The Godfather is a nice and simple drink that is perfect for those times when you feel like mixing a good Scotch whiskey.
The great thing about this easy mixed drink is that it does not disguise the Scotch whiskey; instead, it merely enhances it with a little flavor. It's good with some of mid- to high-range blended Scotch whiskey, though you may want to try your favorite single malt as well.
The almond-scented amaretto softens the Scotch whiskey, but it is still a stiff drink that a tough guy (or gal) can sip slowly at the end of a hard day. Or, enjoy it with a dessert such as tiramisu, cheesecake, or baklava.
The origins of the drink are murky but it debuted around the time of the Oscar-winning and wildly popular film "The Godfather" in the 1970s. The connection with the movie may be because this drink uses amaretto, a sweet Italian liqueur. It also has a slow-sipping feel. You could easily imagine it as a drink Don Corleone might have at his desk while considering favors on his daughter's wedding day.
This version of the Godfather uses a 3-to-1 ratio of Scotch whiskey to amaretto. This will produce a sweet drink, but not as sweet as the 1-to-1 ratio suggested by amaretto producer Disarrono. Certainly, they prefer that you use lots of their liqueur. The company even used to claim that their version was Marlon Brando's favorite cocktail.
For even less sweetness, you can dial down the amaretto and use only 1/2 ounce amaretto and 2 ounces of Scotch whiskey.
Amaretto has an almond flavor and a touch of bitterness (the base meaning of the Italian word amaretto is "a little bitter") along with the sweetener in the liqueur. It can be made with apricot pits, peach pits, or almonds, depending on the brand.
Appropriately, the Godmother is essentially the same cocktail, just a little softer, and opts for vodka over Scotch. The Godchild also uses vodka but is made with cognac.
How Strong Is the Godfather?
The Godfather is a stiff drink as it is entirely alcohol, undiluted with any mixer. It's only a little less strong than sipping straight Scotch on the rocks, as the amaretto has less alcohol (but still a significant amount). The strength depends on the Scotch whiskey itself as well as the amount of amaretto you choose to include. You can estimate that the average Godfather made with an 80-proof blended Scotch whiskey and 50-proof amaretto in the standard recipe given is around 29 percent ABV (58 proof). Sip and enjoy it slowly and contemplatively.
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