Black Orchid Cocktail Recipe

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Black Orchid 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 Orchid is a cocktail that was created by master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. It was first served at the opening of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas in 1998. This cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy a smooth, fruity, and slightly sweet drink. It's a perfect choice for a sophisticated evening or a special celebration.

  • Origin: Las Vegas, 1998
  • Creator: Tony Abou-Ganim
  • Preferred by: Those who enjoy fruity and slightly sweet cocktails

How Black Orchid Tastes?

The Black Orchid has a smooth, fruity, and slightly sweet taste. It's a harmonious blend of the tropical flavors of lychee and lemon, with a hint of vanilla from the vodka. The taste is rounded off with a subtle floral note from the orchid garnish.

Interesting facts about Black Orchid

  • The Black Orchid was the signature cocktail at the opening of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
  • The cocktail is named after the black orchid garnish that is used to decorate the drink.
  • Despite its name, the Black Orchid cocktail is not black but rather a clear, pale color.


A few good options for Black Orchid are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Why 2 oz?: It's the perfect amount to provide a strong base without overpowering the more delicate flavors of lychee and lemon. It's the backbone of the drink, giving it structure and a clean bite.
  • What if you don't use it?: You'll miss the kick that defines the spirited nature of a cocktail. If vodka isn't your thing, try white rum for a sweeter, more tropical vibe.

Alex Green

Lychee Juice

  • Why 1 oz?: This amount balances the sharpness of the lemon and vodka, providing a sweet and aromatic touch that's essential for the signature Black Orchid taste.
  • What if you don't use it?: The cocktail will lose its exotic flair. An alternative could be white peach nectar for a different but similarly sweet fruit profile.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

  • Why 0.5 oz?: Just enough to brighten up the cocktail and provide a crisp tartness that rounds out the flavors. It's like adding a splash of sunshine!
  • What if you don't use it?: You'll miss the zesty note that freshens the palate. A possible alternative is lime juice for a slightly different citrus twist.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

  • Why 0.5 oz?: It smoothens out the tartness of the lemon and the strong nature of vodka. The subtle sweetness enhances the lychee's flavor without overwhelming the drink.
  • What if you don't use it?: The cocktail may become too sour. For a twist, you can use honey syrup or agave nectar for a more complex sweetness.

Alex Green

Black Orchid

  • Why 1?: It’s not just a garnish; it’s a statement. It adds an elegant touch and could potentially impart a very subtle floral note, if you're into that kind of sophistication.
  • What if you don't use it?: You'd lose that 'wow' factor that turns heads as the drink is served. No real substitute for this unique embellishment—embrace it!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Black Orchid Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of vodka, 1 oz of lychee juice, 0.5 oz of lemon juice, and 0.5 oz of simple syrup to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a black orchid.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality vodka for the best taste.
  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to fully combine the ingredients.
  • Chill your martini glass before serving for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings


  • Sushi: The delicate flavor of lychee and the lightness of vodka make this cocktail a great companion for sushi, especially those with a bit of a tropical twist.
  • Spring Rolls: Pair with fresh Vietnamese or Thai spring rolls that have a hint of citrus to complement the lemon juice in the drink.
  • Cheese Plate: A selection of mild cheeses can provide a great contrast to the bright and fragrant notes of the Black Orchid.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Seafood: The acidity from lemon juice goes really well with grilled fishes or shrimps, enhancing their natural flavors.
  • Chicken Satay: The sweetness of the cocktail pairs surprisingly well with the savory and slightly spicy flavors of satay.


  • Fruit Tarts: A fruity dessert amplifies the lychee juice component of the Black Orchid, creating a harmonious dining experience.
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: The simplicity of vanilla will make the exotic flavors in the cocktail stand out even more.

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What you could change in Black Orchid

  • Vodka: You can substitute the vodka with gin for a more botanical flavor.
  • Lychee Juice: If you can't find lychee juice, you can use peach or pear juice as a substitute.
  • Black Orchid: If you can't find a black orchid, you can use a purple orchid or a lemon twist as a garnish.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Orchid

  • Ingredients: Add a few slices of cucumber to the shaker.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, adding cucumber slices before shaking. Strain into a martini glass, garnishing with a cucumber ribbon instead of an orchid.
  • Taste Change: The cucumber provides a hydrating and refreshing twist, lending a garden-fresh brightness to the overall flavor profile.

Spicy Orchid

  • Ingredients: Include a slice of jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Recipe: Muddle the jalapeño slice or mix in the hot sauce with the other ingredients in the shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
  • Taste Change: It kicks up the heat for a tantalizing burn that contrasts the sweet lychee and smooth vodka. Perfect for those who love a spicy edge in their cocktails.

Elderflower Orchid

  • Ingredients: Substitute 0.5 oz of simple syrup with 0.5 oz of elderflower liqueur.
  • Recipe: Use elderflower liqueur in place of simple syrup, shaking the rest of the ingredients as usual. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a black orchid.
  • Taste Change: Elderflower liqueur will introduce a delicate floral sweetness, adding complexity and a fragrant twist to this elegant cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Black Orchid

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

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 Orchid

What is the appropriate setting to enjoy a Black Orchid cocktail?

A Black Orchid cocktail can be enjoyed in any setting but is particularly fitting for a sophisticated evening event or a special celebration due to its smooth, fruity, and slightly sweet taste.

If I don't like fruity cocktails, will I enjoy the Black Orchid?

The fruity elements of the Black Orchid cocktail are subtly balanced with the smoothness of vodka and the sweetness of simple syrup. If you're unsure, give it a try - you might be pleasantly surprised!

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Black Orchid cocktail?

Yes, you could replace the vodka with a non-alcoholic substitute like sparkling water for a refreshing twist. Just note that it will obviously alter the original flavor of the cocktail.

Does the Black Orchid cocktail come with any specific drinking etiquette?

There are no stringent rules associated with drinking the Black Orchid cocktail. Just sip it slowly to savor its flavors and enjoy the experience.

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