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.