With just 2 ingredients, this Black Russian Cocktail recipe is full of flavor and ready in just minutes!
This simple vodka recipe is perfect for relaxed nights at home when you're looking for something easy to make with a hint of that coffee flavor you love.
I like to keep my home bar small and not house too many specialty ingredients. Kahlua is an exception.
Why This Recipe Works
When I have a flavored liqueur, like Kahlua, in my pantry I like to use it. While a White Russian is a classic, a Black Russian is even easier!
This is a great recipe to make at home since it's just a few ingredients that you probably already have. And you don't need any special tools to make it.
Served over ice, this Black Russian drink can be made FAST.
It's a great drink to sip slowly as you catch up on your favorite TV or just hang out with friends.
See the printable recipe card for full quantities. (Use the "JUMP TO RECIPE" button near the top of the post to be taken right to the card).
This recipe doesn't even require a cocktail shaker. It's made right in a short cocktail glass.
Add ice to the glass. Then add Kahlua.
Top the drink with vodka. Then gently stir.
I keep several bar spoons on hand to make it super simple (and they don't take up much space) although a regular spoon works well too.
Traditionally, this drink is stirred to chill then strained over fresh ice in a short cocktail glass. I skip that step and sip from the glass it was made in.
While I appreciate all the nuances of mixing drinks, some of the techniques are just too subtle for me to notice a difference and I don't think they need to be done when making drinks at home.
This cocktail recipe is similar to a gimlet in that it's pretty much all alcohol. I always like to make a recipe as written first and then change them to suit my taste preferences from there.
If you need to, add some sweetener, add some chocolate (boom) or even some vanilla.
While straight over ice is the classic way to experience this Black Russian drink recipe, you can jazz things up.
- Blended - start with one cup of ice added to a high powered blender then add the Kahlua and vodka. Blend, taste and adjust. A drizzle of chocolate sauce wouldn't hurt anything...
- Flavored vodka - Swapping out plain vodka for a whipped or vanilla variety is a great idea. It will bring another layer of flavor to the drink that you didn't even know you wanted.
- Simple Syrup - If you need a little more sweetness you can add some simple syrup or even a Cinnamon Vanilla Simple Syrup to level it up.
- Cola - Cola is an awesome cocktail ingredients and would pair really well with these two ingredients. (See more Coke Cocktails here).
- Spice it Up - Add a dash of cinnamon or even some orange bitters to finish things off.
- Espresso Martini - You can turn this Black Russian with Kahlua into an Espresso Martini easily. Just add a little simple syrup and some cooled espresso.
Frequently Asked Questions
A White Russian is white because of the cream. A Black Russian doesn't have cream and is a better option for people who don't want dairy in their cocktail.
Kahlua has a coffee flavor and is sweet, similar to a coffee syrup, with hints of caramel and vanilla. It can be sipped on its own
Yes. Kahlua is a liqueur but is relatively low in alcohol. It's about 20% abv.
What Else Can You Make With Kahlua
Try this Black Russian Cocktail recipe for your next happy hour. Be sure to pin it for later!
- Looking for something still easy but with a citrus twist? Check out this refreshing vodka cocktail.
- With ginger beer and lime, a Moscow Mule is a delicious vodka cocktail to try right now.
- Need something more herbal? A Cucumber Gimlet is a classic vodka cocktail that may become your new favorite.
Black Russian Cocktail Recipe
- Add ice to a short cocktail glass.
- Add Kahlua then vodka.
- Stir gently and enjoy.