You’ll never forget the Mind Eraser cocktail thanks to its easy recipe and fun flavors.
We have vague memories of drinking Mind Eraser cocktails back in the 1990s, a decade after the layered cocktail was a star at NYC discotheques and lounges around the world.
However, now that we’ve crafted Mind Erasers at home, we can’t forget the caffeinated cocktail with stark similarities to the Black Russian.
What Is a Mind Eraser?
It would be easy to call the Mind Eraser a fizzy Black Russian or a Black Russian with bubbles since that’s essentially what it is. But not exactly.
Yes, the Mind Eraser drink starts with the Black Russian’s two ingredients, coffee liqueur and vodka, and adds soda water to the mix. But, unlike the Black Russian, the Mind Eraser’s ingredients are layered. Plus, it’s typically served with a straw.
In other words, the Mind Eraser is its own tasty thing.
The Mind Eraser shot is a smaller version of the Mind Eraser cocktail.
History of the Mind Eraser
It seems that the inventor of the Mind Eraser has been erased from cocktail history.
We can easily trace the Black Russian’s creation to Gustave Tops at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels back in 1949. But we don’t know who layered the Black Russian’s two liquors while finishing the resulting cocktail with fizzy water.
Did that barman or barwoman come up with the Mind Eraser’s name and did he or she serve the original Mind Eraser with a straw? We simply do not know the answers to these questions. Does it really matter? No, it does not.
Mind Eraser Ingredients
The Mind Eraser’s ingredient list is so short that assembling them shouldn’t hurt your brain. In fact, we won’t be surprised if you have already have the following required ingredients:
Not only does coffee liqueur taste delicious over ice, it’s also a key ingredient in Black Russian, Espresso Martini, Mudslide and White Russian cocktails. We typically use Kahlúa when crafting those cocktails as well as Mind Erasers
Sure, you could use another coffee liqueur like Australia’s Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur or Jamaica’s Tia Maria, but Mexico’s Kahlúa is a classic cocktail ingredient. Although most Kahlúa bottles have a 16% ABV, ours has a 20% ABV. We’re not sure why our bottle’s ABV is higher but we’re not complaining.
Since any vodka will work in our Mind Eraser recipe, we recommend using your favorite brand. We typically use Absolut Vodka since that’s our current vodka of choice. Distilled in Sweden, this vodka has a 40% ABV.
How To Craft a Mind Eraser Cocktail
Lazy mixologists will appreciate our Mind Eraser recipe’s short list of required bar tools:
Don’t give up if you’re missing one or both of these basic bar tools. You could use an angled measuring cup instead of a jigger and a teaspoon or tablespoon instead of a bar spoon.
Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.
Start the recipe by adding ice to a lowball glass.
Measure the coffee liqueur and pour it into the ice-filled glass. We use a Japanese jigger to measure this and other cocktail ingredients to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.
Buy a Japanese jigger if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Float the vodka by slowly pouring the clear liquor onto the back side of a bar spoon. This floating approach creates a vodka layer on top of the coffee liqueur
Top the glass with fizzy water by floating the fizzy water on the back of a spoon just like you did when you floated the vodka.
No garnishes are necessary though you’ll want to add a short straw both for decoration and sipping.
Mind Eraser Alternatives
If your mind is up to the challenge, mix things up by trying the following Mind Eraser alternatives:
Mind Eraser FAQs
A Mind Eraser is basically a fizzy Black Russian that’s crafted in layers.
The Mind Eraser’s history is a mystery.
Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Fizzy Water and Ice Cubes
Any vodka will work in the Mind Eraser recipe. We recommend using your favorite vodka.
The Mind Eraser is neither shaken nor stirred.
We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass but a highball glass would work too.
No. The Mind Eraser will not erase your mind unless you drink too many of the tasty tipples. As always, moderation is the way to go when imbibing Mind Eraser cocktails.
Mind Eraser Recipe
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces coffee liqueur
- 2 ounces fizzy water
- ice cubes
- Fill lowball glass with ice half way to the top.
- Pour coffee liqueur into the glass.
- Slowly pour vodka into the glass by floating the vodka on the back of a spoon.
- Top the drink with fizzy water that you float on the back of the same spoon.
- Serve with a straw.
- You can use either club soda or sparkling water in this recipe.
- Do not stir the cocktail as this will negate the layering effect.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: December 20, 2022