Black Russian Recipe

The Black Russian cocktail, cousin of the more famous White Russian, should not be overlooked. Learn how to make the Black Russian Recipe with our award winning bartenders.
Black Russian recipe

Method

Build

Glass

Rocks

Category

Vodka

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TELL US ABOUT THE BLACK RUSSIAN RECIPE

The story goes that in 1949, Belgian bartender Gustave Top was working at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, when he heard about a famous visiting guest.

Rather than it being a visiting Russian dignitary, it was actually an American ambassador and socialite called Perle Mesta.

Mesta had been given the role of US Ambassador to Luxembourg by then President Truman, in thanks for her support during his campaign.

Mesta was the person to know in the American social scene, famous for her sophisticated parties.

Quite a useful ally when you’re running for the highest office in the land.

The lobby of the Hotel Metropole Brussels where the Black Russian recipe and the White Russian recipe were invented

Here, the legend diverges.

In one version, Tops created the White Russian recipe in honour of Mesta’s visit. In others, it is the Black Russian cocktail recipe invented for the occasion.

Whilst it’s not clear which came first, we do know that Tops is attributed to inventing both recipes, at roughly the same time period.

And whilst Mesta had no connection to Russia, the inclusion of Vodka, a spirit originating from that country, was enough for the association between cocktail and nation to be made.

The Black Russian recipe omits the milk and cream mix which is a mainstay of the White Russian.

It can be served with simply vodka mixed with coffee liqueur (which gives it the “black” part of the name). However, many bartenders add a dash of cola.

The Black Russian recipe is not as famous as the White Russian, mainly due to the latter being featured in the film The Big Lebowski.

Yet it’s simplicity means it’s an easy and delicious drink for the home bartender to try.

BLACK RUSSIAN RECIPE INGREDIENTS

50ml Vodka
25ml Coffee Liqueur

HOW TO MAKE THE BLACK RUSSIAN COCKTAIL RECIPE

Similar to the White Russian, this cocktail is built in a rocks glass.

Add cubed ice, then pour in the vodka and liqueur.

Stir until the mix is combined.

Expert Tip

The Black Russian is traditionally served without a garnish.

WHAT TO DRINK NEXT

Once you’ve enjoyed the Black Russian cocktail recipe, then it’s worth adding milk and cream to make the White Russian.

They are both simple yet effective drinks and it’s educational to see how the addition of the Half and Half mix alters the Black Russian’s flavour.

Next is the Tall Black Russian or Dirty Black Russian which adds a dash of coca cola to the mix.

If you’re trying this, don’t overdo it – 12.5ml should do it.

If you’re into your stouts, then the Irish Black Russian adds a head of Guinness to the drink.

Those looking for a Halloween cocktail could try the Black Magic, which takes the traditional Black Russian cocktail recipe and adds a dash of lemon juice.

Or if you’re looking for a longer drink to sip over time, go for a Brown Russian. This is the standard recipe, with a top of Ginger Ale.

 

Enjoy this Black Russian recipe? Get social with us @thecocktailsocietyuk for more cocktail tips and recipes.

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