An image featuring a sleek, stemmed glass filled with a velvety, obsidian-hued Black Russian cocktail

Black Russian Cocktail Recipe

Want to mix up your cocktail routine? Try the Black Russian! This classic drink combines vodka and coffee liqueur for a smooth, rich flavor.

It’s a timeless favorite that’s perfect for any occasion. Just a few easy steps and you’ll be sipping away.

Get your shaker ready and wow your friends with this delicious concoction!


Gustave Tops, a Belgian barman, can be credited with the invention of the Black Russian cocktail in the late 1940s. At the time, Gustave was working at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels.

The story goes that one evening, an American ambassador named Perle Mesta walked into the bar and asked for a cocktail that didn’t contain any sugar. Taking this request as his inspiration, Gustave mixed vodka and coffee liqueur, creating what would later become known as the Black Russian.

The simplicity and smooth taste of the drink made it an instant success, and it subsequently spread to other bars around the world. Even today, the Black Russian remains a classic favorite among many.

Ingredients for Black Russian Cocktail

-1 part vodka
-1 part coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
-Ice cubes


Grab a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. This marks the start of a magnificent experience.

Follow these instructions to craft the perfect Black Russian cocktail:

  • Pour 1.5 ounces of vodka into the shaker.
  • Add 0.75 ounces of coffee liqueur.
  • Shake for 10 seconds to blend the flavors.
  • Strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice cubes.

Pause and admire the dark beauty of your concoction. The smoothness of vodka and the robust notes of coffee liqueur will tantalize your taste buds.

Enjoy the decadence of this classic cocktail. Cheers to a wonderful evening!


For a twist, try substituting the vodka with flavored liqueurs like vanilla or caramel, and enjoy a different dimension of flavors. This simple change allows you to customize your Black Russian cocktail to suit your taste preferences. Exploring different liqueurs opens up a world of possibilities, from creamy vanilla to indulgent caramel. Here are some flavored liqueurs that you can try in your Black Russian cocktail:

Flavored Liqueur Taste Profile Complements Well With
Vanilla Creamy, sweet Coffee, chocolate
Caramel Rich, buttery Whiskey, cream
Hazelnut Nutty, smooth Chocolate, cream
Cherry Sweet, fruity Coffee, chocolate

Incorporating these flavored liqueurs can elevate your Black Russian cocktail and create a unique drinking experience. So go ahead, experiment with different flavors and discover your own personal twist on this classic cocktail. Cheers!

Final Thoughts

To conclude, don’t forget to add a cherry or a twist of orange to your Black Russian cocktail for a touch of elegance.

Not only does it add visual appeal, but it also brings out the richness of the vodka and coffee liqueur.

The sweet cherry or citrusy orange aroma adds freshness that balances out the bold flavors.

To take your drink to the next level, carefully place the cherry or twist the orange peel above the drink.

Enjoy the perfect garnish that brings your Black Russian to life! Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Substitute the Vodka With a Different Type of Alcohol in the Black Russian Cocktail?

Absolutely! You can swap out the vodka with any type of spirit that blends well with the coffee liqueur in the Black Russian cocktail. Rum and brandy are two great options to consider. Have a great time experimenting!

How Can I Make a Non-Alcoholic Version of the Black Russian Cocktail?

To make a non-alcoholic version of the Black Russian cocktail, try substituting the vodka with a non-alcoholic option such as coffee-flavored syrup or a coffee-flavored non-alcoholic spirit. Enjoy!

Are There Any Variations of the Black Russian Cocktail That Incorporate Different Flavors or Ingredients?

Yes, there are variations of the Black Russian cocktail that incorporate different flavors or ingredients. Experimenting with additions like vanilla, raspberry, or espresso can give the classic recipe a unique twist. Try adding these flavors to create your own signature version of the Black Russian cocktail!

Can I Use Flavored Vodka in the Black Russian Cocktail Recipe?

Yes, flavored vodka can definitely be used in the Black Russian cocktail recipe. Experimenting with different flavors can add a unique twist and enhance the overall taste. Find your favorite combination and enjoy!

What Is the Best Type of Glassware to Serve the Black Russian Cocktail In?

For optimal presentation, a rocks glass is the ideal choice for serving the Black Russian cocktail. Its wide rim allows the perfect amount of ice to be added and its sleek design highlights the drink’s dark and attractive color.

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