Classic Black Russian Cocktail

Originals are sometimes more classic

This mixture of Vodka and Kahlua has been pleasing the American cocktail palate since the outbreak of the Cold War. It’s a bit of a versatile cocktail that’s best enjoyed as a Nightcap.

This simple, 2-ingredient Black Russian cocktail has everything you’d want in a classic nightcap.

Everyone loves a good nightcap! They are like the cherry on top of a perfect evening. This simple, 2-ingredient Black Russian cocktail has everything you’d want in your bedtime drink.

As the original “Russian” cocktail, the Black Russian has quite the history behind it. The cocktail was developed in the 1940s by Gustave Tops, a bartender at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, when he created the drink for Perle Mesta, the American ambassador to Luxembourg.

Mesta was known as “the hostess with the mostes” for throwing some of the best parties in Washington D.C. It was at these parties where she supposedly served Black Russians to her guests. Thanks to Mesta, the Black Russian took off in popularity and soon after its sister cocktail, The White Russian, was born.

The Black Russian is considered a classic vodka cocktail. In fact, only the Black Russian is listed as official in the Contemporary Classics section, while the White Russian is listed as a variation of the drink recipe. Both variations are categorized as digestifs, also known as after dinner cocktails.

Traditionally, this cocktail contained five parts vodka to two parts coffee liqueur, per IBA specified ingredients. The vodka was then poured over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass and then topped with the coffee liqueur. Today, there is much more liberty with the ratios of ingredients use. Take advantage of this and create the perfect cocktail to suit your palate.

Want to try something a little different with your Black Russian? Pinterest is full of flavor variations for the Black Russian. There are even variations of this cocktail where whiskey and stout are substituted for vodka. We haven’t tried them that way yet, but if it looks good we say try it!

This is how you make this classic Black Russian cocktail recipe!


Black Russian

Yields: 1 Serving

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2 Ounces Vodka
  • 1 Ounce Coffee Liqueur
Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Rocks Glass
  • Mixing Glass
  • Bar Spoon
  • Strainer



Classic Black Russian: Add vodka and coffee liqueur into a mixing glass with ice. Stir till chilled. Strain into a Rocks glass, and add a few ice cubes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 167 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Potassium (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 9.9 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 9.8 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 6

Classic Black Russian, the perfect 2 ingredient after dinner cocktail


Hand Crafted: Classic Cocktail Recipes from the Brio Smart Life Blog


Corinne, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life

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Corinne – Content Curator

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