Disaronno Amaretto

Origin: Italy
28% Alcohol (56 Proof)

Amaretto is much like any liqueur, often too sweet and funky, rarely hitting that perfect balance between flavor, sweetness, and alcohol content.  It's a fine line to tow.  Unfortunately, the market is flooded with liqueurs that are cloyingly sweet and almost unbearable to drink unless heavily mixed and hidden.  Trust me, I've had many. Disaronno happens to be one exception (I've reviewed a few from Hiram Walker, as well, which are also above average).
Disaronno, which used to be called Amaretto di Saronno, is an Italian liqueur.  I find it odd that they don't even call it "amaretto," but simply "an Italian liqueur."  It is reportedly made from a recipe dating to 1525 which includes apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar, and "seventeen various herbs and fruits."  I don't know if all of that is accurate, especially the date of the recipe, but who cares.  It may just be a marketing gimmick, but what really matters is how it tastes.

Disaronno pours an dark amber, with hints of ruby.  It smells of fresh cherries, vanilla, and of course, sweet almonds.  You sip and get a deep, sweet almond extract, followed by what I can only describe as milk chocolate covered cherries, with hints of vanilla and fruit (coming from the apricot oil is my guess).  It finishes smooth and leaves a sweet, lingering cherry and nutty taste in your mouth.  

I have to say, this is clearly the best amaretto liqueur I've ever had.  It's popular for good reason, definitely.  Just ask my wife.  She rarely drinks, as in pretty much never.  I've tried to find things she enjoys (Smirnoff Melon Vodka for example), but almost all attempts have failed horribly, leaving a bottle of nasty shit in my liquor cabinet that I have to drink. (I can't throw it away, that's a waste of alcohol!)  Disaronno, however, has changed that fate.  Now at least she will have a drink at least every week or two.  I'm not saying I want her to get drunk, but hey, loosen up.  I don't want to always be drinking by myself.  Plus, moderate drinking is good for you.  So there, drink up, wifey!  Have a few! Get wild!  ...Okay, so drinking to the point that you get buck wild probably isn't good for you, but that's beside the point.  Anyway, so Disaronno it is.  My wife enjoys it on the rocks with some Coke or Pepsi, which actually tastes pretty damn good honestly.  If I'm mixing something with cola, I generally prefer a spiced rum like the Kraken or Captain Morgan, but this clearly works.  It's just a shame that it's only 56 proof.  I'm not saying I want another Bacardi 151, but c'mon!  At least give me a solid 80 proof like most spirits.  Oh well, it still works, and I will still keep finishing my wife's Disaronno and Cola when she says she's "full," while enjoying it.  

Drink This: if you want one of the best amaretto liqueurs around.  Drink it on the rocks or mixed with cola, I'm telling you!  Delicious.
Don't Drink This: if you are looking for something high-proof to have neat.  This could be had neat, certainly, but the sweetness will turn off many whisky drinkers.  

If they someday make a Disaronno that's 100 proof, consider me there waiting in line at the liquor store for a bottle.                


  1. Excellent review. You vividly convey the flavors. FYI - I'll drink Disoronno neat, as a big whisky snob. It's on the short list of liqueurs I consider best taken neat (Cointreau, B&B, Red Stag, Sabra, and Sortilege are a few others).

    1. I agree it's not too bad neat, which I can't say about many liqueurs. Disaronno surprised me.

      I'll still take a bourbon or scotch neat over this, though...

    2. Granted. Liqueurs are for mixing - generally. Good liqueurs are a dessert item. Good whisky is an epicurean delight to be enjoyed anytime afternoon or night. Good whisky is always my preference too (unless I feel like Cognac).

  2. like all whiskeys and liquers but i have to say was so surprised by the easy drinking and lovely after taste off this desperate to buy more great stuff

  3. I did not like this one at all. I have a hard time understanding where people come up with the description of the flavor. I'm not tasting anything of the sort. The only thing I taste is a mixture of cough medicine, maple syrup and about a pound of sugar mixed together.

    In its defense, it makes a decent mix with coke. It morphs it into something similar to a Dr. Pepper which is pretty neat.

    1. Cough medicine, maple syrup, and sugar? Interesting how you perceived it so differently. I still get cherries, chocolate, almonds, and a light fruitiness every time I taste it. Despite our disagreement, I agree, it does mix extremely well with cola! Cheers!

  4. I am a DIE HARD Disaronno fan. When I'm not looking fot a high quality whiskey (like Maker's Mark or Crown Royal Black), I often turn to Disaronno and Tuaca with Root Beer or Coke. Nice, simple yet wide ranging cocktail.

    Disaronno thick flavor is great for beginning drinkers where as its superior proof to most amaretto liqueurs makes it acceptable to more social drinkers. GREAT review!!

  5. I love your review Bob, and your real way with words. You rock and so does Disaronno.

  6. No one has mentioned Disaronno with Ginger Ale. Other than club soda it's the only soda we buy and it's strictly for the Disarrono. Absolutely delicious!

  7. It is great with a really good vanilla ice cream and shortbread cookies.
    P.S., Bob: Spell-check is O.K., but you "toe" the fine line and "tow" your car!!

  8. It's interesting someone mentioned that mixed with coke it tastes like Dr. Pepper because Dr. P. is what I was taught at a bar to mix it with. Also, it is good mixed with O.J. and we do a fair amount of Disaronno Sours...Tuaca is what we call a poor man's amaretto. Gionelli's has an ameretto that is spot on for Disaranno and I have yet to find a Disaranno aficianado that can blind taste test the difference.. and it sells at 2-3x less

  9. equal parts Disaronno and Vodka... fastest lane to La-la land :]
    oh and btw: http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/toeline.html

  10. Im having some now and as a former bartender I love it on the rocks with a splash of Havana Club which is cuban rum and it gives it a kick. Excellant cocktail!

  11. I don’t like the kind of vodka taste that burns your pipes, but on the contrary I like it smooth and mellow and something which I can sneak up on right quick.


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