Black Velvet Drink

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Black Velvet drink, a classic Irish cocktail made with stout beer and champagne. This curious coupling is smooth with a tart edge and a touch of decadence.

A glass contains dark amber liquid in front of a shamrock plant and Guinness beer can.

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Black Velvet Cocktail recipe

This St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to bring out the classy cocktails.

It’s easy to associate the non-classy ones with this holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Irish Car Bombs, green beer and grasshopper cocktails when the time is right. One year I even made Irish coffee jell-o shots.

But when St. Paddy’s falls mid-week, it’s not a bad idea to go a little lighter. So this year, I’d like to introduce you to the Black Velvet Cocktail.

Like the light and refreshing beermosa — a beer mimosa made with beer and orange juice, — this beer cocktail requires just two ingredients. This black beauty is a strong, smooth blend of champagne and stout beer.

It might sound like an unlikely combination, but trust me — it tastes like sweet fruit dipped in dark chocolate!

More St. Patrick’s Day recipes: Guinness Chocolate CakeGreen MimosasHomemade Irish Cream

Why you’ll love this recipe

If you’re a beer lover, then the Black Velvet beer cocktail is one you’re going to adore! It might just be your new favorite Irish drink.

  • With just two ingredients, this beer and sparkling wine cocktail is easy to make.
  • It has a silky smooth flavor with a hint of bubbles — perfect for celebrating!
  • You can experiment with different types of stout beers or even try it with cider instead of champagne.

This popular drink is fun for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s just as welcome at New Year’s Eve — it’s a great way to upgrade the usual glass of champagne.

Looking for a black cocktail that’s not as heavy? Try this Black Champagne Cocktail made with black vodka.

Foam bubbles at the top of a Black Velvet cocktail in a gold-rimmed glass

What is Guinness?

Guinness is a particular brand of milk stout beer that is brewed in Dublin, Ireland.

It has been brewed since 1759 and, to this day, the stout beer is beloved in Ireland and around the world.

If you are lucky to visit Dublin, you can visit the original brewery for a tour and taste this Irish stout fresh. You can also try a pint of Guinness at the Guinness brewery in Baltimore, Maryland, or just about any bar around the world.

The Guinness logo features a golden harp instrument. Their slogan is, “It’s a lovely day for a Guinness,” and for good reason! It always is.

Though it was family-owned throughout most of the 20th century, Guinness joined the Diageo Group in 1997. Today, it is now brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in more than 150.

Glassware

Served in a champagne flute, this cocktail has all the poise of a champagne cocktail with a touch of the luck of Irish.

While coupe glasses can be used for most champagne cocktails, the layering of this two-ingredient cocktail won’t be as obvious, so I’d recommend a champagne flute.

Here are some of my favorite champagne glasses:

Ingredients

You only need two ingredients to make this iconic Irish drink! This classic cocktail is so simple.

Stout beer

The classic choice for this Irish drink is to use traditional Irish Guinness stout beer. It’s what gives this velvety drink its creamy texture.

Known for its dark black color and the signature thick layer of foam on top, Guinness beer is worth trying at least once. It’s not as scary as you’d think! This famous drink has a dark molasses color (almost ruby-red!), a lightly sweet flavor and dry biscuit notes.

But you could also opt for a coffee stout or chocolate stout instead. It’s a great way to support local breweries!

If you go with Guinness, you should ideally use the canned kind versus the bottled kind. Bottled Guinness should be enjoyed from the bottle. Since we’re pouring the beer into a glass,

According to VinePair, the brewers at Guinness suggest your beer be chilled to approximately 46°F, but at the very least, just make sure you put it in the fridge!

a bottle of champagne with a cork and wire topper

Sparkling wine

Champagne is the classic choice for the Guinness Black Velvet. However, because champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France, it can be a tad expensive.

Any kind of dry sparkling white wine, such as cava or prosecco, will work here too. Look for “dry,” “brut” or “extra brut” on the label.

My guide to sparkling wine can help you pick out a bottle and tell you more about the different types.

