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Black Russian Cold Brew

5 from 3 votes

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Two weeks back, we explored the scrumptious White Russian with cold brew and found it utterly delightful. Today, let’s turn our attention to the classic Black Russian, given a modern twist by replacing Kahlua with homemade cold brew.

This versatile cocktail can be made with either regular or vanilla vodka (my favorite). To capture Kahlua’s signature sweetness, we’ll add a splash of Simple Syrup.

Are you excited to mix up something delicious? Let’s dive in and create this refreshing cocktail together!

Let’s revisit the classics before diving into my unique Cold Brew Black Russian.

How do you make a Black Russian?

  • Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  • Add 1 1/2 oz vodka.
  • Add 3/4 oz Kahlua. Done!

How do you make a Sweet Black Russian?

  • Use equal parts vodka and Kahlua (1 oz each).

How to make a Classic White Russian?

  • Pour 1 oz each of vodka and Kahlua into an ice-filled glass.
  • Top with milk or Half and Half.
  • You can also use the classic Black Russian ratio here.

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s get creative!

Ingredients you need

Ingredients black Russian cold brew - sugar syrup, vodka, cold brew.
  • Vodka
    Choosing the right vodka can elevate your cocktail game. Go for a high-quality, smooth option like Grey Goose, Tito’s, or Belvedere. These brands offer a clean taste that perfectly complements the cold brew coffee.
  • Sugar Syrup
    For a touch of sweetness, use dolce syrup. It’s slightly sweeter and adds a rich, caramel-like flavor that enhances the overall drink.
  • Homemade Cold Brew
    The homemade cold brew is the star of this drink. Follow my simple Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee recipe for a smooth, bold coffee base that’s easy to make and perfect for this cocktail.


Shot glasses with vodka and cold brew, next to rocks glass filled with cubed ice.
Fill a rocks glass with cubed ice.
Pouring the cold brew into the rocks glass.
Add the cold brew to the glass.
Adding sugar syrup to the vodka.
Add sugar syrup to the vodka.
Mixing vodka with sugar syrup in a shot glass.
Combine well.
Pouring the sugar vodka mixture into the rocks glass.
Add the sugar syrup vodka mixture to the glass and serve.
Gorgeous cold brew black Russian served in a rocks glass and placed on a marbled plate.

How To Make a Black Russian without Kahlua

Step 1: Fill your glass with cubed ice.

Step 2: Pour in the cold brew.

Step 3: In a small glass, combine vodka and sugar syrup, stirring well.

Step 4: Add the vodka-sugar syrup mixture to your drinking glass.

Step 5: Enjoy the dark, bold look and exquisite taste!


Black Russian with Vanilla Vodka

Swap out regular vodka for vanilla vodka in your Cold Brew Black Russian for a delightful twist. The vanilla adds a subtle sweetness and a creamy flavor that pairs perfectly with the bold cold brew. This simple substitution not only enhances the drink’s taste but also adds an extra layer of complexity, making each sip even more enjoyable.

You can also experiment by adding vanilla vodka to your classic White and Black Russian recipes with Kahlua for a uniquely delicious flavor upgrade.

Cold Brew Black Russian with Rum

Since Kahlua is a Mexican rum-based coffee liqueur, let’s try a twist by using spiced rum instead of vodka. This swap introduces rich, caramel-like flavors reminiscent of Kahlua, adding delightful depth to your Cold Brew Black Russian. “Black Kraken” is a great choice for its notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves!

Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Fill your glass with ice cubes.

Step 2: Pour in the cold brew.

Step 3: Combine rum and sugar syrup in a separate container, stirring well.

Step 4: Add this mixture to the glass.

Step 5: Enjoy the enhanced flavor profile with a hint of rum!

This variation brings back the classic Kahlua note without using the liqueur itself, making it a delightful alternative.

Gorgeous cold brew black Russian served in a rocks glass and placed on a marbled plate.

Barista Tips

  • When making coffee, use filtered water to avoid equipment damage and weird flavors.
  • Opt for a coarse grind when making a cold brew.


  • Rocks glass
  • Jigger / Measuring tools
  • Small glass and small spoon – for mixing vodka with sugar syrup

Frequently Asked Questions About the Black Russian Cocktail

Why is it called a Black Russian?

The Black Russian cocktail gets its name from its two main ingredients: vodka, which is traditionally associated with Russia, and coffee liqueur, which gives the drink its dark color.

What is a Black Russian drink made of?

A Black Russian is typically made with vodka and coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua, served over ice. In our version, we use cold brew coffee instead of Kahlua for a unique twist.

What’s the difference between a White Russian and a Black Russian?

The Black Russian consists of vodka and coffee liqueur (or cold brew in our version), while the White Russian includes a splash of milk, half-and-half, or cream, adding a creamy texture and extra sweetness to the drink.

More Recipes and Tips You Might Enjoy:

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Gorgeous cold brew black Russian served in a rocks glass and placed on a marbled plate.

Black Russian with Cold Brew

This Homemade Cold Brew Black Russian recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic cocktail. Replace Kahlua with smooth cold brew coffee and add vodka and a touch of simple syrup for sweetness. The result is a bold, flavorful drink that's perfect for any occasion.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: alcoholic beverage, Cocktail, Coffee
Cuisine: Global cuisine
Keyword: black russian, black russian cold brew, cold brew
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Serving
Calories: 104kcal



  • cubed ice for the glass
  • 1 ½ oz Cold Brew
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • ½ oz Sugar Syrup


  • Fill your glass with cubed ice.
    cubed ice
  • Pour in 1 ½ oz Cold Brew.
    1 ½ oz Cold Brew
  • In a separate container, combine 1 oz Vodka and ½ oz Sugar Syrup, stirring well.
    1 oz Vodka, ½ oz Sugar Syrup
  • Add this mixture to the glass.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy ice cold.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 30mg | Sugar: 10g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Food Safety

  • Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
  • Never leave cooking food and beverages unattended
  • Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove

See more guidelines at USDA.gov.

By on June 11th, 2024
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About Nora

Nora is a full-blown coffee addict, who loves to make and write about everything that is coffee related. She is currently training to be a barista and loves sharing her knowledge.

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6 Comments on “Black Russian Cold Brew”

  1. 5 stars
    God, you are tempting me with all your delicious coffee cocktails! I always think I tried the best one already and then another comes along and I’m hooked again. This one was no exception. I loved in particular that it used no cream, to distract from the flavor or really good coffee. And I can make it with any of my favourite beans!

5 from 3 votes

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