Black Russian Cocktail


  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
  • 3/4 fluid ounce coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua®)
  • 1 cup ice


Black Russian Cocktail Glass

Preparation instructions:

  1. Combine vodka and coffee liqueur in an old-fashioned glass. Add ice and stir well.

Original recipe makes 1 serving

History of the Black Russian Cocktail

In the late 1940s, Perle Mesta, the American ambassador to Luxembourg, was hanging around in the bar at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. The establishment's bartender, Gustave Tops, thought to create a signature cocktail for her, the Black Russian. The Cold War was just getting started, therefore creating a dark, mysterious cocktail by combining Russian vodka with Kahlua was most suitable for the time.

Mesta, by the way, was said to be the inspiration for Sally Adams, the lead character in Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam-played by Ethel Merman when the show opened up on Broadway in 1950. And she was well-known in Washington as "the Hostess with the mostes' ." It's said that President Harry Truman performed the piano at one of her events , whilst General Dwight Eisenhower supposedly sang "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" at another . There's no record of exactly what she was serving at these types of soirees, however the Black Russian must have also been a contender .