So, you bought that bottle of amaretto to mix in your cocoa and coffee this winter when you were battling foul weather and winter sickness. But now that it’s spring, the bottle doesn’t get much use and it’s taking space on your bar. To help you put that bottle to good use, here are five alternative ways to use the almond-flavored liqueur.
Mix It with Ginger Beer
While you might assume that mixing ginger beer with the dessert liqueur will create a cocktail that is overly sweet, it’s actually bright, refreshing and gingery—as long as you use the right ginger beer. We like one that’s on the spicier side, like Reed’s or Fever Tree. Mix the ginger beer with about 1.5 ounces of amaretto, then add a couple dashes of Angostura bitters and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to dry out the drink.
Mix It with Soda
If you’re not a fan of ginger beer and want the driest, least dessert-y take on an amaretto cocktail, simply mix the liqueur with a topper of soda water. A delicious aperitif (even if amaretto is technically a digestif), this Highball is one of our favorites all year round. If you’re feeling fancy, add a couple dashes of absinthe for a touch of black licorice bitterness.
Mix It with Bourbon
Bourbon tames amaretto’s sweetness, while the liqueur softens the whiskey’s boozy heat and brings out the spirit’s nutty oakiness and vanilla notes. You can either mix the two spirits in a glass neat (use equal parts of each) or make a variation on an Old Fashioned using the liqueur in lieu of simple syrup. Add a couple dashes or either orange bitters or black walnut bitters and you have a potently delicious nightcap.
Mix It with Scotch
While adding equal parts of scotch and amaretto will get you the disco-era staple known as the Godfather, the two spirits work together in other ways as well. You can mix them with seltzer, tonic or sparkling lemonade for a smoky, sweet Highball. You can riff on the Rob Roy by replacing sweet vermouth with equal parts fino sherry and amaretto. Or, if you really want to try something off-beat, you can make a Poison Dart with scotch in place of bourbon and amaretto instead of orgeat. It makes for one of the most unusual, refreshing tiki libations ever.
Mix It with Citrus
Fresh citrus is one of the best compliments to nutty amaretto. While most amaretto drinkers are familiar with an Amaretto Sour—which pairs the liqueur with the bright acidity of lemon juice—the spirit works just as well paired with lime, pineapple or orange juice. Substitute amaretto for orgeat in a Mai Tai, or use it in place of agave syrup in a Margarita (use a reposado tequila rather than a blanco). It also surprisingly works incredibly well in a Screwdriver in place of vodka. You can also float it on top of a Painkiller or a Piña Colada as an extra boozy garnish.