Amer A. Vargas Mixology Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, July 2018, Let’s Talk about Mixology

Kobi Gutman

Let’s Talk about Mixology, Part 34

by Amer A. Vargas


As an homage to the football/soccer World Cup taking place this month in Russia, in this article we present the Black Russian. The name of the cocktail summarizes the two characteristics of the mix: Black for the final color of the concoction and Russian for the two ingredients that make up the cocktail. In fact, “Black” refers to the color provided by the coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa) included in this drink, and “Russian” to the use of the most famous spirit from Russia: vodka.

Preparation of this cocktail is as easy as putting some ice cubes in a lowball, then pouring in some vodka and finishing off with some coffee liqueur in a 2:1 proportion. The Black Russian doesn’t call for a garnish or decoration, but some variations of the cocktail, like the Red Russian (which uses cherry liqueur or strawberry schnapps instead of coffee liqueur) or the Green Russian (which uses peppermint instead of coffee liqueur) benefit from the addition of red fruits or spearmint leaves respectively, to enhance the final presentation.

As a trivia, and even though this article is a little homage to the World Cup host country, the Black Russian is known to have been created not in Russia, but a few countries away, in Portugal, towards the end of the 1940s.

In any case, sip and enjoy!


Mr. Vargas is the Institute’s President—feel free to contact him via email, AmerVargas @

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.