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Amaretto and Cyanide


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Hi all,

One of my business partners absolutely loves amaretto and drinks a fair bit of it. She has asked me about making some of our own. I would like to make it as traditional as possible using bitter apricot kernels, not interested in using extracts. I am aware they contain precursors that are metabolized into cyanide when eaten, but looking for clarity when used in spirits. Does the alcohol denature this or something? Any references or input from folks who have made amaretto would be much appreciated as my searches have produced minimal sources of substance. Trying to educate myself on this before experimenting.


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Heat will destroy the precursors. From what I've read people bake them for a short period of time. I would suggest testing it and then sending it to a lab for verification. Alcohol does nothing to the compounds. There may be other/better ways for doing it but that's all I have read about.

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