1/2 cup of water in order to get a syrup. These operations will take approximately 10 minutes. Turn the heat on the syrup and reduce it on the caramelized sugar. Pour the first syrup into the caramelized one, stirring continuously. After a while you will get a thick combination that you will have to mix with 1/2 cup of vodka and then place it into a jar to cool.
5. Go back to the amaretto liquid and make sure everything has passed through the coffee filter. Add the sugar combo to your own taste and let this rest for 2-3 days. You can store it to room temperature for up to 6 months.
It does take some time to prepare it but once it’s done you won’t be able to resist it. So stash up for 6 months and live life in a bitter-sweet mode. Long live Amaretto!
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