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Amaretto is a sweet almond flavoured liqueur, predominantly associated with Saronno, Italy. Often made with almonds, or apricot kernels, the name is a derived from a mixtures of Saronno itself and the Italian word amaro meaning bitter, due to the use of the bitter almonds, though these are often combined with sweeter almonds, making it much more palatable.
Whilst some brands make amaretto purely from almonds, Disaronno is a nut free version with the distinctive flavour hailing form the kernel found in apricots pits, though is has not marketed itself as an amarettoe since 2001. The legend of amaretto goes back as far as the 16th century, when a Saronno church commissioned artist Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo da Vinci's pupils, to paint their sanctuary with frescoes. As the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Luini needed to depict the Madonna, but was in need of a model. He found his inspiration in a young widowed innkeeper, who became his model and (in most versions) lover. Out of gratitude and affection, the woman wished to give him a gift. Her simple means did not permit much, so she steeped apricot kernels in brandy and presented the resulting concoction to a touched Luini.Read More