A great budget buy is Freixenet or La Marca, which are both in the $12-15 range. They are good quality yet they don’t break the bank.

Feel free to substitute cider or perry for the bubbly if you want an even cheaper option. This is called a “poor man’s Black Velvet,” but don’t let the name fool you — it’s still pretty good!

A traditional Irish cocktail sits in a glass with a can of Guinness and a champagne cage out of focus in the background.

Variations and substitutions

The Black Velvet is technically a type of Black and Tan cocktail, which is made by pouring a dark beer on top of a light beer. (In Ireland, the drink is called a half and half because in Ireland the term “black and tan” is considered to be offensive.)

For the Black Velvet, you can experiment with different types of stout beers and sparkling wines to find your ultimate combination.

Cider, perry or even hard seltzers can also be used as bubbly — it’s certainly a budget-friendly substitute for pricy champagne and still has that important fruitiness.

How to make a Black Velvet drink

Here’s how to make this super simple drink:

A gold rimmed glass sits half-full of Guinness beer. The can of beer sits behind along with a live shamrock plant.

Holding the champagne flute at a 45° angle, slowly fill your champagne flute halfway with the stout beer.

Then top with champagne.

Champagne is poured from a bottle into a tall gold-rimmed glass on top of Guinness beer.

For a thicker head on the cocktail: Hold the bowl of a spoon upside-down (convex side up) over the glass. Pour champagne over the back of the bar spoon over top of the beer. This process is called floating, and gives the illusion of a frothy head on the beer.

Then serve! The Black Velvet doesn’t usually get a garnish, but I’ve seen it served with a clover.

Tips & tricks

When you have a short ingredient list, it’s important to go for quality ingredients. Choose a reasonably priced bottle of sparkling wine to go with your Guinness (or another stout beer).

Make sure your beer and champagne are both chilled well — this will help you get the perfect foamy head on top.

Always pour Guinness at an angle!

A glass is half full of dark liquid while foam fills the remaining glass. A can of Guinness sits out of focus in the background along with the cage from a champagne bottle.

FAQ

What is a Black Velvet made of?

The Black Velvet is a simple cocktail made by floating sparkling wine over top of stout beer, such as Guinness.

How do you make a poor man’s Black Velvet?

This version of the Black Velvet is made with cider or perry instead of champagne, which is a relatively pricy ingredient of the classic Black Velvet drink.

2023 Update: This post was updated with new images and tips for making the best cocktail.

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A glass is half full of dark liquid while foam fills the remaining glass. A can of Guinness sits out of focus in the background along with the cage from a champagne bottle.

Black Velvet Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
A smooth and velvety drink made with Guinness beer and champagne to enjoy for St. Patrick's Day. Black is the new green!
5 from 5 votes
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ingredients

  • 3 ounces stout beer chilled (such as Guinness)
  • 3 ounces champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

instructions

  • Holding the champagne flute at a 45° angle, slowly fill champagne flute halfway with beer.
  • Hold the bowl of a spoon upside-down (convex side up) over the glass, and pour champagne over the spoon on top of the beer. (This process is called floating, and gives the illusion of a foamy head on the beer.)

notes

When you have a short ingredient list, it’s important to go for quality ingredients. Choose a reasonably priced bottle of sparkling wine to go with your Guinness (or another stout beer).
Make sure your beer and champagne are both chilled well — this will help you get the perfect foamy head on top.
Cider, perry or even hard seltzers can also be used as bubbly.
Always pour Guinness at an angle!

recommended products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 6ounces Calories: 72kcal Carbohydrates: 3g Protein: 0.3g Sodium: 6mg Potassium: 75mg Sugar: 1g Calcium: 8mg Iron: 0.3mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

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Comments

  1. grace says

    two alcoholic beverages that fall into my “i’ll drink them but i don’t love them” category are stout and champagne. maybe they’re even better together? worth a try anyway! i love the look of it. 🙂

  2. Ashley @The Olive and The Sea says

    Black Velvets are delicious! Thanks for the inspiration! I know what I’ll be drinking for St. Patty’s day…

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