Two rye whiskey cocktail drinks toasted together,Addictive substance

Source: krisanapong detraphiphat / Getty

Scotch isn’t one of my favorite spirits. There, I said it. The Scottish whisky (proper spelling for scotch) is beloved by many, and I’m learning to appreciate the nuances of the spirit, and my gateway into the vast world of scotch has been the Godfather.

Every year, I have a pair of friends who, for whatever reason, give me expensive bottles of scotch that literally just sit on the shelf collecting dust. When I tell my bartender and sipping associates about my unwillingness to crack the bottles open, I’ve been met with judgemental stares.

I understand their judgment. When someone tells me that they’re not into gin, I’m initially disappointed, but I remember at a time I hated that spirit before learning of its many applications. I have been cracking those unopened bottles, and, as expected, I don’t understand the stuff enough to hail it in the same ways others often do.

One night when I was looking for drink ideas, I came across a recipe for the Godfather, and Cheat Sheet was one of the sites that gave the alleged lowdown on the cocktail.

From Cheat Sheet:

Disaronno explains that the beverage originated in the U.S. in the 70s and was the cocktail of choice for Marlon Brando, who played Don Vito Corleone in the original Godfather film in 1972.

The first night I tried it, I admittedly used a scotch that one of my bartender pals said should be taken from me so it can no longer be desecrated. I’ve been breaking myself in by sipping Glenlivet’s Master Distiller’s Reserve, which is a travel retail exclusive that was given to me about three years ago. I will admit that in my brief journey into scotch, this was the first one I actually enjoyed neat.

To that end, I decided to go for the Godfather, which calls for a shot’s worth each of scotch and the Disaronno amaretto over ice, and with a twist, if you feel like it. Some recipes call for more scotch or more amaretto, changing the drink drastically depending on ratios. I really enjoyed the drink but because I was told to hold on to the Glenlivet, I made it again, this time opting for Dewar’s 12 Year.

The best way to explain the drink is that it’s a boozy, spirit-forward affair not unlike the Old Fashioned or Sazerac, mellowed by the sweet finish of the amaretto and changes course as the ice melts. I’ve made it with different ratios, but the 1:1 setup is a great starting point.

The Godfather:

1 and 1/2 oz Scotch

1 and 1/2 oz Amaretto

Twist (optional)


Combine spirits in a rocks glass with a liberal amount of ice. Stir in glass for 10-15 seconds, then finish with an orange or lemon twist for a garnish.

When finished, it should look something like this…


Source: D.L. Chandler / DLC

The Godfather will probably play better in the colder months due to its bold flavors, and probably would hold up well during a rich, hearty meal or even as a digestif after said meal.

As always, sip safely, friends.

Photo: D.L. Chandler