How did this “holiday” come to be? Legend has it, that in the sixteenth century, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s scholars, Bernardino Luini, was instructed to paint the sanctuary of a Saronno, Italy church. Since the church was dedicated to Madonna (no, not the Material Girl), Luini needed a model to inspire his painting. He found his inspiration in a beautiful, widowed innkeeper. He inspired her as well and wanted to thank him with a present, but she was lacking in funds, so settled with steeping apricot kernels in brandy and presented him with the resulting liqueur.
Whether or not that’s how it really went down, Amaretto goes down easily, and is a treat for the taste buds.
Amaretto made its way overseas to the U.S. in the 1960s, and has been known as a trademark almond-flavored liqueur ever since. So celebrate National Amaretto Day with an Amaretto-infused cocktail. Instead of blaming it on the rain, Blame it on Rio:
Blame it on Rio
1/4 oz. Vodka
1/4 oz. Spiced rum
1/4 oz. Malibu rum
1/4 oz. Amaretto liqueur
1/4 oz. Peach liqueur
1/4 oz. Banana liqueur
1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Squeeze of lime
Shake and pour ingredients into a tall glass.
Top with soda water and garnish with squeeze of lime.
Variation: Top with Chambord or Midori liqueurs.
Credit: Chad LaMont
Note: Don’t mistake Amaro Italian liqueur for Amaretto. If you do, your cocktail will be herb-flavored, instead of almond-flavored.
Interestingly, National High Five Day is also on April 19. So this Thursday, Blame it on Rio and then high five your buddies!