Black Russian Drink Recipe

Embark on a flavorful journey with this delicious blend of vodka and coffee liqueur, and craft a timeless, classy Black Russian cocktail.

Black Russian Drink Recipe

You know that Little Black Dress that goes with everything? Every woman should have at least one in her closet. You can dress it up with an elegant pashmina or throw on some flip-flops and head to the beach.

Well, this Black Russian is the cocktail equivalent of your LBD. It’s basically just vodka and Kahlua (or any coffee liqueur you love), but trust me when I say it’s anything but basic. Two ingredients, tons of flavor, and a creamy finish that perfectly balances bitter and sweet. It’s time to class up this joint!

Just like the Black Russian, the White Russian and Espresso Martini also use vodka and a coffee liqueur as their base, with the addition of cream in the White Russian and espresso in the Espresso Martini.

Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe

With only two ingredients, this drink is super easy to make. But the addition of Kahlua elevates the cocktail, making the drink more robust and complex than you might expect. There are also plenty of ways to change up the recipe and create an entirely new taste. Plus, it’s a fun drink to serve any time of the year!

Black Russian Drink Recipe
Servings 1


  • An old-fashioned glass (although any glass will do)
  • A bar spoon
  • A jigger or measuring tool
  • A strainer (optional but useful)


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua or any coffee liqueur


  • Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes to cool it down while you gather the ingredients and prepare the cocktail.
  • In a mixing glass, add 2 oz of vodka and 1 oz of coffee liqueur. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
  • Take out the ice cubes from the rocks glass, and replace them with fresh ice. Strain into the refreshed glass over the new ice.
  • You can garnish your Black Russian with a lemon twist, orange slice, or cherry.

Tips & Tricks to Make a Perfect Black Russian

  • Vodka is the centerpiece of the Black Russian cocktail. Choose a vodka of decent quality; no need to splurge on high-end brands (unless you want to!) but avoid the bottom shelf, if possible.
  • While Kahlua is a classic choice, don’t hesitate to experiment with other coffee liqueurs. Try Tia Maria for a rich and velvety flavor or Mr. Black for a more robust cocktail.
  • Sipping a chilled cocktail from a chilled glass elevates the drinking experience immensely. Fill your old-fashioned glass with ice while you prepare your cocktail ingredients, then discard the ice and replace it with fresh ice when you’re ready to pour your drink.
Black Russian Drink Recipe


How can I experiment with flavor with the Black Russian?

Mixology is all about trying new things. Want a creamier texture? Add a splash of Bailey’s. For a hit of nuttiness, toss in a little Amaretto.

How many calories are in a Black Russian Cocktail?

A traditional Black Russian has about 210 calories. But this can change depending on the brands you use and your pour. A heavy hand means extra calories.

How to make ahead and store?

This is an easy beverage to prepare in advance. Mix your vodka and coffee liqueur in a pitcher and chill in the fridge. (Don’t put ice in the mix in advance. You don’t want them to melt and dilute your cocktail). Leftover cocktail mix can chill in the fridge for a week—but it will taste best in the first few days. Also, if you’ve served it over ice, it’ll probably already be a bit watered-down and might not be worth saving. But that’s your call!

What food goes well with the Black Russian?

With its strong coffee vibes and vodka’s adaptability, the Black Russian complements lots of different foods. Think chocolate desserts like this profiterole or any strong chocolate cake. If you’re having a dinner party, it’s a great aperitif. It also works well with snack foods like spicy nuts.

Black Russian Drink Recipe

Black Russian Drink Variations Worth Trying

1. White Russian: Add a splash of cream or milk to the traditional Black Russian, and you’ve transformed your cocktail into a White Russian.

2. Low-Carb Black Russian: Swap the regular coffee liqueur with a sugar-free alternative and use a lower alcohol content vodka for a healthier, low-carb take on the classic Black Russian.

3. Colorado Bulldog: A fizzy twist on the Black Russian, the Colorado Bulldog introduces cola to the mix. The addition transforms the cocktail with a refreshing undertone.

4. Dirty Black Russian: The Dirty Black Russian takes indulgence to a new level by introducing a scoop of coffee-flavored ice cream to the classic recipe.

5. Hard Russian Tea: Combine the flavors of coffee with the comfort of tea. Add vodka to the recipe—and Kahlua, if you’d like.

6. Black Russian Mocktail: For those abstaining from alcohol, replace the vodka with a non-alcoholic spirit and a non-alcoholic coffee syrup in place of Kahlua.

Black Russian Drink Recipe

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