Godfather Cocktail

Godfather Cocktail in a glass with ice

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
158 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 6mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A favorite since the '70s, the godfather is a simple mixed drink of scotch and amaretto. It requires just those two ingredients and is built directly in the glass, making it a very easy cocktail to mix up whenever you want a smooth-sipping drink. The godfather is an excellent happy hour cocktail and nightcap and goes wonderfully with desserts such as tiramisu, cheesecake, or baklava.

On their own, both scotch and amaretto are pleasant when served on the rocks, so bringing the spirits together is a natural choice. The taste of the godfather is quite pleasant: The sweet nuttiness of amaretto enhances the oaky, smoky notes of a good scotch. In this recipe, the almond liqueur is used sparingly to ensure it doesn't disguise the whisky behind overpowering or complicated flavors.

While blended Scotch whisky is often preferred, this drink works just as well with a single malt. Since the underlying flavor of this style of whisky varies, the godfather is an excellent venue to taste regional differences in single malts and explore any bottles that are new to you.

"The Godfather is a good cocktail. It is a clever version of an Ol’fashioned, brilliantly blending a liqueur and a spirit that compliment each other seamlessly." —Sean Johnson

The Godfather cocktail in a glass on a wooden surface
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Godfather cocktail recipe ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. In an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes, pour the scotch and amaretto.

    Scotch, amaretto, and ice in an old-fashioned glass

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Stir well.

    Godfather cocktail stirred with a metal stirring spoon

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  4. Serve and enjoy.

    Godfather cocktail on a slate, ready to serve

    The Spruce Eats


  • To match the quality of your scotch, choose a top-shelf amaretto.
  • Ice is this cocktail's third ingredient and just as important as the spirits. Use the cleanest water possible and avoid using ice that has been in the freezer for too long or near foods with heavy aromas, such as fish.
  • The godfather is a perfect drink for ice balls or large cubes. These will melt more slowly than standard ice cubes and prevent an overly diluted drink.

Recipe Variations

  • This version of the godfather uses a 3-to-1 ratio of Scotch whisky to amaretto. This produces a sweet drink but not as cloying as the 1-to-1 ratio suggested by one popular amaretto producer. For even less sweetness, pour 2 ounces of scotch with 1/2 ounce of amaretto.
  • The godmother is essentially the same cocktail, opting for vodka over scotch.
  • The godchild switches to cognac.
  • For a goddaughter, mix up a godmother and pour equal amounts of amaretto and cream.

Why Is It Called a Godfather Cocktail?

The origins of the drink are murky, but it debuted around the same time as the Oscar-winning film, "The Godfather." In the movie, scotch is regularly enjoyed, and amaretto, which was widely used in cocktails during the 1970s, has Italian roots. It was only logical that someone made the connection between the movie and the drink. With its slow-sipping feel, one can easily imagine it as a drink Don Corleone might have at his desk while considering favors on his daughter's wedding day.

How Strong Is the Godfather?

The godfather is a stiff drink because it is made entirely of alcohol. Generally, it's a little softer than the whisky you pour. For instance, when made with an 80-proof Scotch whisky and 50-proof amaretto, its alcohol content will fall around 29 percent ABV (58 proof).