Amaretto vs Disaronno: A Comparison Guide For You


Now, who doesn’t like to settle down after a long day of work with a refreshing drink?

We’ve all been there, and if you’re anything like us, you probably want something strong, like an amaretto sour. What’s fantastic is that you can make your own at home, or even drink amaretto neat or on the rocks.

You probably came across Disaronno in the liqueur store as you’re searching for amaretto. This probably has you wondering: what’s the difference between Amaretto vs Disaronno? 

Short answer: Almost nothing, really! But we’ll tackle the tiny differences and frequently asked questions to help you know more about liqueur, so read on! 

What’s The Difference Between Amaretto and Disaronno?

There aren’t a ton of differences between amaretto and Disaronno because the latter is a brand of amaretto. Think of it as how Guinness is a brand of beer! 

Disaronno was once originally branded as Amaretto di Saronno, coming from Saronno, and started production in 1525. However, it is now rebranded as Disaronno. That said, there is one significant difference between original amaretto and Disaronno, and that’s the nut content.

Amaretto is made of almonds, while Disaronno has no almonds. However, it mimics the flavors of the original amaretto through other ingredients like herbs and spices. There are no nuts involved in producing Disaronno, which is beneficial for those allergic to them. That said, it’s still best to check the ingredient list, as certain Disaronno drinks may contain apricot pits or almonds. 

Fun fact: There are different drinks under Disaronno, such as Disaronno Sour, Disaronno Velvet Cream Liqueur, Disaronno Riserva, Disaronno Fizz, and more! 

Disaronno Originale Amaretto is a 56-proof (27% ABV) almond-flavored liqueur, featuring an amber color with almond taste. It’s considered the OG Italian liqueur produced in the Lombardy region from northern Italy. While it has no almonds or nuts, it uses apricot kernel oil, absolute alcohol, burnt sugar, and 17 selected fruits and herbs. 

On the other hand, amaretto is also an amber-hued Italian almond-flavored liqueur, which has a ton of flavors of almonds, bunt sugar, and marzipan. Similar to how we defined Disaronno but with almonds. 

Fun fact: Amaretto translated to “a little bitter” in Italian and was also produced in Saronno, Italy.

Interestingly enough, some amaretto brands don’t include almonds, like Disaronno. According to Matteo Luxardo, export director of Luxardo, the sweet liqueur was once made using bitter almonds. Now, it’s usually produced using essences of apricot, peach, and cherry stones for flavor. (*)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still left with questions regarding amaretto vs Disaronno? Check out these frequently asked questions:

1. Do Amaretto vs Disaronno Taste Different?

Yes, while both Amaretto and Disaronno are almond-flavored liqueurs, they do have some subtle differences in taste. Amaretto has a stronger almond flavor, while Disaronno is smoother and more mellow. Disaronno also has hints of apricot and cherry, while Amaretto is sweeter.

1. What can you do with Amaretto or Disaronno?

You can make the original Amaretto Sour, Italian Coffee, or serve on its own over ice after dinner.

We love to pair it with biscotti or infuse the liqueurs into our baked dishes for that almond flavor and kick. 

Fun fact: It’s said that the Amaretto Sour is a woman’s drink, being particularly popular among female college students. That’s because people get a buzz from it easily without knowing, and thanks to the drink’s soft, sweet, and delicate flavor. 

2. What can I use as amaretto or Disaronno substitute?

You can use various beverages and ingredients as a substitute for amaretto and Disaronno, such as almond extract, almond syrup, hazelnut liqueur, orgeat syrup, marzipan, and other almond-based liqueurs! 

3. What are the other amaretto brands?

There are numerous other amaretto brands, with the Disaronno Originale Amaretto being dubbed as one of the best brands. However, there are other great bottles of amaretto, depending on your wants and needs, such as:

  • Amaretto di Amore is great if you’re on a budget but don’t want to scrimp on taste, as it has a thick and intense finish without the intense sweetness.
  • Gozio Amaretto Liqueur is the best top-shelf bottle, being an all-natural amaretto without artificial extracts and flavors.
  • Caffo Amaretto can replace dessert with its marzipan punch.
  • Hiram Walker Amaretto is suitable to mix in cocktails. It’s also very affordable! 
  • Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira Liqueur is best suited for special occasions, which has a blend of unique flavors from cherries, peaches, apricots, and sugared almonds.
  • Lazzaroni Amaretto is a good gift option, which is authentic amaretto with notes of sweet almonds, biscotti, and grilled nuts rather than the usual herb or fruit essence. It comes beautifully packaged, making it an impressive present for liqueur enthusiasts and connoisseurs!

Fun fact: Amaretto is 42-54 proof (21-28% ABV). It’s a bit of a strong liqueur, but that depends on your alcohol tolerance. It’s possible to get drunk off it if you drink too much!

Wrapping It Up

There is actually no significant difference between amaretto and Disaronno besides the presence of almonds. Either way, you get a liqueur with a refreshing and delectable finish with notes of almonds, perfect for various cocktails and desserts!

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