Disaronno Brand Ambassador Encourages Celebrating National Amaretto Day
April 19th is National Amaretto Day. Amaretto is a sweet Italian amber colored liqueur that is often enjoyed as a cordial on the rocks, but can also be used in a variety of cocktails — most notably the Amaretto Sour, who in the last few years has made quite the comeback and was named #22 on Drinks International's list of The World's Best Selling Cocktails in 2018.
Amaretto first came about in 1525 using a secret formula that is said to be completely unchanged since it's creation. That original recipe is the Disaronno we know and love today. To kick off National Amaretto Day, we sat down with Disaronno's Southeast US Brand Ambassador Matt Hirsch to give us the scoop on the first ever amaretto brand.
Here's what he had to say:
- How did amaretto get its start?
- How amaretto came to be is a long but beautiful history, so I will try to give you a summarized version. It started in 1525, close to 500 years ago when a beautiful inn keeper in Saronno, Italy gave the famous artist Bernardino Luini, a brilliant pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, a flask full of an amber liqueur as a token of her appreciation. For the artist had just completed painting the frescos in a small local church and had picked her to be his muse as he painted the now famous “Madonna of the Miracles” in the church. Giovanni Reina shortly thereafter rediscovered the recipe for this amber liqueur which was passed secretly from generation to generation within the Reina family for centuries until the early 1900’s when Domenico Reina opened up a shop in the heart of Saronno and began selling the liqueur which was originally named Amaretto di Saronno, but is now simply know as Disaronno. Disaronno is still family owned and produced by the Reina family in Saronno, Italy to this day.
- What makes Disaronno different from other amaretto?
- Most importantly, Disaronno is the original amaretto. Also, it is important to know that while most amarettos have some element of artificial flavoring and/or coloring, Disaronno is still 100% natural and I believe the only amaretto that can say this.
- What's one interesting fact most people don't know about amaretto?
- Most people think real amaretto is made from almonds. However, real amaretto is made from apricots, but not the actual fruit of the apricot. Stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, & apricots have a pit. Inside the pit of an apricot is a small kernel, which is a little bitter almond. It’s these bitter almonds that are the base of amaretto. That is also where it gets it’s name from... Amaretto comes from the Italian word “Amaro” which means “bitter” and thus “amaretto” means “little bitter” named after the little bitter almond kernel found in the pit of the apricot from which it is made.
- How do you drink your Disaronno?
- It’s a toss up between two totally different things, which is very much my drinking style. It's either mezcal and Disaronno on the rocks with bitters, either pineapple or grapefruit. Or on the other end it's a classic Disaronno sour with egg white and a little high proof bourbon.
Craving some amaretto to celebrate National Amaretto Day? We've got four spots with Hirsch approved cocktail specials that are ready to celebrate with you:
Everyone's favorite Brickell bar, Better Days, is ready to celebrate National Amaretto Day in true Miami fashion with its chalkboard special of the day: Dis Flamingo Lyfe made with Disaronno, Writers' Tears Whiskey, Maestro Dobel Reposado, Flor de Caña 7, fresh lime and grapefruit, and house orgeat, topped with Peychaud's Bitters.
If you're celebrating National Amaretto Day on the beach, make sure to stop in to Repour Bar at the Albion Hotel. Order a Flippin' Nuts made with Disaronno, Irish whiskey, simple syrup, Fee Bros black walnut bitters, Fee Bros barrel aged bitters, and one whole egg.
Death or Glory
Head up north to get your amaretto fix at one of our favorite tiki bars. Death or Glory will be celebrating with a special cocktail called, Nut Messing Around featuring Disaronno, Rhum Agricole, lime, Lyles Golden syrup, and rose water.
Beaker and Gray
Check out our friends in Wynwood at Beaker & Gray with a special amaretto cocktail for the day called I'm Not Spicy! I'm Italian! featuring Disaronno, Zucca, mezcal, fresh lime juice, thai chili syrup, and egg white. Ask for Gabriel — he's the mastermind behind this feisty cocktail.