Black Russian

The Black Russian is a classic that has been around since the Cold War era. It has been suggested that this cocktail was created by the barman Gustave Tops. Apparently he served it to his friends who worked at the Hotel Metroploe in Bruxelles in 1950. Furthermore, it has also been referenced that he used to serve this particular cocktail to the American ambassador Pearl Mesta.

The “Russian” part of the name comes about due to the drink containing vodka; it is by no means a traditional Russian drink instead just a pun.

The coffee and vodka blend of the Black Russian gives the taste buds a combination of sweet and sharp tastes. This is perfect to serve as an after dinner cocktail when entertaining.

The Recipe

This recipe serves 1

  • 1½ measures vodka
  • 1 measure coffee liqueur (e.g. Tia Maria or Kahlua)
  • Garnish: 1 stemmed cherry

Add the vodka, coffee liqueur and ice into a cocktail shaker and shake once or twice. Strain over an ice filled rocks glass and decorate with a stemmed cherry.


  • For a longer drink you can use a tumbler and add coke.
  • An Irish Russian, often called a Smooth Black Russian, can be made by preparing a Black Russian in a tall glass topped with just enough Guinness to give it a head.
  • A Black Irish can be prepared by stirring 3 measures of Irish whiskey and one measure Kahlua over ice, finishing with a cherry for garnish.

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