The Godfather Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 22, 2023

The Godfather Cocktail consists of three parts Scotch and one part Amaretto - a superb whisky-based sip with a hint of almonds.
The Godfather cocktail

This a classic cocktail from the 1970s that owes its name to the Oscar-awarded cult movie - The Godfather Cocktail. Despite its catchy name, it is a rare find on bar menus. 

Luckily, the drink is so easy to make that you can grab your mixing glass and make it at home in no time.

Quick Facts Godfather Cocktail

  • Method: Stirred
  • Flavor profile: boozy, dry, subtle sweet notes of almonds
  • How to serve it: on the rocks
  • Best glassware: rocks glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 29,5%, 18 grams of alcohol per serving
The Godfather cocktail served with lemon peel

Recipe Godfather Cocktail

A well-balanced Scotch cocktail made of only two ingredients.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: amaretto, scotch
Servings: 1
Calories: 157kcal
Cost: $2.60

Equipment

  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Bar spoon
  • 1 Mixing glass
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto

Instructions

  • Pour both ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
    1.5 oz Blended Scotch Whisky, 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Stir for 15 to 20 seconds or until well-chilled.
  • Strain into an ice-filled glass.
  • Garnish with lemon or orange peel.

Nutrition

Serving: 2.25ozCalories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 5.15gPotassium: 1.5mgSugar: 5.15g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Scotch Recommendations For The Godfather Cocktail

In the Godfather cocktail, blended Scotch is a common choice. It has a smooth and balanced taste that's perfect for a two-ingredient cocktail. Alternatively, you could also use a fine Single Malt Whisky.

Scotch Whisky significantly varies in taste depending on which type you choose. You can end up with a heavily peated and smoky whisky or a mild sipper.

Using a heavily peated Scotch is quite rare, though. Only try this if you really like an intense smokiness in a Scotch Cocktail.

Also, with only two ingredients, there's nowhere to hide. So first and foremost, quality is key - not only for the Scotch but also for the Amaretto.

Best Amaretto For This Recipe

Among all the brands producing this sweet liqueur, DiSaronno Amaretto is the most popular and also our preferred choice for the Godfather Cocktail. It is also great value for money. Yet, if you want to try something else, here's a list of our favorites.

Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur made from apricot kernels, peach stones, and (bitter) almonds. Typically, the Italian liqueur contains between 20% and 28% of alcohol by volume. 

If you're looking for more drinks to make with your open bottle of Amaretto, check out our list of the best DiSaronno cocktails.

Ideal Ratio For The Godfather Cocktail

The best ratio for this drink -for us- is between 3:1 and 4:1 Scotch to Amaretto. Preferably 3:1, actually. That is just the right amount of Amaretto to take the edge off the Scotch and add a nice layer of almond notes.

However, since it's a simple two-ingredient drink, the perfect ratio depends strongly on individual taste. 

The brand DiSaronno suggests using a 1:1 ratio of Scotch to Amaretto. Other recipes suggest a whooping eight parts of Scotch per one part of Amaretto.

So, should you feel experimental, the Godfather Recipe gives a lot of room for adjustments.

Tips & Tricks For A Great Godfather Cocktail

Use some large and clear cubes, spheres, or chunks of ice for your Godfather Drink. Such quality ice will limit unwanted dilution to a minimum while you slowly sip on this high-proof cocktail.

At the same time, you want to achieve the right amount of dilution from melted water while prepping this drink. Thus, fill your mixing glass with ice cubes to the rim and stir for about 20 seconds - about 50 rounds.

That cools down your ingredients nicely, adds a little water to the boozy mix, and combines both components perfectly.

As mentioned already, the quality of the ingredients is vital. When making this drink, you want to use a high-quality blended Scotch. After all, it dominates the taste.

For the Amaretto part, opt for a top-shelf option, too. You don't want to ruin a drink made with a fine Scotch by using a mediocre liqueur.

Variations

The catchy name and easy recipe of the Godfather Cocktail pretty much ask for some great riffs and tweaks. Two of the most popular variations are the French Connection and the Godmother:

  • The French Connection Cocktail:¬†another two-ingredient cocktail made with Amaretto. Instead of a Scotch base, the drink is made with French Cognac. -This riff also is named after a movie from the 70s.
  • The Godmother Cocktail:¬†Substituting whisky with vodka gets you a Godmother Cocktail. This variation is far less complex and sweeter than the other two because vodka does little to alter the taste of the Amaretto.

History Of The Godfather Drink

The Godfather Cocktail got its name from the famous movie starring Marlon Brando as Don Corleone. However, the why is not quite clear.

One possible explanation is that Scotch was a regular serving in the film about an Italian mafia boss. When you combine that with the fact that Amaretto is a famous Italian liqueur and the Godfather movie had been super en vogue in the 70s, when the drink came up, it probably seemed logical to call the cocktail that.

One of the biggest Amaretto brands, DiSaronno, also claims that the drink was a favorite of Marlon Brando, the lead actor in the film. Regardless if this is true, it adds to the story.

The inventor of the Godfather cocktail is even harder to identify than the reason for the name. One story goes that a bartender called Alanna Zwart first mixed the drink in an attempt to create a Tan Italian but didn't have the right ingredients.

Related Cocktails

In the 1970s, two-ingredient drinks were quite popular, and another famous representative made with Scotch is the Rusty Nail.

It's noteworthy because, generally, Scotch isn't the most common base spirit for mixed drinks. In fact, only a small number of classic cocktails ask for the otherwise extremely popular Whisky from Scotland. More recipes worth trying are:

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