The Godfather – I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse…

The Godfather – I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse…

When did you have your last Godfather? Mine was a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, cocktails with Amaretto aren’t my cup of tea but I was taught better and I had my arm twisted by some modern riffs.

The Godfather is a sweet but potent cocktail from the 1970s that you don’t see much of these days. It’s as simple as its ingredient list. A two-component drink of whisky and liqueur, like the Padovani and the Rusty Nail. 

The Godfather is as simple as its ingredients list: a classic combination of scotch and Disaronno.

Its name is actually derived from Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic 1972 movie. The amaretto brand Disaronno claims the drink was the favourite cocktail of American actor Marlon Brando.

Disaronno – Quick Facts

First of all, there are no almonds in Disaronno. Its ingredients are a well-kept secret with 17 herbs and spices, extra-fine alcohol and caramelised sugar. It’s apricot kernel oil that’s responsible for the distinctive almond aroma and vanilla. Apricot kernels originally from Saronno, “Disaronno” as they say in Italian. Nowadays, the kernels come mainly from Sicily. Disaronno is actually the world’s favourite Italian  liqueur and is said to have its origin at the time of the Renaissance.

No almonds – top-secret recipe – dates back to the Renaissance – b y the way the diminutive of Amaro

There’s a very beautiful legend about the origin of Disaronno. It’s said that the painter Bernadino Luini chose the landlady of a small local restaurant as the muse for his work Madonna of Wonders in Saronno. She was so honoured that she wanted to thank the painter and gave him a fine amber liqueur, which was born out of gratitude and was a mixture of the most secret ingredients. This is said to have happened in 1525. Around 1600 the recipe was rediscovered by the Reina family. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it became the first original Disaronno. Since that time a lot has changed, but its taste has remained unmistakable,  and its classic production methods and high-quality ingredients continue to this day.

Reintroducing The Godfather – Some modern riffs by Tarek Nix, Provocateur Berlin 

The classic Godfather is often made with equal parts scotch and Disaronno. If you find you really enjoy this drink, there are several variations. Join me on a sip to Scotland, Ireland, Japan and Mexico.

This version combines Isle of Jura 10 Year Old and Disaronno. An aromatic starter to prepare the palate for the upcoming. The single malt’s bourbon and sherry finish work quite well with the Disaronno without overpowering it. 

I’m a big fan of clarified Milk Punches so I was very curious how the Disaronno would play together with the Irish whisky (Teeling Small Batch), citrus sherbet, peach, cress, Sauvignon Blanc, lemon and almond milk for clarification. Tarek Nix’s idea was to catch the aroma of the Disaronno. The end result was a cocktail that was smooth, subtly sour, and not overly sweet. Above all, less boozy than the potent basic recipe. 


Now we are heading to Japan. This elegant coupette is filled with a concoction of Nikka From The Barrel infused with green and jasmine tea, dried rose petals and a coconut oil infusion. A beauty for the eyes and floral on the tongue and palate. Disaronno has a lot of marzipan flavours but there is also a bit of roses that was elegantly highlighted in that drink. Well-done and beautifully presented.


Mezcal and Disaronno? The Marca Negra Espadin is higher in proof 49.2, and has enough smoke to stand up to the sweetness of Disaronno. Additionally, the mezcal had been infused with Palo Santo, a holy wood, which is used for health, good atmosphere and for thousands of years for rituals and healing. The new Angostura Cocoa Bitters rounded off the good vibrations and the crystal clear potato chip with red pepper was the crowning glory of an intimate illustrious round of invited guests. Thank you for the beautiful flight around the world. 

I was invited by Marcus Wolff, Brand Ambassador of Disaronno. Pictures were provided by Marcus Wolff.