Wine Wednesday: An Italian Liqueur

I’m going to veer off the wine trail a little bit today and talk about another delicious libation – Disaronno. 

I like it. I drink it. But I don’t really know what it is. Is it a liquor? A liqueur? (what is a liqueur anyway?) Is it something Italian grandmothers drink? (<- I actually didn’t even realize it was Italian until I started writing this post. I should have known though, considering my husband turned me on to it.)

Disaronno’s website dates this particular apertif all the way back to 1525 where supposedly Bernardino Luini (a student of Leonardo da Vinci) earned the privilege to paint a fresco of the Madonna in Saronno, Italy.  He used a local innkeeper as his inspiration and as the story goes, she gave him a flask of liqueur as a little thank you gift. Over the years, the beverage evolved and international demand started to explode in the 1960s and it became what we enjoy today.

Pretty neat.

So what does it taste like? It’s known to be “Amaretto-flavored”, which is Italian for “a little bitter”. Basically, it tastes like almond extract, in a good way.


Now, what is a Liqueur vs. Liquor? Another google search broke it down for me like this:

  • Liqueur: a distilled alcoholic beverage, flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, nuts, etc… Often sweet and syrupy.
  • Liquor: also a distilled alcoholic beverage, but without added flavorings and sugar. I guess there can still be some confusion here because hello, flavored vodkas, but you can call everything except beer and wine “spirits” to cover your bases.


We like to drink it on the rocks with a twist. Which means, I make AJ peel some lemon zest and squirt some lemon juice over the liqueur and I drink it down.

What’s that you say, you would rather eat your Disaronno? You’re in luck! I found this mouth watering Amaretto Fudge recipe for you on the Crazy for Crust blog.

Saluti (or buon appetito)!

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