Black Russian Drink Recipe With Bold, Timeless Taste

Black Russian Cocktail

A dark, rich flavored cocktail, the Black Russian drink was first introduced in the late 1940s and has remained a popular choice for its simple recipe. Although this recipe only combines two ingredients, it doesn't shirk on flavor, and is just as bold and proud as the country it was named after.

The Black Russian Drink

Marrying vodka and the Mexican coffee-liquor, Kahlúa, (though any coffee liqueur will work) this incredibly easy drink is perfect for amateur mixologists or new drinkers wanting to branch out. Once you've poured your drink, be sure to mix it together until it's become a nice even color to ensure that it's ready to be served.

Black Russian Drink Recipe

The basic black Russian drink is super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Kahlúa
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, combine Kahlúa and vodka. Add ice.
  2. Stir together until the drink reaches a light-brown color. Garnish with a cherry.
Black Russian Drink

How the Black Russian Came to Be

The black Russian's origins are rather intriguing; in the late 1940s, Perle Mesta, the current American ambassador to Luxembourg, was visiting the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium. Famous for her political acumen and socialite status, Mesta caught the eye of the hotel's bartender, Gustave Tops, who decided to concoct a signature cocktail for the female icon. He mixed together the Mexican coffee liqueur, Kahlúa, with a top shelf vodka, and titled the drink the 'Black Russian.' The geopolitics of the post-war period was quickly becoming defined by a West versus East narrative, and Tops supposedly got inspiration for what to title the drink from the approaching storm of Soviet influence that would spread across much of the European continent. The rest, they say, is history.

Black Russian vs. White Russian

Interestingly, the black Russian cocktail was invented first, though many people are now more familiar with a variation of it - the white Russian. According to Culturs Mag, the white Russian was first documented in the Oakland Tribune in 1965; another simple drink, this recipe just takes a black Russian and adds cream to it. Once the drink was featured in the cult classic film, The Big Lebowski, it eclipsed the black Russian in popular culture. Simply put, the white Russian is the black Russian's child, a dark-haired mother to a blonde-haired daughter.

Black Russian Variations

Since the black Russian is such a basic recipe, there are numerous ways you can doctor it to reflect the taste of extra spirits, fruits, or seasonings. Here are just a few of the ways you can modify a black Russian.

Black Magic

The black Magic focuses on adding a bit of tartness to the original black Russian recipe by incorporating just a small amount of lemon or lime juice.

Ingredients

  • ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Citrus twist to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, coffee liqueur, and vodka. Add ice and shake.
  2. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  3. Garnish with a citrus twist.
Black Magic Cocktail

Brown Russian

For something with a little fizz and a lighter taste, turn to this brown Russian recipe, which adds ginger ale to the classic cocktail's mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • Ginger ale
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, combine coffee liqueur and vodka.
  2. Add ice and stir.
  3. Slowly pour in the ginger ale on top and serve.
Brown Russian

Smooth Black Russian

For all you Guinness fanatics, the smooth black Russian should be the next mixed drink you add to your list of things to try; taking the regular black Russian recipe and adding Guinness on top; dark beer drinkers of the world will shout and rejoice over this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • Guinness stout
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, combine coffee liqueur and vodka. Add ice and stir.
  2. Slowly pour in the Guinness beer on top and serve.
Smooth Black Russian

Buttery Russian

This smooth dessert of a drink brings a bit more depth to the original black Russian recipe by adding a bit of butterscotch schnapps to the winning combination.

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Add ice and stir.
Buttery Russian

An Everyman's Cocktail

The black Russian is a perfect cocktail to make at home since it only requires that you have two different bottles of alcohol and some ice, whereas many other cocktail recipes involve multiple different juices, spirits, and materials that the average person doesn't have on hand. While this drink is normally enjoyed during the winter months since its rather heavy, nothing is stopping you from having one at your summer barbeque. So, whether you're a novice at mixing drinks or need a drink you can make on-the-go, the Black Russian is the perfect cocktail for you.

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Black Russian Drink Recipe With Bold, Timeless Taste