Disaronno Originale and The Busker offer a classic cocktail you can’t refuse
It’s rare that a cocktail is made from only two ingredients, without a third to provide balance and support. It’s even rarer that a two-ingredient cocktail is so perfectly crafted that it can withstand the test of time.
The Godfather is just that drink.
Named for the Oscar-winning 1972 movie, the whisky-and-amaretto-based Godfather cocktail was allegedly the favourite tipple of its star, Marlon Brando, and enjoyed by the timelessly cool crooners of the Rat Pack. And why not? The whisky (traditionally blended scotch), brings honey, heather and smoke to the glass, while the amaretto adds sweet, nutty complexity. Together they create a simple but sophisticated sipper to enjoy on a weekend at the cabin, for après ski or simply relaxing in front of the fireplace.
Like so many other mid-to-late 20th-century cocktails, The Godfather disappeared for a few years, but is now enjoying a revival. This time, though, the ideal combination is Disaronno Originale amaretto with The Busker, an Irish whiskey that partners so perfectly with the amaretto, it could have been made just for this cocktail.
It’s impossible to think of amaretto (the name means “a little bitter”) without also thinking Disaronno, which has produced the liqueur in the Lombardy town of Saronno since around 1600 when Giovanni Reina discovered an old innkeeper’s recipe. The Reina family, which still owns the company, has kept the recipe a closely guarded secret for four centuries, but has revealed that it comprises apricot kernels, herbs, fruit and burnt sugar.
The Busker, on the other hand, is a modern Irish whiskey, part of the distillation revolution sweeping the Emerald Isle where uisge baugh (water of life) originated. The Busker produces four types of whiskey (single grain, single pot still, single malt and blended) at the Royal Oak Distillery in County Carlow. The Triple Cask Triple Smooth used in The Godfather is a blended malt matured and finished in bourbon, marsala and sherry casks, rich with notes of tropical fruit, vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee and a hint of cinnamon.
With its elegant simplicity, The Godfather lends itself to endless variations. Modern palates, for instance, prefer a slightly less sweet drink than its original 1:1 formula. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and strong, easy to make, easy to “twist” and, most of all, easy to enjoy. It’s a cocktail that you simply can’t refuse.
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