Black Russian – Classic Cocktail

Authentic Black Russian Recipe Preparation time5 min Number of people: 1


  • 40 ml of vodka.
  • 20 ml of Kahlúa or coffee liqueur.
  • Ice.



  • Mixing spoon.

The Black Russian cocktail is one of the most glamorous vodka drinks you can make. It is a cocktail that is more than eighty years old, created in 1940 in honor of an American diplomat, with a base of the famous Russian drink and Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur that is highly appreciated in cocktails.

The origin of this cocktail takes us back to 1940, specifically to the Metropole hotel bar in Brussels. At the time, Parle Mesta was the US ambassador to Luxembourg and she was staying at the hotel. The diplomat was fond of cocktails and she used to go to the bar for a drink at the end of a long day at work. 

On one of those visits, Gustave Tops, the hotel barman, thought of dedicating a drink to such a distinguished client, who was known in embassies throughout Europe for her parties, attended by politicians and heads of state from all over the world.. With the war looming over Europe, the waiter thought of mixing a typical Russian drink with Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur that was very fashionable at the time.

Mesta enjoyed that cocktail, and as Tops expected, her mix became popular throughout the world, thanks to the receptions held by the ambassador. After World War II and during the Cold War years, vodka became one of the most popular bases for cocktails, thanks in part to these types of characters who brought these spirits from Europe to the United States. There, the Black Russian evolved and from it derived the “White Russian” or “White Russian”, which added a part of cream to the original recipe and became very popular in the 90s, thanks to the movie “The Big Lebowski”. ”, since the protagonist drank this drink at all hours.

The elaboration of the “Black Russian” is very simple, since it does not require the use of any cocktail instruments. In a wide and tall glass, of the so-called “Collins Type” ice is placed and the vodka is mixed with the Kahlúa. In this sense, the Kahlúa can be replaced by any type of coffee liqueur, including coffee pomace. However, keep in mind that pomace can have a higher volume of alcohol, so the cocktail could taste more bitter or too alcoholic.

Once all the ingredients are in the glass, they can be mixed using a long-handled imperial spoon. Finally, you can add a slice of lemon or a stick of cinnamon to decorate and give it a touch of flavor. 

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