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Order A Classic: Amaretto Sour

Jane Ryan | 10/05/2016

Amaretto, lemon, sugar, egg white and Angostura Bitters.

This silky cocktail has subtle marzipan notes, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

One of the more popular cocktails of the 21st century, the Amaretto Sour is a light, sweet drink given its silky texture from the inclusion of egg white. Amaretto is an Italian marzipan-flavoured liqueur, often consumed as a digestive, making this drink richer than classic spirit sours.

While the style of drink has been around since at least the 1850s, and amaretto well before that, the Amaretto Sour has only been a bar staple for the last five to ten years. If you prefer something with a little more strength this drink works incredibly well with bourbon. Pioneered by American Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the bourbon twist works by either shaking it in with the ingredients or floated on top of the finished cocktail, known as an A & B Sour.

"There are two things that impede all other Amaretto Sours from challenging mine," wrote Jeffrey "First off, the obvious: they’re too sweet. One does not simply use an everyday sour recipe to make a world-class Amaretto Sour, it must be adjusted for this particular liqueur. Second, and this is a big one: amaretto isn’t strong enough on its own to stand up to a bunch of other ingredients. It’s weak. It needs help. And for this, I enlist the assistance of an old friend...And that, my friends, is cask-proof bourbon."

Whether you want to stick to the tried and tested classic or discover a twist, not all good cocktail bars in London will be able to knock you up a great Amaretto Sour - simply because amaretto is not as ubiquitous as you might think. Ask the bar if they stock if first, and if not they'll probably be able to recommend a great alternative sour such as a Clover Club, Pisco Sour or Bison Sour. If they have amaretto we're in business. They'll also need fresh lemon juice, egg white, sugar syrup and bitters - and bourbon if you want to beef it up. 


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