Black Velvet Cocktail is a delicious and bubbly mixed drink with dark beer and sparkling wine.
Black Velvet Cocktail is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. What could be better than a dark, velvety, and bubbly drink with Guinness to celebrate those holidays?
For true purists, it is impossible to improve on a pint of fresh Guinness, but for the rest of us, the Black Velvet (beer cocktail) is a pretty delicious alternative. While there are a few well-known beer cocktails out there, most are either aimed at getting you drunk quicker, like the Boilermaker, or are so dressed up that the taste of the beer completely disappears, such as in Lost in the Shadows. The Black Velvet drink is different because it doesn’t disguise the flavor of Guinness but heightens it instead. The result is an easy-drinking cocktail with just enough sophistication to impress your guests.
What is a Black Velvet Drink?
This drink is dead simple to make as it is nothing more than equal parts Guinness (or any other stout) and sparkling wine. The sweetness of the sparkling wine somewhat tempers the inherent bitterness of the beer, while its natural acidity helps highlight Guinness’s coffee and chocolate notes.
Although Guinness is probably one of the most famous stout beer in the US, there is no reason why you have to stick to it to make a Black Velvet cocktail. There are lots of quality craft stouts now available in the US that are worth trying. Believe it or not, there are several types of stout-style beers ranging from oatmeal to milk stouts. Feel free to experiment with your favorite, but the flavor profile and dark black color of a Dry Irish stout make the most authentic Black Velvet drinks.
Traditionally champagne is the bubbly of choice, but any sparkling wine will do. Semi-sweet Moscato or Prosecco are perfect alternatives since an overly sweet wine doesn’t work well in this recipe.
Two ingredients make magic
With just two ingredients, it is hard to mess up a Black Velvet cocktail totally, but there are several ways to make it better. Start by ensuring that both the sparkling wine and the stout are as cold as possible since colder temperature helps prevent foaming. Unless you are lucky enough to have a stout on draft, stick the beer and the sparkling wine in the fridge for at least 8 hours before making.
Besides having the right ingredients at the correct temperature, a bit of technique can come in handy to pull off the layered look of the drink. If you are going to use a frother to blend the drink, skip this step. Otherwise, start by tilting the champagne flute and filling halfway with the sparkling wine. Pour slowly and let the wine run down the inside of the glass to avoid foaming. Then slowly pour the stout over the back of a spoon to float it on top of the wine.
Tips for Making a Black Velvet Cocktail
- Change the proportions. Some folks prefer to fill most of the glass with sparkling wine and float just an inch or two of stout on top. Or you can go the other way and add just a touch of sparkling wine to a pint of stout.
- No garnish necessary. Bartenders seldom serve a Black Velvet with a garnish, but the cocktail does pair wonderfully with most salty or sweet dishes.
Here’s all you need for a Black Velvet drink:
- Sparkling Wine
- Guinness Beer
A white, dry or semi-dry sparkling wine is best. Sweeter wines don’t seem to match the Guinness well, but you’re definitely able to try it and see if it suits your tastes.
How to Make a Black Velvet Beer Cocktail
- Fill a glass halfway with Guinness beer.
- Pour sparkling wine to fill the glass.
- Using a frother, mix the drink until it has a layer of foam at the top. Enjoy!
Chill the beer and sparkling wine before making the drink.
If you like your drink a little richer, do two parts Guinness and one part sparkling wine.
If you don’t have a frother, just stir to combine the beer and sparkling wine.
Favorite Cocktail Recipes
- Colorado Bulldog Drink
- Mudslide Drink
- Painkiller Drink
- Perfect Margarita
- Washington Apple Drink
- White Russian Drink
Great Recipes with Beer
- Beer Battered Chicken
- Beer Battered Fish and Chips
- Beer Battered Shrimp
- Beer Biscuits
- Beer Cheese Soup
- Beer Dip
- Beer Margarita
Black Velvet Cocktail
- 4 ounces Guinness beer
- 4 ounces Sparkling wine
- Pour the Guinness beer into a glass.
- Pour the sparkling wine on top.
- Using a frother, in small spurts, mix the drink until it has about ⅓ inch of foam at the top.
Recipe Tips for the Cook
- If you don’t have a frother, you can either skip the mixing or simply stir the drink.
- For a richer cocktail, do two parts beer to one part sparkling wine.
- A white, less sweet sparkling wine is best. Sweeter wines do not seem to match as well with Guinness stout or dark beer.