Friday, March 14, 2014

How to Make "Black Velvet," a Guinness-Based Cocktail, for St. Patrick's Day

Posted By on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Our Black Velvet. | Nancy Stiles
  • Our Black Velvet. | Nancy Stiles

St. Patrick's Day is Monday (with celebrations starting Saturday), and usually that means green beer for all. But the more we thought about it, we figured there had to be a better cocktail out there to celebrate the luck of the Irish. That's when we stumbled across a recipe so foul-sounding we figured it was probably fantastic.

See also: Gut Check Taste Test: Bud Light Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita

It's also not Irish in origin at all, but this is no time to be a stickler. The Black Velvet was created in 1861 by the bartender at the Brooks's Club in London. The dark drink commemorated the death of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert.

We're so classy. | Nancy Stiles
  • We're so classy. | Nancy Stiles

This recipe couldn't be simpler: Pour the champagne in first, and top it off with Guinness, in a 50-50 ratio. The two liquids have different densities, so they're supposed to separate, creating a layer effect. Apparently we screwed that up -- ours were just brown (online recipes suggest pouring the beer over the back of a spoon).

Ours may not have looked pretty but they tasted damn good. All the Gut Check testers agreed the Black Velvet was surprisingly drinkable. It was pretty sweet, even though the champagne was extra dry, and it almost had a cider taste to it. We were pleasantly surprised -- the consensus was that we could definitely see ourselves throwing a few back come Saturday.

One tester also sang a beautiful rendition of "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles to go along with the drinks. We do not recommend this.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at or follow her on Twitter.

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