I started the week with little knowledge of amaretto and I feel I’m finishing it with at least a base that I can work from going forward. I went with a bottle of Disaronno which turned out to be a good choice. The almond notes were present and the sweetness was at a good level. I didn’t detect the bitter almond flavors I was expecting. I’m curious if some companies downplay that element to appeal to a broader audience. I am interested in hearing if anyone has another favorite amaretto, so please chime in.
I decided to use Famous Grouse as my scotch of choice for this week and think that’s a really good option for folks who might be a little concerned about the bold flavors of some scotch. Famous Grouse, and other blends, tend to keep the expected key points of single malt scotch (smoke, peat, etc) but the blending brings them all to very nice mellow levels. The end result is a scotch with character that mixes well in cocktails. For the vodka recipes I opted for Oval which I mentioned earlier this week. I also decided to entertain Rich’s suggestion and mix up a Grandpappy. For that one I used my favorite mixing bourbon, Eagle Rare.
Godfather (2 oz Scotch, 1 oz Amaretto) - A very tasty cocktail, not overly sweet with the notes of both the scotch and amaretto playing nicely together. As I suggested above I don’t think a good single malt would be the right choice for this cocktail as some of the subtle flavors of both the scotch and amaretto would be lost.
Godson (2 oz Scotch, 1 oz Amaretto, 1 oz Light Cream) - Even less sweet than the Godfather and deliciously creamy. I found that the addition of cream smoothed out the flavors of this drink and added a richness that I found tremendously pleasant. This would definitely be a drink I’d choose for an after dinner cocktail to enjoy slowly.
Godmother (2 oz Vodka, 1 oz Amaretto) - Interestingly this recipe tasted slightly sweeter than the Godfather which really shouldn’t be the case seeing as they call for the same ratios. One change I made was to stir this drink rather than shaking it as I did with the Godfather which certainly could have resulted in less dissolved water in the drink. A comment in my notes sums up my take on this drink perfectly, it’s “basically diluted amaretto.” Which is good if you’re not partial to whisk(e)y but I think this cocktail lacks the depth of flavor you get in the Godfather as a result.
Goddaughter (2 oz Vodka, 1 oz Amaretto, 1 oz Light Cream) - A very smooth and creamy drink. Again lighter in sweetness than its godparent and less complex than its godsibling. This drink, like the Godmother is really more about the amaretto. Overall a tasty beverage.
Grandpappy (2 oz Bourbon, 1 oz Amaretto) - This one turned out too sweet for me, which I’m thinking is a combination of the natural sweetness of the bourbon and not stirring long enough. The light smokiness of the bourbon comes through which is a good thing. A good cocktail, but not my favorite of this batch.
Of this group of cocktails the Godfather and Godson were my favorites. Were I looking for a pre or during dinner cocktail I’d go with the Godfather since it’s not as rich. A tip on technique that I missed on my first read through the recipes. Like all clear, spirit only cocktails the Godfather, Godmother and Grandpappy should be stirred rather than shaken. However, make sure you stir the cocktail for a good 30 seconds. You need the ice melt to balance the cocktail.
I got some cool pictures this go-round. You can see them all in the Flickr pool.