A tip of that hat to our Italian friends in this month’s Mixologist Guide with a twist on the old classic, the Amaretto Sour.

By Liam Ramshaw

Be it football, fashion, women, wine, or cars that shine, if the Italians do something you can guarantee that they will do it with style. In a country where wine flows like water, drinking is a true art. So what better way to enjoy a taste of the La Vita Bella than to indulge in a couple of Italian-themed aperitivi.

The original Amaretto recipe boasts an impressive lineage dating back to the Renaissance. The story goes that in 1525, in the small city of Saronno in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, a brilliant young artist and former student of Leonardo da Vinci called Bernardino Luini was commissioned to paint a fresco of the Madonna of the Miracles. Luini was in need of a model for the fresco and found his inspiration in a young widowed innkeeper, who became his muse and (in most versions of the story) lover. As a token of her affection she prepared for the artist a special gift of a flask full of an almond liqueur upon the completion of the fresco.

The cocktail is simplicity itself to make, but provides a complex spectrum of flavours, from the sticky sweetness of the Amaretto to the tart sourness of the lemon and just a hint of bitterness from the Angostura. It’s the cocktail equivalent of being kissed by a beautiful Italian lady—and then immediately slapped about the face. You know that it was delicious, you know that you probably deserved it, and you know that the only sensible option is to have another one. Salute!

Add all the ingredients into a shaker (without ice), and shake until the egg white is completely emulsified. Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake again. Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice and brandied cherries, if desired.

–2 shots of DiSaronno Amaretto
–1 shot of lemon juice
–½ egg white (beaten)
–Dash of Angostura Bitters