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Black Russian Cocktail Recipe


This Black Russian Cocktail recipe is full of flavor and ready in just minutes!

With just 2 ingredients 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.

A 2 ingredient Black Russian drink in a glass next to a bottle of Kahlua.
Let’s make this Black Russian recipe.

Why You Should Try a Black Russian

A Black Russian cocktail is full of coffee flavor and made with only sprits meaning, this is boozy!

I like to keep my home bar small and not house too many specialty ingredients. Kahlua is an exception. Not only can you make delicious cocktails, but you can use it for baking and cooking as well. My mom’s been making this Kahlua fudge FOREVER.

Related: Classic White Russian

The sweet coffee flavor (with hints of vanilla) makes a great cocktail ingredient that pairs nicely with vodka.

This is a great Kahlua cocktail 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 two-ingredient Kahlua cocktail to sip slowly as you catch up on your favorite TV or just hang out with friends.

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!

I’m a big fan of black coffee. And while sometimes I may add some homemade cinnamon creamer or make spiced coffee grounds, I love a bold coffee flavor.


A bottle of Kahlua and vodka on a counter to make a Black Russian cocktail.
Here’s what you need to make a Black Russian cocktail.

Kahlua isn’t the only coffee liqueur on the market but it is popular, easy to find and not outrageously priced. If you have a different variety, feel free to use that.

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.

A glass with Kahlua and ice for a Black Russian drink.

Step 1

Add ice to the glass. Then add Kahlua.

A glass with ice and Kahlua and vodka on a counter.

Step 2

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 and 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.

Top Tips

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 it to suit my taste preferences from there.

If you need to, add some sweetener, add some chocolate (boom) or even some vanilla. You can also add a little simple syrup.


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.
  • Flavored Simple Syrup – If you need a little more sweetness you can add some flavored simple syrup or even make your own like this Cinnamon Vanilla Simple Syrup to level it up.
  • ColaCola is an awesome cocktail ingredient 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

What is the difference between a Black Russian cocktail and a White Russian cocktail?

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.

What does Kahlua taste like?

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

Is Kahlua an alcohol?

Yes. Kahlua is a liqueur but is relatively low in alcohol. It’s about 20% abv.

What Else Can You Make With Kahlua

A simple cocktail idea in a cocktail glass next to a bottle of Kahlua.

Try this Black Russian Cocktail recipe for your next happy hour. Be sure to pin it for later!

More easy cocktails

Close up of a Black Russian Cocktail recipe in a short glass on a counter.

Black Russian Cocktail Recipe

This Black Russian recipe is just two ingredients (vodka and Kahlua) and can be made in just minutes! If you like coffee, this is for you!
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Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Calories: 260kcal
Servings: 1 cocktail



  • Add ice to a short cocktail glass.
  • Add Kahlua then vodka.
  • Stir gently and enjoy.


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 it to suit my taste preferences from there.
If you need to, add some sweetener, add some chocolate (boom) or even some vanilla. You can also add a little simple syrup.
If you want something a little less boozy try a traditional White Russian.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 27g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CupcakesCutlery or tag #cupcakescutlery!

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