Black Velvet Recipe

Let's get this weekend started right. Here's a cocktail from Paul Clarke to kick things off. Need more than one? That kinda week, eh? Here you go. Cheers!

Before anybody nabs me on it, I confess: it's not really a cocktail—and by that I mean there's not a single drop of liquor in the glass. That's okay, because there's plenty of excitement going on in this drink so the harder stuff will never be missed.

The Black Velvet's name perfectly describes the experience and sensation of drinking one: thick, rich, luxurious, decadent and probably a little bit dangerous. I was apprehensive the first time I came across the recipe, but I was quickly won over: the drink marries the stout's ferrous tang with the dry, fruity crispness of Champagne, and makes itself all the more drinkable by cutting the beer's robust richness with all those manic bubbles.

Some people might recoil at the idea of mixing Guinness with Champagne; ignore them, they know not what they're missing. For beer, it must be Guinness, but for the wine, most anything sparkling will do as long as it's dry. And while the Black Velvet is great as an evening refresher, I've found it also works well as an off-the-beaten-path brunch drink.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins

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  • Guinness stout, chilled
  • Champagne or other dry sparkling wine, chilled


  1. Take an 8- to 12-ounce Collins glass and gently fill halfway with Champagne. Fill remainder with Guinness (go slow unless you’re fond of mopping up mounds of foam). Give a very gentle stir with a plastic or glass rod and enjoy.

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