Black Russian
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Black Russian
Cocktail recipe

Rating

4.87 / 5
The Black Russian first appeared in 1949 and is ascribed to Gustave Tops, a Belgian barman, who created it at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in honour of Perle Mesta, ... more The Black Russian first appeared in 1949 and is ascribed to Gustave Tops, a Belgian barman, who created it at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in honour of Perle Mesta, then United States Ambassador to Luxembourg. Simple - yet a classic.
Check out all our FAQ's on this cocktail

Microbadges

IBA Official Drink
15 key ingredients
Cocktail Of The Day
Invented
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1949
Base ingredient
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Vodka
Alcohol content
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34.29% | 2.4 units *
Details
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Easy
Classic
Stirred

Lowball glass

Ingredients

oz
ml
cl
Serves:
-
+

Cocktail Colin says:

5/5

The Black Russian is a deceptively simple concoction that delivers a robust kick, thanks to the potent combination of vodka and coffee liqueur. Its dark, alluring profile provides a creamy sweetness perfectly balanced by the clean, sharp bite of vodka, making it more than just a sum of its parts. This cocktail shows that sometimes, simplicity is the highest form of sophistication, especially when it captures the essence of two harmonious flavors in one glass.

Method
How to make a Black Russian

Serves 1 · Takes 3 minutes
Pour the ingredients directly into a lowball glass with ice
Stir and serve

Learn more about some of the mixology terms used in this cocktail

·  Stir  · 

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FAQ's

ORIGINS_HISTORY

What is the origin of the Black Russian cocktail?

The Black Russian cocktail was created in 1949 by bartender Gustave Tops at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium. It was made in honor of a visiting US ambassador. The cocktail gained popularity during the Cold War era, partly due to its name and the intrigue surrounding Russian culture.

FAQ

Can I make a Black Russian cocktail if I only have regular coffee instead of coffee liqueur?

While the authentic Black Russian cocktail requires coffee liqueur for its distinct flavor, you can use a strong, cold-brewed coffee as a substitute in a pinch. However, you may need to adjust the sweetness since coffee liqueur typically contains sugar. Adding a small amount of simple syrup or sugar may help mimic the original taste.

FAQ

Is there a variation of the Black Russian that includes cream or milk?

Yes, the White Russian is a well-known variation of the Black Russian that includes cream or milk. To make a White Russian, you add cream to the traditional Black Russian recipe, which consists of vodka and coffee liqueur. This softens the drink's flavor and adds a rich texture.

SERVING_SUGGESTIONS

How should I serve a Black Russian cocktail to best enjoy its flavors?

The Black Russian is best served in a lowball glass over ice. The ice helps to slightly dilute the drink as it melts, making it smoother and helping to blend the flavors of the vodka and coffee liqueur. It's recommended to stir the drink gently before serving to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.

FOOD_PAIRINGS

What kind of snacks or food pair well with a Black Russian?

Since the Black Russian is rich and has a strong coffee flavor, it pairs well with desserts, especially those featuring chocolate or coffee elements. For a savory option, nuts or salty snacks like pretzels and chips can complement the cocktail's depth. For a more sophisticated pairing, consider serving it with a charcuterie board featuring aged cheeses and cured meats.

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