Frangelico Sour: Two Variations

The Frangelico sour is a nutty cocktail containing hazelnut-flavored liqueur. Make it simple and sweet or drier and more complex, depending on the kind of cocktail drinker you are.

This Frangelico sour recipe was inspired by the Amaretto sour, a modern cocktail developed in the 1970s to introduce Amaretto to the American palate. The Amaretto sour originally had a classic sour formula based solely on the almond liqueur. However, cocktail tastes are changing, and the Amaretto sour now often has a split base with bourbon and Amaretto to make it drier.

But there are no “should’s” in cocktails or life. So, like my Aperol sour variations, you have two options for Frangelico sour recipes. One Frangelico sour is a sister cocktail to the original Amaretto sour and is simply made with Frangelico and citrus. It’s nutty and a bit sweet. The other adds bourbon and egg white to the Frangelico for a smoother and richer and less sweet drink.

two frangelico sour cocktails in lowball glasses on a white tray.

What is Frangelico?

Frangelico is an Italian liqueur first bottled in 1978 and flavored with hazelnuts, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and sugar. The easy to identify bottle looks like a friar’s robe. That’s because Frangelico was supposedly named after a legendary Italian monk named Fra Angelico.

two large bottles of frangelico, a small bottle, and a shot of Frangelico.

When first made, Frangelico was 28% alcohol by volume (ABV). It is currently 20% ABV, which makes me wonder how long we’ve had that smaller bottle of Frangelico!

Tip from the wise quacker: store open bottles of liqueur in a cool, dark place or even the refrigerator. Unlike cream-based liqueurs, which should be consumed within 6 to 12 months, Frangelico won’t go bad. However, the hazelnut flavor may lose potency over time.

Tips and tricks

Ingredients

Compared to Amaretto with its 3 grams of sugar per ounce, Frangelico is much sweeter at 11 grams per ounce. Therefore, the simple Frangelico sour variation needs no added simple syrup like you’ll find in the Amaretto sour.

For the same reasons many Frangelico sour recipes use lime instead of the lemon juice in the Amaretto sour. That’s because lemon juice also has more sugar – 2.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams – than limes, which have 1.7 grams of sugar.

Again, choose whichever sour flavor you prefer to go alongside the hazelnut liqueur. There’s no right or wrong here.

Shaking your cocktail

The Frangelico sour is a shaken cocktail. As a general rule, shake cocktails with citrus juices to add air bubbles and make it lighter. “They say” that you should stir cocktails containing only spirits so you don’t “bruise” the alcohol.

Frangelico sour variation #1: without egg white

If you want to make either the simple version or the bourbon version without egg white, add your ingredients to your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain.

The Frangelico sour works best in a lowball glass with a large ice cube. Those large ice cubes are slower to melt, so they don’t dilute your drink as much as smaller cubes.

Frangelico sour varation #2: the dry shake

To make the Frangelico sour or any sour with egg white, it’s best to do a dry shake. The dry shake, like in this creamy espresso martini or gin espresso martini, allows you to do a longer shake to create a foamy top without over-diluting your drink by shaking it with ice.

First, add the Frangelico, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to your shaker without ice. I do dry shakes over the sink just in case my shaker leaks from the pressure.

Hold it tight and shake! After about 10 to 20 seconds or so of vigorous shaking, add ice to the shaker, shake briefly to chill, and strain into your glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and orange twist or dehydrated orange slice.

top down photo of two lowball glasses with rock ice, orange twist, and cherry garnish.

Other Frangelico cocktails

Now that you have a bottle of Frangelico, here are some other Frangelico cocktails and concoctions you can try:

  • Go simple. Add Frangelico to coffee, hot chocolate, or pour it over ice cream.
  • Use Frangelico in place of Kahlua in this creamy espresso martini for a Frangelico espresso martini.
  • Make dessert cocktails like a Nutty Irisman, Toblerone cocktail, or chocolate cake shot.
a creamy frangelico cocktail garnished with cocoa on a tray.

FAQs

How do Italians drink Frangelico?

In Italy, Frangelico is commonly served as a digestivo, an after-dinner drink. Sip it in a small glass either chilled or pour it over ice.

What does it mean when a cocktail is “dry”?

The terms “dry” and “sweet” are opposites in cocktails just as they are with sparkling wines. Dry cocktails have less sugar and are therefore usually higher in alcohol content. A dry martini has less vermouth (a fortified wine), although here the opposite is a “wet” martini.

What’s the chance of getting sick from egg whites?

Raw eggs can transmit salmonella and other bacterial infections. If you’re worried, skip the egg white in this Frangelico sour or sub in pasteurized egg whites or aquafaba.

Related recipes

Check out other liqueur-containing cocktails from the uglyducklingbakery beverage archives like this creamy espresso martini, Cherry Bakewell cocktail, Pornstar martini, and spicy margarita.

Do you know what else is made from hazelnuts? Nutella! Serve your Frangelico sour with some Nutella treats like this Nutella banana bread, Nutella blondies, Nutella waffles, or Nutella babka.

Frangelico Sour: Two Variations

5 from 1 vote
Category: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 128kcal
Check out two delicious Frangelico sour variations. Make the simple Frangelico sour for a summer day or add bourbon and egg white for a richer, smoother version.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Cocktail shaker

Ingredients

Frangelico sour #1

  • 2 ounces Frangelico
  • 1 ounce lemon or lime juice see note
  • 1 dash orange bitters optional
  • orange twist plus cocktail cherry for garnish

Frangelico sour #2

  • 1 ounce Frangelico
  • 1 ounce Bourbon whiskey e.g. Tanqueray
  • ½ ounce lemon or lime juice see note
  • ½ ounce simple syrup plus more as desired
  • 1 egg white optional
  • orange twist plus cocktail cherry for garnish

Instructions

Frangelico sour #1

  • Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.
    2 ounces Frangelico, 1 ounce lemon or lime juice, 1 dash orange bitters
  • Garnish with the orange twist and cocktail cherry.
    orange twist plus cocktail cherry

Frangelico sour #2 (with egg white)

  • Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice. Hold tightly to the shaker and dry shake for about 20 seconds.
    1 ounce Frangelico, ½ ounce simple syrup, ½ ounce lemon or lime juice, 1 egg white, 1 ounce Bourbon whiskey
  • Add ice to the shaker, shake briefly, and strain into a lowball glass with a large ice cube.
  • Garnish with the orange twist and cocktail cherry.
    orange twist plus cocktail cherry

Notes

Nutritional estimates were calculated for Frangelico sour #2 with an egg white.
This recipe is based on the 20% alcohol by volume (ABV) Frangelico sold today. If you have an old bottle of 28% ABV Frangelico that you are using, consider decreasing any added sugar in whichever Frangelico sour variation you use.
These Frangelico sours can be made sweeter by using lemon juice instead of lime juice or adding a teaspoon of 1 to 1 simple syrup, if a sweeter cocktail is desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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What’s next

If you make one of these Frangelico sour variations, please leave a comment and let me know which you loved.

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