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Channel Your Inner Mobster with this Amaretto Julep

4.67 from 3 votes

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Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by Heather Wibbels

Amaretto Julep in a copper cup with mint and biscotti garnish
Amaretto Julep

A lazy afternoon resulted in an easy, 3-ingredient Amaretto Julep to celebrate warmer weather and the return of longer days. With just bourbon, amaretto, and cardamom bitters (and mint for garnish), this Mint Julep makes a nod to the 70s classic cocktail, the Godfather. So I named it Vito’s Julep. Somehow associating a cocktail made for horse racing with mobsters seemed appropriate.

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What is a Mint Julep?

Mint Juleps, most traditionally associated with the Kentucky Derby are an easy cocktail to put together. Since they have just a few ingredients, mint, sugar, bourbon and ice, they are infinitely variable. If you’d like to learn more about how to make a classic mint julep, head here. Or you can go to my article: How to Make a Riff on a Mint Julep.

I often get asked how to serve a Mint Julep, and I always recommend a metal julep cup. A Mint Julep is all about the experience of the frosty cup, the mint right next to the straw, the scent of the fresh herb with every sip from the straw.  In my mind, any Derby julep should be served in a metal julep cup.

What’s the Connection to the Godfather Cocktail?

Amaretto Julep in a copper cup with mint and biscotti garnish
Amaretto Julep

I always love roasted almonds paired with bourbon, so adding amaretto to the cocktail was an easy substitution for the simple syrup. The classic Godfather cocktail is an old fashioned-type drink with bourbon or scotch and amaretto served over ice. It’s sweet, but it’s a simple and easy expression, especially flavorful when used with a lightly peated scotch blend.

Because I kept the ingredients similar to the Godfather, I decided to name it after a mobster, and I figured everyone would get the Vito reference from the Godfather movie. 

Cardamom in this Almond Mint Julep

Because of the sweetness of this julep from the Disaronno amaretto, you need some bitters to even things out and adding in cardamom is a revelation. Cardamom has both spice and floral associations for me. Cracked pods are fragrant and heady. 

In this cocktail, rather than use fresh pods, I opted for Scrappy’s Bitters Cardamom bitters to add in the balancing floral flavors of cardamom. It’s very similar to the flavor profile for my Semla cocktail earlier this year. 

How to Make an Amaretto Julep

Amaretto Julep in a copper cup with mint and biscotti garnish
Amaretto Julep

Like most juleps, this one is fast and easy, when entertaining because I just build it in the metal julep cup. But if I’m just making one or two, I use a mixing glass to make sure all the flavors meld completely before pouring it over crushed ice.

For this recipe, I add the bourbon, Disaronno, and cardamom bitters to the mixing glass, add ice, and stir briefly to chill. Then I add it to a julep cup filled with crushed ice and top with more crushed ice, a sprig of mint, and an almond biscotti.

If you’re looking for a snack to enjoy while sipping this, besides Derby Pie, head over to the Busted Oven for her Air Fried Pasta Chips. I think you inner Italian mobster might approve.

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Amaretto Julep in a copper cup with mint and biscotti garnish

Vito’s Julep – Amaretto Julep

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
This almond-flavored julep adds cardamom to it to build a simple, three-ingredient Amaretto Julep perfect for a lazy afternoon watching the horses race at the track.
4.67 from 3 votes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 1.5 oz bourbon or blended scotch 90-100 proof
  • 1 oz amaretto
  • 3 dashes Scrappy’s Cardamom bitters
  • Garnish: mint sprig, almond biscotti


  • Add bourbon, amaretto, and bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir briefly, then pour into a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a spanked mint sprig and a biscotti cookie.
Keyword amaretto, cardamom, mint, mint julep,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on April 30th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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