Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored liqueur, and basic vodka is an odorless, colorless neutral spirit. Vodka producers make a variety of flavored vodkas as well. Combined with common mixers, such as fruit juice or coffee, vodka and amaretto are the building blocks of several cocktails.
Vodka Amaretto Sour
Most amaretto sour cocktails are cloyingly sweet. Mix your own, and avoid the bottled sour mix to hit the perfect balance of sour, sweet, and boozy. Fill a shaker with ice, then pour one part amaretto, one part vodka, one part simple syrup -- adjust to taste -- and 1/4 part lemon or lime juice into a shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass and serve.
Amaretto-cranberry punch is ideal for summer get-togethers because you can mix a large batch the day before and keep it in the refrigerator, ready to serve. The amaretto and vodka soften the tartness of the cranberry juice, giving this punch a subtle nutty undertone. In a large pitcher, mix two parts cranberry juice, one part vodka, one-half part amaretto, and a generous splash of orange juice. Mix thoroughly. When you're ready to serve, shake the punch over ice and garnish with orange wedges.
Bocce Ball Cocktail
The Bocce Ball Cocktail is the screwdriver's more refined cousin. The amaretto adds a slightly bitter note to the sweetness of the the vodka and orange juice. A dash or two of Angostura Bitters highlights the almond flavors of this cocktail. Fill a highball glass with ice, then pour in one part amaretto and one to three parts vodka -- depending on how strong you like your cocktails. Fill the glass with orange juice, and top with a dash or two of Angostura bitters.
Amaretto Chocolate Vodka Coffee
If you're looking for a cocktail that's perfect for a lazy weekend morning, try adding a kick to your morning coffee. Mix equal parts cocoa and sugar in the bottom of a large coffee mug. Pour 1/4-cup hot coffee over the mixture and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add one part amaretto and one-half part vodka to the coffee mixture and stir. Fill the cup with coffee; then top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. As the whipped cream melts into the hot coffee, the cocktail balances the bitterness of the coffee and chocolate flavors with the sweet almond of the amaretto. It finishes with a creamy mouth feel.