Today is National Amaretto Day! Amaretto is a popular Italian liqueur that is a common ingredient in many dishes and beverages. Its most notable characteristic is its strong almond flavoring. This flavor comes from apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar, and spices. The name "amaretto" means "slightly bitter" and refers to the aftertaste of the drink.
Although amaretto did not arrive in the United States until the 1960's, it can be traced all the way back to 16th century Italy. According to legend, a painter named Bernadino Luini traveled to Saronno in northern Italy and met a beautiful widow. When he asked her to be the model for one of his paintings she expressed her gratitude by presenting him with the first amaretto drink.
Celebrate this historical liqueur tonight by enjoying a divine glass of amaretto or try adding it to one of your recipes for some delicious almond flavoring!