The Godmother Cocktail

Amber-colored Godmother cocktail in an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
150 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 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.)

The godmother is a semi-sweet, delicious mixed drink that is incredibly easy to make. It is the softer version of the godfather, switching that recipe's scotch to vodka and pairing it with amaretto.

Though you won't hear it often, the godmother is sometimes called a tawny Russian. This name refers to its similarity to the black Russian, that super popular lowball of vodka and coffee liqueur. The tawny comes from the amaretto, which is generally a little lighter brown in color than the likes of Kahlua.

While the godmother may not be as popular in the bar world, it is a great drink and one everyone should try. After all, we can't have too many easy pouring, slow sipping drinks in our repertoire, now can we?

"This was a pleasant surprise. There is an unexpected silkiness that flows from the combination of vodka and amaretto. Be careful not to over-dilute in the stirring because this cocktail can be rich and decadent. This recipe will be a consistent and sumptuous go-to in your collection." —Sean Johnson

Godmother Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the Godmother cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Build the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.

    Amaretto being poured into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Stir well.

    Amber-colored Godmother cocktail in an old-fashioned glass with a stirring spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Choose Your Vodka

While almost any vodka will make a great godmother, this is one of those simple drinks where a nice vodka can really shine. There are just two ingredients, so each is very important and any impurities in either spirit will definitely come through.

The best godmother will come from a top-shelf vodka. Any of the fantastic craft vodkas available on the market today are excellent choices as well. It doesn't have to be your best vodka, just something that's smooth and has a clean taste.

That doesn't mean that the godmother cannot be a drink for the frugal drinker. It's actually a fantastic choice when money's a little tight. The key to making it just as tasty as any top-shelf vodka is to be selective on which cheaper vodka you buy. There are a number of budget-friendly vodka brands available that are almost as smooth as any premium brand. Choose wisely and you'll have a great drink.

Choose Your Amaretto

For the best godmother, don't discount your amaretto, either. This is one of the liqueurs that is essential to a well-stocked bar and you'll find it useful in a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks. Since it is so important, there's no need to skimp on quality. This is especially true for the godmother because the amaretto is the primary flavoring ingredient of the drink.

You will find bottles of amaretto at the store for $10 or less. As with many liqueurs in that price range, these tend to be very syrupy and leave a lot to be desired in the taste department. If you really want great tasting drinks, spend a little more on a premium amaretto such as Disarrono, Lazzaroni, Luxardo, or Marie Brizard. Since amaretto is rarely poured over an ounce, you'll find that it lasts quite a while and that the taste is worth the extra cost.

Of course, if you're the crafty kind, you can make your own amaretto. It requires just a few common ingredients and very little time. The godmother just happens to be one of the best drinks to show off the fruits of your labor as well.

How Strong Is the Godmother?

Most vodka is bottled at 80-proof and amaretto varies from brand to brand. We'll use the middle ground and go with a 50-proof amaretto for this example. With those two assumptions, we can estimate that the average godmother has an alcohol content around 29 percent ABV (58 proof)

This is not the weakest cocktail you can make and it is comparable to the popular white Russian. If you're looking for a not-so-creamy alternative to that favorite, the godmother is a perfect choice.