Believed to have been created by a bartender at the Brooks Club in London, England, the Black Velvet was born in 1891 while the country was in mourning for Queen Victoria’s late husband, Prince Albert. The bartender thought Champagne was too celebratory for the occasion, so he combined it with stout.
A Velvet, as opposed to a Black Velvet, is made with porter instead of stout.–Brian D. Murphy
LC So, Sooooo Smooth Note
While we extend our respects–albeit a century late–to the somber origins of this cocktail, there’s no way we can contain our enthusiasm, our rapture, our over-the-moonness for it. Though it may seem an unlikely collision of sorts, it’s actually an inspired communion of effervescence and denseness, titillating and satiating, ladylike delicateness and handsome ruggedness. It’s so, sooooo smooth, it’s no surprise the cocktail takes the word “velvet” for its title. And, like its namesake, the libation lends a sense of subdued sophistication to any celebration, whether the accompanying attire is your fanciest pants or your comfiest faded jeans. But don’t take our word for it. See, or rather, sip for yourself.
Indulge us, please, just a tad longer so we can inform you of the proper making of a Black Velvet. Tradition holds the stout goes into the glass first. This technique creates a rather dramatic presentation since the Champagne, due to the difference in densities, lingers atop the stout in an impressive, if ephemeral, subsequent layer. It’s only a matter of time until the boozes mingle. To extend the lifetime of the layers, pour the Champagne over the back of a spoon to prevent it from plunging headlong into the stout.
Black Velvet Cocktail Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Serves 1
- 3 ounces stout (we’re talking Guinness here, folks, or the like)
- 3 ounces Champagne
- 1. Fill a Champagne flute halfway with stout.
- 2. Top it off with Champagne.
- 3. Imbibe.
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Black Velvet Cocktail Recipe © 2011 Brian D. Murphy. Photo © 2011 Liz Banfield. All rights reserved.