Black Russian Cocktail

A Black Russian cocktail is incredibly easy to make, requiring just two ingredients: vodka and coffee liqueur. Here’s the recipe detailing how to whip up this classic drink in a matter of seconds. However, if you’d like to craft a Black Russian that rivals those made by seasoned bartenders, see below the recipe for some pro tips.

Black Russian Cocktail Recipe

Recipe by BeverageBeaver
5.0 from 1 vote
Difficulty: Easy


Prep time



A classic Black Russian has just two ingredients: vodka and Kahlua.


  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)


  • Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in 2 oz of vodka.
  • Pour in 1 oz of coffee liqueur.
  • Stir to combine.

Watch How To Make A Black Russian

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Making A Black Russian Cocktail: Pro Tips

As you can see, making a Black Russian cocktail is super easy. If you want to make your Black Russian extra special, here are some pro tips to ensure your Black Russian is of bartender quality:

Use High-Quality Ingredients

Always use a good-quality vodka and coffee liqueur. The flavor and smoothness of premium brands will elevate the drink. Kahlua is a great liqueur to use in your Black Russian, but you can also use Tia Maria, Cafe Borghetti Liqueur, or any other high-quality coffee liqueur.

For the vodka, there’s a lot of good brands to choose. We like to use Absolute Vodka, but you can try other high-quality vodka like Belvedere, Grey Goose, and Ketel One.

Chill Everything

Before starting to make your Black Russian, ensure that your vodka and coffee liqueur are chilled. This helps to keep the cocktail cooler for longer without diluting it too quickly.

Use Large Ice

Using large ice cubes or an ice sphere, rather than crushed or small ice, will also help maintain the cocktail’s strength and flavor for longer as the ice melts more slowly.

Use The Right Glass

While a Black Russian can be served in various glasses, an Old Fashioned glass is best. Make sure your glass is also chilled before pouring.

Measure With A Jigger

Always use a jigger or a measuring tool to measure the vodka and Kahlua. Getting the ratios right is key to making the perfect Black Russian.

Add A Garnish

While not traditional, a garnish can be added to your Black Russian to complement the deep flavors of the drink. Add a twist of orange or lemon peel for a fresh aroma, or place a roasted coffee bean atop a large ice cube to enhance the coffee flavors in the drink.

Black Russian Variations

While the classic Black Russian is made with just two ingredients, many delightful variations incorporate additional elements. Here are four delicious twists on the Black Russian cocktail worth trying out:

Black Russian with Coke (Aka, A Dirty Black Russian)

To make a Black Russian with coke, first, prepare a classic Black Russian in an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Then, simply top it off with cola to your desired level and give it a gentle stir to combine. This variation is great for those who like the taste of a Black Russian but want something with a little less kick. Dirty Black Russian Recipe.

White Russian

Made famous by the 1998 film ‘The Big Lebowski,’ the White Russian is perhaps more well-known than its counterpart, the Black Russian. To make a White Russian, prepare a classic Black Russian and then pour in some heavy cream or milk. This creamy variation of the Black Russian is perfect as an after-dinner dessert cocktail or as a luxurious treat on a cozy evening.

Colorado Bulldog

If you’re intrigued by the above two variations but can’t decide which one to go for, the “Colorado Bulldog” might be your answer. Essentially, it’s a Black Russian with both cream/milk and cola. To make a Colorado Bulldog, prepare a White Russian and then simply top it off with cola. The creaminess of the milk combined with the effervescence of the cola gives this drink a unique and delightful mouthfeel. Colorado Bulldog Recipe.

Blind Russian

This final variation is ideal for those who appreciate the creaminess of a White Russian but crave a stronger flavor profile. The Blind Russian cocktail, also known as “Muddy Water,” is crafted similarly to a White Russian, but with Baileys Irish Cream taking the place of milk or cream. Blind Russian Recipe.

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