The History of The Godfather Cocktail

A cocktail without a mixer is like fish without chips; salt without vinegar; Bert without Ernie – it just doesn’t work. Unless you are the Godfather, in which case, the rules no longer apply. A wicked mix of scotch whiskey and amaretto, this classic cocktail was once extremely popular but seemed to fall out of favour after the 1970’s. Could we see a revival of this once-beloved beverage?

Movie-Star Beginnings?

If you ask the Disarrono team where the Godfather cocktail came from, they will give you a very credible, but unproven, answer. They believe it was a favourite of the great Marlon Brando, who, of course, played Vito Corleone in the movies of the same name. It is not a drink created by Disarrono, however, and nobody is too sure who first came up with the potent combination.

There is another theory that it was actually created back in the 1950’s, by a bartender called Donato Antone. He also claims to have invented a whole list of other cocktails, including the Harvey Wallbanger, the White Russian, the Rusty Nail and the Kamikaze. However, historians have been unable to find any proof of him making The Godfather or many of the other drinks Antone has put his name to, so this story is largely discounted.

Finding Fame

In Hollywood, it seems as though everyone, and everything, is after their five-minutes-of-fame. With links, however tenuous they may have been, to a world-famous actor and a mafia-connection that makes it a great theme drink, the Godfather found its place in the 70s and was actually very popular. The sweet, nutty texture of the amaretto helped to make the strong, bitter whiskey taste a little more palatable when poured over ice and was a great after-dinner digestif.

When the limelight started to fade on the simple concoction, bartenders found ways to diversify. Soon, cocktail lists also featured variations for the whole mafia family. Patrons could enjoy The Godmother, a mix of vodka and amaretto; The Godson, scotch, amaretto and cream; and The Goddaughter, vodka, amaretto and cream. Other variations included the French Connection, which replaced scotch for cognac and the Godfather II, which prefered bourbon.

Drink Responsibly!

One thing to note about the Godfather, is that it was only ever made to be sipped slowly, so that the consumer could savour every mouthful. The extremely high alcohol content makes it too rich and difficult to drink quickly anyway, but hardcore drinkers should take it easy.

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Suzanna H
Hi, I am Suzanna. I would describe myself as a bit of a foodie with a side-interest in fancy cocktails. Anything sweet and alcoholic and I'm in! I am also an avid writer, proofreader and editor and work freelance through the website People per Hour.


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