Black Mamba Cocktail Recipe

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Black Mamba Nutrition Facts






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 Mamba cocktail is a concoction that slithers its way into the heart of those who dare to try it. Its name is inspired by the deadly African snake, known for its potency and agility.

  • Origins: The origins of the Black Mamba cocktail are shrouded in mystery, much like the snake itself. It's a modern creation that combines traditional and contemporary elements.
  • Popularity: This cocktail has gained a following among those who appreciate a complex, layered drink with a bite.
  • Perfect For: It's ideal for adventurous drinkers, fans of herbal and fruity notes, and anyone looking to try something bold and unique.

How Black Mamba Tastes?

The Black Mamba cocktail offers a complex flavor profile. It's a harmonious blend of herbal, fruity, and slightly bitter notes, with a warming sensation from the mulled wine and a crisp finish thanks to the lemon.

Interesting facts about Black Mamba

  • The Black Mamba is named after one of the fastest and most dangerous snakes in the world.
  • Fernet Branca adds a unique bitter undertone that complements the sweetness of the mulled wine.
  • The cocktail is often enjoyed during colder months due to its warming properties.


A few good options for Black Mamba are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Ingredients Explanation and Alternatives

Emma Rose

Gin (1oz)

Why: Gin adds a botanical kick which underpins the cocktail, pairing well with the herbal Fernet. Less might not carry through, more might overpower. Without It: You lose the herbal backbone. Alternatives: Vodka for a neutral base, or tequila for a twist.

Alex Green

House Mulled Wine (1oz)

Why: The spiced wine offers depth and a seasonal touch. It's all about balance here. Without It: The cocktail lacks the wine's warming character. Alternatives: A berry-forward red wine reduction if mulled wine isn't available.

Mary Mitkina

Applejack (0.5oz)

Why: Applejack brings a hint of fruit and Americana. Just enough to entice, not too much to dominate. Without It: Missing the subtle apple twist. Alternatives: Calvados for a more refined apple flavor.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice (0.75oz)

Why: Brightens the drink, gives it life and zing! Not a full ounce, that would be too pucker-inducing. Without It: The cocktail becomes too sweet and one-dimensional. Alternatives: Lime juice for a sharper tartness.

Alex Green

Fernet Branca (0.25oz)

Why: Fernet adds complexity and a minty edge. It's potent, so a quarter ounce is plenty! Without It: You'd miss the herbal intrigue that Fernet contributes. Alternatives: A dash of Angostura or another amaro for a different herbal profile.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Black Mamba Drink

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or a star anise if desired.

Pro Tips

  • Mulled Wine: For the best flavor, make your own mulled wine by simmering red wine with a blend of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, along with some orange peel and sugar to taste.
  • Chill the Glass: Always serve this cocktail in a chilled glass to maintain its crispness.
  • Balance: Adjust the lemon juice to ensure the right balance of sour to sweet and bitter.

Perfect Pairings

Pairings for Black Mamba Cocktail

Cheese Plate: Strong cheeses such as Stilton or Gorgonzola to complement the herbaceous Fernet and the fruit notes from the wine.

Charcuterie: Specifically, cured meats like prosciutto or soppressata can match the spirits' intensity and stand up to the bold flavors.

Dark Chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate could bring out the depth in the mulled wine and balance the cocktail's acidity.

Spicy Asian Cuisine: Dishes with a kick, like Kung Pao chicken, could work well with the apple and lemon notes.

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What you could change in Black Mamba

  • Gin: A London Dry Gin can be substituted for any high-quality gin.
  • House Mulled Wine: If you don't have house mulled wine, use a commercial spiced wine or make your own.
  • Applejack: Calvados or any apple brandy can be used as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Twists on Black Mamba Cocktail

The Herbal Serpent

  • Replace Gin with Tequila (1oz)
  • Replace Applejack with Mezcal (0.5oz)
  • Add a sprig of fresh rosemary. Use the same quantities for the other ingredients. This will give the cocktail a smokier, earthier taste with a Latin twist, perfect for those who want to explore the wilder side of the garden.

The Mamba's Kiss

  • Add raspberry syrup (0.5oz)
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries. Keep the original spirits. The raspberry syrup will inject a fruity sweetness that balances the herbal intensity, giving it a seductively sweet sting.

The Winter Mamba

  • Replace Lemon Juice with Orange Juice (0.75oz)
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon. Balance it with the same measurements for the remaining ingredients. With the orange juice's warmth and the cinnamon's spice, this variation is like a cozy blanket on a chill evening, wrapping your palate in comfort.

In case you forgot basics how to make Black Mamba

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

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Black Mamba

Can the Black Mamba cocktail be made in large batches for parties?

Yes, the Black Mamba cocktail can be scaled up for large batches. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large pitcher or bowl. Be sure to taste and adjust the balance of flavors as necessary when making large quantities.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Black Mamba?

While the Black Mamba cocktail is typically alcoholic, you can create a non-alcoholic version by substituting the gin and applejack with non-alcoholic spirits or fruit juices and using a non-alcoholic mulled wine recipe.

What type of glass is best for serving the Black Mamba cocktail?

The Black Mamba cocktail is best served in a chilled cocktail glass, such as a coupe or a martini glass, to enhance its sophisticated presentation and maintain the temperature.

How do I properly garnish the Black Mamba cocktail?

The classic garnish for a Black Mamba cocktail is a lemon twist or a star anise. Using a channel knife or a peeler, you can create a thin strip of lemon peel to twist and place in the drink, or float a piece of star anise on top for visual appeal and added aroma.

Can I use a different type of bitters instead of Fernet Branca?

Fernet Branca provides a distinctive bitter and herbal flavor to the Black Mamba cocktail. However, if you'd like to experiment, you can try using other types of bitters. Keep in mind that this will change the cocktail's flavor profile.

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