Black Death Cocktail Recipe

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Black Death Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Black Death cocktail, despite its ominous name, is a delightful mix of flavors that has been enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts for decades. It's named after the infamous 14th-century plague, but don't let that deter you! This cocktail is a hit at Halloween parties and other spooky events, but it's also a favorite among those who enjoy a strong, flavorful drink. The Black Death is a cocktail for the adventurous, the bold, and the daring.

How Black Death Tastes?

The Black Death cocktail is a potent mix of sweet, sour, and strong. The sweetness of the blackcurrant liqueur balances the tartness of the lemon juice, while the vodka gives it a powerful kick. It's a cocktail that's full of contrast and complexity.

Interesting facts about Black Death

  • The Black Death cocktail is often served in a skull-shaped glass for added effect.
  • Despite its name, the Black Death cocktail is actually a vibrant purple color.
  • The Black Death cocktail is sometimes garnished with a black cherry, adding to its dark allure.


A few good options for Black Death are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Vodka (1.5 oz)

Vodka is the backbone of the Black Death cocktail, providing a strong, clear, and neutral base that allows the rich flavors of the blackcurrant liqueur to shine through. If you skimp on the vodka, the drink might be too sweet and lack the boozy kick one expects from a cocktail. Too much, and the liqueur's flavor could be overpowered.

Alternatives: You could use gin for a botanical twist or white rum for a more mellow, sweeter profile.

Alex Green

Blackcurrant Liqueur (1 oz)

Blackcurrant liqueur brings a deep, fruity sweetness and luxurious purple color to the Black Death. Its rich taste balances the sharpness of the vodka and acidity of the lemon juice. Without it, the drink would lose its signature flavor and color.

Alternatives: Raspberry or cherry liqueur can be substituted to create a similar profile with different fruit notes.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice (0.5 oz)

The lemon juice adds a necessary burst of acidity and brightness, cutting through the sweetness of the liqueur and giving the cocktail a more rounded and complex flavor profile. Less lemon juice, and the cocktail may feel too sweet, losing its refreshing edge. More, and you might find the drink too tart.

Alternatives: Lime juice can serve as a substitute for a different type of citrus zing.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Black Death Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, blackcurrant liqueur, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality vodka for the best flavor.
  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to ensure all the flavors are well combined.
  • Serve in a chilled glass to keep the cocktail cold for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses, especially those with a bit of tang like goat cheese or a sharp cheddar, can complement the tartness of the lemon juice and the richness of the blackcurrant liqueur.
  • Dark Chocolate: The intense flavors of dark chocolate can stand up to the strong and bold flavors of the Black Death cocktail. Its bitterness can be a nice contrast to the cocktail's sweetness.
  • Grilled Lamb: The savory and slightly gamey flavors of grilled lamb could pair well with the fruity and vibrant notes of the blackcurrant in the drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Stout Beer: After the cocktail, a stout beer could be a good follow-up. Its roasted malt flavors would contrast nicely with the bright and fruity notes of the Black Death.
  • Coffee: A cup of strong black coffee can be a pleasant conclusion, offering a bitter note that cleanses the palate.

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What you could change in Black Death

  • If you can't find blackcurrant liqueur, you can substitute it with crème de cassis.
  • For a less strong version, you can reduce the amount of vodka.

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And of course - twists🍹

Black Death with a Sparkle


  • Vodka: 1.5 oz
  • Blackcurrant Liqueur: 1 oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Sparkling Wine: 1 oz


  1. Follow the original recipe steps 1-3.
  2. Strain into a champagne flute instead of a cocktail glass.
  3. Top with sparkling wine.

Taste Alteration: The addition of sparkling wine adds a fizzy and celebratory dimension to the drink, creating a more festive version of the Black Death with a slightly lighter alcoholic touch.

Herbal Death


  • Vodka: 1.5 oz
  • Crème de Cassis: 0.75 oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Herbal Liqueur (such as St-Germain): 0.25 oz


  1. Follow the original recipe steps 1-3.
  2. Add the herbal liqueur before shaking.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Taste Alteration: The herbal liqueur introduces a botanical complexity to the cocktail, playing with the bright lemon and rich blackcurrant flavors for a more nuanced drinking experience.

Black Rose


  • Vodka: 1.5 oz
  • Blackcurrant Liqueur: 1 oz
  • Rosewater: A few drops
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz


  1. Follow the original recipe steps 1-3.
  2. Add a few drops of rosewater to the shaker.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Taste Alteration: The subtle floral notes of rosewater offer an aromatic twist, giving depth and a touch of romance to our Black Death, making it more appealing to those who enjoy a fragrant cocktail experience.

In case you forgot basics how to make Black Death

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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Frequently Asked Questions on Black Death

Can the Black Death cocktail be prepared in advance?

Yes, you can mix the ingredients ahead of time but add the ice and shake it just before serving to keep it chilled and fresh.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Black Death cocktail?

Yes, you can replace vodka with grape juice or sparkling water and blackcurrant liqueur with blackcurrant syrup or juice.

What type of food pairs well with the Black Death cocktail?

Appetizers, grilled meats, and spicy dishes pair well due to the cocktail's sweet and sour notes.

Can I use lime juice instead of lemon juice for the Black Death cocktail?

Yes, but it may slightly alter the taste as lime is tangier than lemon.

Is it necessary to use a skull-shaped glass for serving?

No, it is not necessary. The shape of the glass is often used for presentation purposes, especially during Halloween parties.

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