Home Enthusiast A black Russian with a touch of orange

A black Russian with a touch of orange


This recipe is adapted from Pour me anothera new cookbook featuring cocktail recipes from mixologist and James Beard Award-winning editorial director of Milk Street JM Hirsch.

Supposedly created in Belgium by bartender Gustave Tops in the late 1940s, Black Russian is a basic mix of two parts vodka to one part Kahlúa. Add heavy cream or milk and it becomes a White Russian. The problem with Black Russian is that not much happens.

Vodka doesn’t bring much more than alcohol to the table, which means you’re pretty much sipping boosted Kahlúa. The solution, however, is simple. The drink becomes a Russian Brando if you add orange bitters to the mix. That and a splash of orange liqueur are perfect for adding the bright, balancing notes this otherwise simple cocktail needs.

How to make a Russian brando


2 ounces of vodka

1 ounce Kahlua

¼ ounce orange liqueur

A dash of orange bitters

Ice cubes

Photo by Brittany Conerly

In a shaker glass, combine the vodka, Kahlúa, orange liqueur and bitters.

Making a Russian Brando - stir
Photo by Brittany Conerly

Stir with ice cubes.

Making a Russian Brando - pouring into a rock glass
Photo by Brittany Conerly

Pour into a highball glass with 1 large ice cube or 2 standard ice cubes.

Posted on October 11, 2022