Serious Eats: Recipes
Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that tastes like almonds, though it's made from apricot kernels. It's a happy marriage of bitter and sweet, equally at home in a brandy cocktail as it is in biscotti. It's fun to create a personalized mix of spices, nuts, and fruit for an amaretto that tastes completely different than anything you can find in a shop. Controlling how much sugar goes in is the biggest advantage to making it at home.
- Many health food stores carry apricot kernels, but you can also order them online. They look like almonds, but are bitter.
- Mahlab is the stone of a sour cherry, used frequently in Mediterranean cooking. It's also known as English cherry or rock cherry. Many spice shops and Mediterranean markets carry it, but you can also order it online.
- If you cannot get 100-proof vodka, standard 80-proof vodka will also work.
- Straining through a coffee filter is a slow process, but it is necessary to remove the fine sediment.
- You can substitute white sugar for the turbinado sugar or vice versa. Keep in mind that turbinado sugar is much richer, so you'll have to adjust by taste in the final product. Use caution when caramelizing sugar, since it will be scalding hot. It will turn to hard candy if you combine it with a cool liquid, so it is important you use hot simple syrup to mix. When adding the sugar mixture, start by adding less than you think you'll need and then tasting, especially if you choose to add vanilla extract at the end.