Mudslide Mayhem: A Short History of the Mudslide Cocktail

The Mudslide cocktail is a delicious drink that goes down like a dessert. Perhaps due to that fact, it’s been popular for decades. With its sweet taste with a twist, the question comes to mind: where did it come from? And how did it become such a classic? Here’s a look at the short but fascinating history of the Mudslide cocktail. 

Mudslide cocktail close-up

What is a Mudslide Cocktail?

A Mudslide cocktail comprises vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and heavy cream to create a milkshake-like consistency. Because of its sweet taste, the Mudslide is a good choice for dessert or after-dinner drinks.

The drink got its name from—you guessed it!—its similarity in appearance and consistency to a mudslide, a natural disaster wherein mud flows down the side of a mountain. It’s thick and creamy, and the way it rolls down the side of a glass often reminds its drinkers of a mudslide.

The Sweet and Surprising Origins

Although the Mudslide is now a classic, it’s less than 60 years old (that’s NOTHING in cocktail years). The general consensus is, it was made in the Grand Cayman Island of the Caribbean. Legend has it that a customer ordered a White Russian cocktail in the Wreck Bar & Grill in Rum Point Club, but the bar was all out of cream. The bartender, named Old Judd, tried Irish Cream instead, and the rest is mixology history.

Another story claims that Baileys, the company that rolled out its famous Irish Cream, actually introduced the Mudslide in the 1970s as a cocktail that would require its ingredient as the staple.

Either way, it’s the Mudslide’s Irish cream that gives it a thicker consistency than a White Russian, making for a creamy and rich drink that’ll get you buzzed before long.

Beloved by Many

Since then, the Mudslide went beyond borders and reached U.S shores, where it was brought into the market by local restaurants like TGI Fridays. Because it’s so easy to make, people also started serving the cocktail in house parties for their friends and family. 

The Mudslide has since been made into different versions for everyone. You can create Mudslide-inspired desserts, caffeinated drinks, and more, as long as you stick to the key ingredients. So whether you are looking for a classic Mudslide cocktail or a more creative variation, there’s surely a Mudslide out there for everyone. 

After many iterations and reaching more shores all around the world, the Mudslide now serves as an iconic drink that’ll have you feeling warm, fuzzy, and leave a sweet taste in the mouth.

For a full recipe, check here.

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