This 1970s-era drink is named for the popular, Oscar-winning film “The Godfather.”

The Godfather

This 1970s-era drink is named for the popular, Oscar-winning film “The Godfather.” While the cocktail isn’t a common find at most bars, it’s worth digging into the past to retrieve this recipe. Calling for only two ingredients, it’s incredibly easy to make, but the nuanced flavor will leave you feeling like you stirred up something special.

The Godfather is made with whiskey and amaretto. Blended scotch is the classic choice, although some people choose to use a single malt or even bourbon. The latter makes a fine drink, but one that features bourbon’s baking spice notes rather than scotch’s hallmark flavors of honey, heather and soft smoke.

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that’s made from almonds and stone-fruit pits. It’s sweet on its own and a fine addition to cocktails. It sometimes gets a bad rap because it’s often mixed with subpar ingredients like sweet-and-sour for drinks like the Amaretto Sour. But when mixed properly with quality ingredients, amaretto is a great asset to your home bar. In this case, the almond-flavored liqueur softens the whiskey, but doesn’t mask it, so you’re left with a whiskey-forward drink that you can sip slowly and enjoy.

The Godfather is often made with equal parts, which makes a tasty, albeit sweeter drink. But this version comes from writer Michael Dietsch and his book “Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic & Original Cocktails.” Dietsch dials down the sweetness significantly by using amaretto as an accent, rather than an equal player. The result is a drier, boozier cocktail that keeps the focus on the whiskey.

Give this recipe a try, or tweak the ratio per your preference. With just two ingredients, it’s easy to experiment and find the version you like best. Then, with a Godfather in hand, you can kick back, channel Don Corleone and dole out favors as you sip your drink.


  • 2 ounces blended scotch or bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce amaretto


  1. Fill a mixing glass 2/3 full of ice. Add the scotch and amaretto and stir until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
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