Black Velvet (beer cocktail)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Black Velvet
Black Velvet Cocktail Layered.jpg
A layered Black Velvet cocktail with the stout on the top
TypeMixed drink
Standard drinkwarePilsner glass
Commonly used ingredientsStout and Champagne
PreparationMix equal parts stout and Champagne
Prince Albert in 1860, the year before his death

The Black Velvet is a beer cocktail made from a combination of stout (often Guinness) and white sparkling wine (often Champagne).

The drink was first made by a bartender of Brooks's Club in London in 1861 to mourn the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's Prince Consort.[1][2] It is supposed to symbolize the black or purple cloth armbands worn by mourners. It was said that “even the champagne should be in mourning.” Today, the drink is not exclusive to mourning.


A Black Velvet is made by mixing equal parts of stout and Champagne or cider without ice. Traditionally, the Black Velvet is served in a beer tankard.

Layered variation[edit]

A Black Velvet can also be made by filling a champagne flute halfway with sparkling wine and floating the chilled stout beer on top of the wine. The differing densities of the liquids cause them to remain largely in separate layers (as in a pousse-café). This gives the cocktail a unique two-coloured appearance. The effect is best achieved by pouring the stout over a spoon turned upside down over the top of the glass. This ensures that the liquid runs gently down the sides of the glass rather than mixing with the lower layer.[3]

Similar drinks[edit]

  • When cider or perry is used in place of the more expensive champagne, it is still known as a Black Velvet in its originating country (the UK). Outside of the UK, the cider version is sometimes referred to as a Poor Man's Black Velvet.[3]
  • In Germany, a version of the drink made with Schwarzbier (a dark lager) and served in a beer stein or beer mug is called a "Bismarck." According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the "Iron Chancellor" supposedly drank it by the gallon.[4]
  • A variation called Velluto Italiano – Italian Velvet – substitutes two parts Birra Moretti La Rossa as the grain component and one part Prosecco as the grape component. The drink was developed to span the range between sweeter cider and dryer champagne variations while taking advantage of the increased interest in Prosecco in the United States.
  • The Champagne Velvet appeared in Jacob Grohusko's 1910 cocktail guide Jack's Manual, and called for equal parts cold porter and champagne, stirred slowly in a goblet.[5]
  • In Quebec, Canada, similar to the Black Velvet but with an additional layer, the Bien Jojay is made of cider, white beer and Guinness.[6]
    Bien JoJay


  1. ^ Calabrese, Salvatore (1997). Classic Cocktails. New York: Sterling Publishing. p. 83.
  2. ^ "Black Velvet". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Black Velvet".
  4. ^ "the definition of Bismarck".
  5. ^ Grohusko, Jacob (1910). Jack's Manual. New York: McClunn & Co. p. 36.
  6. ^