Black Velvet (Drink)

 Image credit: BBC Good Food

Image credit: BBC Good Food

The Black Velvet is a drink made with Guinness and champagne. A bit of a novelty drink--but like Irish Coffee—its found all over Ireland. The Guinness and champagne pair together surprisingly well to create a combination of smooth and tart, with a lovely signature frothy head.

The drink was created in 1861 by a bartender at London’s famous Brooke’s Club to mourn the death of Prince Albert. The story goes that the steward at the club, overcome with emotion of the occasion, ordered that even champagne should be put into mourning—then preceded to mix it with Guinness. The color of the drink is supposed to symbolize the black or purple cloth armbands worn by mourners. 

There are a couple of ways to create this refreshing drink. The recipe is quite simple: equal parts chilled champagne (dry works best—you can also use Prosecco) and Guinness in a champagne flute or Collins glass. Fill the flute or Collins hallway with Guinness then top with Champagne. 

However, to make a more attractive presentation, first pour the Guinness--letting it settle then carefully pour the champagne on top (using back of a bar spoon, if necessary). The idea is to float the Champagne on top of the Guinness to create two distinct layers!