Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur that was originally developed in Italy. It's popular in after-dinner cocktails and also used in sweet glazes, baked goods and cooking for its unique sweet almond flavor.
There are several popular brands of amaretto you can buy to keep your bar cart stocked, but, like most liqueurs, the recipe for amaretto isn't standard. Brands may use different flavorings and amounts of sugar, making the nutritional content unique. Brands use apricot pits, almond paste or almond extract for the liqueur's signature flavor — and some have more added sugar and higher alcohol content than others.
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A basic homemade amaretto consists of simple syrup combined with vodka, sugar, almond extract and possibly vanilla extract. Here are the basic nutrition facts and health risks of amaretto.
Amaretto Nutrition Facts
The standard serving size for liqueurs is 1 ounce. One ounce of amaretto liqueur may contain:
- Calories: 109
- Total fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Sugar: 11 g
- Protein: 0 g
Amaretto's percentage of alcohol by volume can vary among brands. Common brands range from 24 percent to 28 percent or 48 to 56 proof.
Amaretto Health Risks
While amaretto is a classic cocktail mixer used to sweeten and flavor glazes, pastries and other sweets, drinking too much too often can increase health risks.
People assigned female at birth (AFAB) should limit their alcohol intake to one drink per day or less while people assigned male at birth should stick to two or less drinks, per the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
It Could Lead to Weight Gain
Because amaretto has so few vitamins and minerals and no ingredients that are particularly filling or provide any nutritional value, it's fair to classify it as "empty calories," just like other alcoholic drinks.
And it's not just the empty calories. Lower inhibitions, increased appetite and the extra calories in your alcoholic drinks can all lead to weight gain. But, occasionally enjoying amaretto or other alcoholic drinks doesn't necessarily increase the risk of weight gain, according to a January 2015 study in Current Obesity Reports.
Alcoholic drinks like amaretto have significant long-term health effects on the body when drank in excess. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines excessive alcohol use as eight or more drinks per week for people AFAB and 15 or more drinks per week for people AMAB.
Excessive alcohol use increases the risk of chronic disease, according to the CDC, including:
- Cancer, including breast, cancers of the digestive tract, liver and voice box
- Depression and anxiety
- Weakened immune system
- Heart disease and stroke
- Liver disease
- Digestive problems
- Alcohol dependence