Homemade Amaretto

Homemade amaretto in a cut crystal glass.

I think we should give more homemade gifts this Christmas, starting with bottles of my Homemade Amaretto.

I’m sitting here, typing this in the final few hours of Black Friday. I’ve been bombarded with email discounts, but the only thing I’ve ordered is a copy of Mansions of Madness (ad) the board game because J and I have wanted it for ages and it was the cheapest we’d seen anywhere? Christmas music started way too early, and even though I’m looking forward to feeling festive, I’m feeling very anti commercialism at the moment. Hence why we’re talking homemade gifts this year that can be made and given with love, rather than just ordering something else from Amazon.

Amaretto in a cut crystal glass wiht the bottle in the background.
Bottle and glass of homemade amaretto on a gold star strewn background.

So, as I mentioned, I think you should make up a big batch of homemade amaretto to gift in pretty bottles, or just as a gift for yourself to enjoy over Christmas, or to use in a batch of my Amaretti Biscuits. Surprisingly enough you just need a few simple ingredients (sugar, vanilla pods, vodka, almond extract) and I think it makes the perfect handmade gift because it only takes a week to infuse, unlike, say, a batch of Sloe Brandy – I’ve still got to wait until Christmas Eve to crack my batch open! (And who is able to save it until next year for gifting without drinking it?!)

Literally my only caveat here is to make sure you buy alcohol, not oil based almond extract – Nielsen-Massey make a good one (ad) – because oil and vodka don’t mix. Obviously. Not realising what I had in stock was oil not alcohol based like I thought, I learned this one the hard way developing this recipe! Please don’t make my mistake!

I know lots of people use apricot kernels for a fancier homemade amaretto, but this is simple, and in a side by side test with a bottle of Disaronno, there was barely anything in it.

Overhead shot of a glass of homemade amaretto.

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Bottle and glass of homemade amaretto on a gold star strewn background.

Homemade Amaretto

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Infusing Time: 1 week
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes approx. 400ml
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


Learn how to DIY almond-flavoured amaretto liquor at home – perfect for Christmas gifting or to use in holiday cocktails!


  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 75g (2 3/4 oz) golden caster sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 260ml (1 cup) vodka
  • 1 tbsp alcohol-based pure almond extract


  1. Combine both sugars and the water in a medium saucepan set over a medium heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile, split the vanilla pod lengthways and place it in a preserving jar that will hold at least 500ml (2 cups).
  3. Pour over the sugar syrup and stir in the vodka and almond extract. Leave to cool before closing the lid and leaving in a cool dark place for 1 week.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod and transfer the amaretto into a clean bottle for storage.