Add Kahlua To Your Black Velvet Cocktail For A Hint Of Coffee Flavor

Discerning drinkers have long been singing the praises of two-parter cocktails. Even the most theatrical mixologists have a place in their hearts for mimosas, gin and tonics, martinis, Kir Royales, and as we're exploring today, the Black Velvet cocktail. Not to be confused with a Black & Tan, this classic combines equal parts stout and sparkling wine, and while it'll work with any dark stout beer, Guinness is customary. "The black stuff" totes sweet-bitter top notes of roasted coffee beans and chocolate – a natural fit for an added splash of coffee liqueur. What we mean is, slug a shot of Kahlua into your next Black Velvet cocktail.

Fans have been enjoying this ultimate beer cocktail for at least 160 years. Silky mouthfeel and dry biscuit flavor notes never go out of style, but that doesn't mean they couldn't benefit from an upgrade. The tip comes from the Instagram account Mob in collaboration with social media foodie Ben Lippett. The shot of Kahlua adds sweetness and coffee flavor, creating dimensional complexity in this understated sipper. Kahlua is a coffee-flavored liqueur made from 100% Arabica coffee beans and sugarcane-based rum. To let the flavorful Kahlua and Guinness shine without being overpowered or competing for the spotlight, opt for a dry, neutral bubbly; champagne is an ideal fit for the bill.

A mature take on an old reliable workhorse

To assemble a classic Black Velvet cocktail, pour the bubbly into the glass first, taking care to preserve those delicate carbonation bubbles, then slowly top it with the stout — that's it. No stirring is required. Foregoing stirring will also preserve the Black Velvet's signature foamy cap and color-blocked layers of sparkling wine and dark Guinness. With the addition of the Kahlua, simply add the shot of Kahlua into the bottom of the glass before the champagne and assemble as normal.

Since there's no ice in this cocktail, make sure your stout, champagne, and Kahlua are all well-chilled before assembling your Black Velvet. Even just 10 minutes in the freezer can make a big difference to create a drink that's greater than the sum of its parts. 

A classic Black Velvet combines two relatively light spirits, and the cocktail's total ABV only totals around 8%, so the added shot of 20% ABV Kahlua isn't going to transform this drink into a boozy bomb. It can take the heat. Plus, this is a wicked affordable upgrade. A 750ml bottle of Kahlua retails in the $20 to $30 range, varying by location, and all you need is one shot of it per drink.

This coffee-spike Black Velvet is a killer cold season sipper all winter long, not to mention a lightly caffeinated pick-me-up digestif after a food-coma-inducing holiday meal. Serve in a champagne flute or highball glass. (A glass stein works, too).