(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)


On April 19th, National Amaretto Day recognizes a liqueur known around the world for its flavor and aroma. 

In Italian, the word Amaretto means “a little bitter,” because it is made from bitter almonds or apricot kernels, or both. Makers infuse it in pure alcohol or brandy, resulting in a strong almond flavor. This traditionally Italian liqueur carries a reputation for being fragrant.

Shrouded in Secrecy and Lore

Taking us back to the 1525 Renaissance in Saronno, Italy, painter Bernardino Luini selected a young innkeeper as his model for a fresco of the Madonna of the Miracles. In gratitude for being selected, the innkeeper gave the artist a gift of her own secret blend of almond and brandy. For centuries, the family held the recipe as a closely guarded secret. However, the Di Saronno family began producing its amaretto for a broader market in the 20th century. The liqueur began appearing for sale in advertisements in the United States in the late 1940s, and the family still bottles their recipe today.

Another Amaretto tale comes from the same area of Italy. However, this story tells of a young Lazzaroni couple blessed by the Cardinal of Milan in 1718. The couple honored his visit with a unique recipe of their own, producing an amaretto cookie like no other. And this one came also came in a bottle. Of course, they also closely guarded their recipe generations. In 1851, the Lazzaroni family began selling their amaretto liqueur, and the family is still producing it today.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalAmarettoDay

  • Sip or mix up an amaretto drink.
  • Celebrate with an amaretto baked good. The aroma alone is quite satisfying.
  • Amaretto also complements coffee and citrus beverages too.
  • Thanks to amaretto flavor syrups you can also enjoy delicious mocktails.
  • Experiment with recipes or share your favorites. We even have a recipe for you to try.
  • Use #NationalAmarettoDay to share on social media. 


National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this liqueur holiday. 

Amaretto FAQ

Q. Aren’t bitter almonds toxic?
A. Bitter almonds and apricot seeds do contain a poison called hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Hold up a moment if you’re thinking that the bartender is literally asking you to pick your poison. The process used to make amaretto and the use of almond extracts in many of the amarettos made today negate any traceable (read poisonous) amounts of HCN.

Q. What goes well with amaretto?
A. Amaretto is a flexible liqueur. Mix it with your creamy liqueurs and vodkas. Be creative or ask your bartender their favorite mixes. Nutty, sweet, and chocolate flavors also go well with amaretto. Or, start simply and mix it with a citrus soda.


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