Liquor Laboratory

Frangelico vs Amaretto: Comparing Nut Liqueurs

Frangelico vs Amaretto

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Frangelico and Amaretto liqueurs are Italian classics that often grace the spotlight when it comes to cocktail drinks.

As someone who has savored the distinct pleasures of these alcoholic beverages, I’m excited to unravel the nuances of these two liqueurs and help you decide which one might become your new favorite.

In this ultimate showdown between Frangelico vs Amaretto, let’s explore their origins, recipes, flavors, uses, and more.

Amaretto & Frangelico Italian Liqueur Comparison

Glass of Cocktail Drink and a Bottle of Frangelico

Frangelico and Amaretto liqueurs may hail from the same boot-shaped country, but they offer distinct personalities in every sip.

Frangelico exudes a rich hazelnut/nutty flavor with hints of vanilla, cocoa, and other natural flavorings.

“Whether you crave hazelnut’s warmth or almond’s sweetness, both deliver Italian bliss.” – Liquor Laboratory

In contrast, Amaretto is an almond-flavored spirit with a slightly sweet and nutty taste, often accompanied by notes of apricot pits and cherry.

Comparing the two, the former leans towards a creamier, more dessert-like drinking experience, oozing with hazelnut flavor, while the latter is subtly fruity with a nutty taste.

Amaretto vs Frangelico Liqueurs Comparison Table

Characteristic Frangelico Amaretto
Originating Region Italy Italy
Dominant Flavor Taste of hazelnut, vanilla, cocoa Taste of almond, apricot, cherry
Sweetness Level Sweet Sweet
Viscosity Creamy Medium
Traditional Serving Neat, in coffee On the rocks, in cocktails
Popular Brands Frangelico Disaronno, Amaretto di Saronno
Cultural Use Digestif, coffee enhancer Versatile in cocktails, desserts
Star Rating ★★★★☆ ★★★☆☆

How They Differ

History & Origin

Amaretto’s history began in Saronno, Italy, with a legend that dates its creation to the 16th century.

However, Frangelico’s history is more recent, emerging in the 1980s with a recipe inspired by a centuries-old monastic drink in the Piedmont region within the same country, Italy.

Alcohol Content

Both liqueurs typically have an alcohol content of around 20-28%. However, Frangelico’s ABV often leans towards the higher end of the range, making it stronger than Amaretto’s alcohol content.


Amaretto primarily relies on apricot kernels, almonds, and various herbs and spices for its rich flavor, while Frangelico combines toasted hazelnuts, sugar, cacao powder, vanilla, and other botanicals.

The diverse mix of ingredients gives Amaretto a more fruity, almond-flavored taste, while Frangelico boasts a deep taste with a nutty flavor complexity.

Flavor Profile

Amaretto’s delightful balance of sweet notes with fruity and nutty flavors makes it incredibly versatile in mixed drinks and desserts.

On the other hand, Frangelico is a nutty liqueur, oozing with a creamy, hazelnut flavor and cacao-infused profile, making it a perfect digestif.


Amaretto gives off a delightful almond and apricot aroma, while Frangelico entices the senses with its warm scent of roasted hazelnuts and a subtle hint of vanilla.

Color & Texture

Bottle of Homemade Amaretto

Amaretto usually boasts a pale amber hue, while Frangelico exhibits a darker, velvety brown appearance.

In terms of texture, the former is medium-bodied, whereas the latter boasts a creamier, almost dessert-like consistency.

Notable Cocktails

Amaretto is a star in classic cocktails like the Amaretto Sour, the Godfather, and many recipes. I can say that the versatile choice for mixologists is Amaretto [1].

Frangelico, in contrast, shines in coffee-enhancing drinks and, like the B-52 and Nutty Irishman, elevates your java experience.

Common Pairings

Amaretto harmonizes beautifully with chocolate, fruits, and desserts, making it a dessert staple. Besides, it’s an excellent substitute for vanilla extract in baking recipes.

“Amaretto maintains a robust link with Italian culture.” – Lisa Tosolini, Co-owner of Bepi Tosolini

Conversely, Frangelico [2] complements Irish cream, java, cream, and nuts-infused treats, adding a delightful twist to your after-dinner drink, like the Choco Cake Shot.

Do They Have Similarities?

Frangelico and Amaretto liqueurs add depth to salad dressings, creams, sauces, and marinades.

They’re sweet liqueurs with Italian origins, perfect for those who appreciate a touch of sweetness in their recipes.

Both of them also go through a comparable production process, which includes maceration and filtration, involving the use of sugar syrup and neutral spirits.

They share a velvety texture complemented by the comforting notes of toasted nuts, adding a dimension of richness.

Moreover, they’re both highly regarded in the world of mixology, providing a wealth of cocktail possibilities.


How do Italians drink Amaretto?

Italians enjoy Amaretto neat as a digestif after a meal, but it’s also popular in cocktails and desserts. One of the most iconic ways to savor this delicious liqueur is by sipping it on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

Does Frangelico need to be refrigerated?

Frangelico is not required to be refrigerated; storing it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight is recommended to maintain its taste quality and flavor.

On A Final Note

Since I’m a rich taste and nuttiness fan, I prefer Frangelico, whether for enhancing my coffee or sipping it neat. I like its balance of smoothness and complexity, giving me the perfect boozy bliss.

But I won’t deny Amaretto’s versatility in cocktails and desserts. Its delightful blend of almond and fruit flavors makes it a must-try. Regardless of the two, you’re surely in for a treat!


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