The Story Behind The Black Russian

Despite its name, the Black Russian was created by a Belgian barman named Gustave Tops. As the story goes, Tops concocted the drink in 1949 at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels for Perle Mesta, an American ambassador to Luxembourg who often frequented the bar.

This classic cocktail gets its title from the two ingredients found within it: Vodka is widely known for its Russian origins, while Kahlúa gives the beverage its dark color. The Black Russian is almost identical to the White Russian — a drink also created by Tops — but the former lacks cream. Simple to execute, the Black Russian is packed with the rich, sweet flavors of coffee liqueur with just the right kick for any occasion.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa
  • Garnish: cocktail cherry


  1. Add vodka and Kahlúa to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain over a rocks glass with fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

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Yield: 1
Calories: 233
Updated: 2022-06-01

The Black Russian Recipe