When thinking of Amaretto liqueur, you instantly think of Disaronno's iconic square-shaped bottle. And Disaronno Amaretto has not only defined the bottle design of countless Amaretto brands but is also exemplary in its delicate taste.
It's sweet with a distinct flavor of marzipan, almonds, and hints of herbs. In total, seventeen different spices and fruits are used in the production of Disaronno.
Based on a neutral spirit made from sugar beets and sugar cane, Disaronno Originale is flavored with bitter almond oil and vanilla and sweetened with a mix of water and sugar from sugar beets.
What is Disaronno?
Disaronno Orignale is the most popular Amaretto liqueur from Italy. Like many other Amaretto liqueurs, it has a sweet taste of almonds, toasted nuts, and marzipan.
The liqueur is bottled at 28% ABV in most parts of the world. However, in Spain, Australia, and some other countries, the bottling strength is lower at 20% ABV.
The reason is a practical one: you can only advertise an alcoholic beverage as a liqueur up to a defined ABV. And in some countries, that limit is below the 28% mark.
Disaronno's Amaretto is also known for its beautiful square-shaped, decanter-like bottle design. This design comes from a glass artist from Murano, a place famous for its glass design.
Disaronno Amaretto Facts
|Type of Alcohol||Liqueur|
|Produced in||Saronno, Italy|
|Taste||Sweet marzipan, toasted nuts, and almond|
|Color||Medium to dark amber|
|ABV||28% (56 proof) or 20% (40 proof)|
What Disaronno Orignale Amaretto is made of
Disaronno Originale is based on a neutral spirit made from sugar beets and sugar cane. The alcoholic base is then flavored with bitter almond oil and vanilla and sweetened with a mix of water and sugar made from sugar beets.
Interestingly, although the liqueur tastes like almonds, no almonds are involved in making Disaronno Amaretto. Instead, the almond flavor comes from apricot kernels used to produce bitter almond oil.
Disaronno is famous for its distinctively sweet taste of marzipan, toasted nuts, almonds, and Madagascar vanilla.
As the bottle is clear, you can instantly see the amber to dark-amber color of Amaretto Disaronno.
How to pair Disaronno Originale Amaretto
The sweet and nutty flavor of Disaronno makes it an excellent match for dark and aged spirits. Pair it with aged Rum, Cogan, or Whiskey to get a tasty yet easy-to-make cocktail.
But Disaronno also works beautifully in combination with coffee, no matter if it's cold or hot.
And if you're looking to spice it up, ginger beer is a great mixer for Disaronno. To balance the sweet and spicy flavors, add a splash of lime juice and a dash or two of Angostura bitters if you like.
Cocktails to make with Disaronno Amaretto
Disaronno cocktails can be as easy as the Godfather or the French Connection. The first is a two-ingredient drink with Disaronno and Whiskey, the latter a mix of Cognac and Disaronno.
But there are many tasty Amaretto drinks to try. Check out this overview of the best Disaronno cocktails, and perhaps you'd like to let me know which one you liked best.
The history of Disaronno Amaretto
Disaronno Amaretto Originale first appeared in 1900 when Domenico Reina produced his liqueur in a small workshop. Back then, the almond-flavored liqueur was filled into ordinary glass bottles.
As the legend goes, the recipe Reina used to make this liqueur dates back to the Renaissance. More precisely, to 1525 when a student of Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint frescos for the Santuario Madonna dei Miracoli in Saronno.
The Santuario Madonna dei Miracoli, or Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Miracles, was built in Saronno during the 1400s.
In 1525, student Bernardo Luini was hired to paint a fresco of the Virgin Mary and was searching for a Muse. He chose a beautiful innkeeper who also fell in love with Luini.
As a token of her gratitude, the innkeeper prepared a special gift for him. She gifted him a bottle of an amber-colored, fragrant liqueur made of apricot kernels soaked in brandy - the origin of Disaronno.
The Reina family claims to have rediscovered this original recipe of Amaretto liqueur but didn't want to commercialize it until 1900.
The Rise of Disaronno Amaretto
In 1942, Disaronno introduced a square-shaped bottle for the first time. And it didn't take long to pay off. The company flourished, and ILLVA was founded in 1947.
ILLVA stands for Industria, Lombarda, Liquori, Vini & Affini and, to this day, sells various spirits, liqueurs, wines, and similar products.
In the 1960s, Disaronno Amaretto experienced a real boom. After promoting the almond liqueur internationally, it quickly became a success in Europe and in the US.
The iconic Disaronno bottle
The success leads to a much-needed re-design of the Disaronno bottle. The Reina family and the brand Disaronno challenged designers and artisans to create a new bottle. The design should reflect the tradition and quality Disaronno Amaretto stands for.
A master glassmaker from Murano, Venice, created the bottle now known all over the world. The bottle design became an integral part of the brand and is only adjusted slightly since then.
Disaronno's Originale Amaretto is no longer the only product sold by Disaronno. Disaronno Velvet is a tasty cream liqueur that combines a rich and creamy texture with an intense almond and vanilla flavor.
The consistency and mouthfeel of Disaronno Velvet are thicker - in a pleasant way. It's not overly sweet and has a nice balance making it a great alternative to classic cream liqueurs like Baileys.
If you want to try it in a cocktail, try replacing the cream part of a White Russian with Disaronno Velvet.