Amaretto Sour

Amaretto Sour
Photo by Aaron Graubart

Courtesy Jeff Morgenthaler, bartender, Pépé le Moko, Portland, Oregon

When Morgenthaler bragged, “I make the best Amaretto Sour in the world,” I was skeptical, too. But after trying it, I’m a convert. The secret? Add Bourbon, specifically a high-strength version, to add punch to the nutty liqueur. In place of prefab sour mix, Morgenthaler makes his own sour (lemon plus simple syrup), then adds egg white for body and froth. A word on technique: a “dry shake” (without ice) emulsifies the egg white for a nice foamy head. A second shake with ice chills and dilutes the drink.

  • 1½ ounces amaretto liqueur
  • ¾ ounce cask-proof Bourbon, like Booker’s
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
  • ½ ounce beaten egg white
  • Thick piece of lemon peel (for garnish)
  • Brandied cherry (for garnish)

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except garnishes. Shake well. Scoop in ice, and shake again. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass over fresh ice cubes. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherry (wrap the peel around the cherry and spear with a toothpick).

Published on August 9, 2016
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She’s the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip., NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening and Cocktails With a Twist, released August 2019. Email:

The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories