Amaretto shots and almonds.
What Gives Amaretto Its Distinct Almond Flavor?

Amaretto is often described as almond-flavored, but the most famous brand, Disaronno, doesn't even use almonds to create its signature taste.

Apricot kernel oil mimics the flavor of almonds, caramelized sugar, and more than a dozen herbs and spices. Kernels found in the pits of apricots do taste similar to almonds.

While some amaretto brands use real steeped almonds, the more popular method is using apricot kernels. Disaronno, the oldest amaretto brand in Italy, uses the standard formula.

Depending on the brand, this liqueur also uses other unusual ingredients in its recipe. Amaretto developed a complex formula and spin-off liqueurs that are equally intriguing.