Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne
1st March 2021
I must say that I hadn’t heard of this combination until I was watching some old episodes of the Bullseye (British darts-themed television game) and Jim Bowen asks one of the contestants the question ‘What are the ingredients of the drinks cocktail ‘Black Velvet’. Well, the ‘lockdowns and pandemic’ is the excuse I have for watching old game shows from the 1980s on Youtube and it’s the question from the host regarding this particular cocktail ‘Black Velvet’ that sees me pairing Guinness and Champagne.
I must say I was surprised when I heard the answer to the ‘Black Velvet question’, never did I think that what for me is enjoyed super cool in a pint glass, Guinness, would be a suggestion to pair with Champagne. Though, working through tasting many Champagne cocktails, I am used to ingredients being somewhat limitless, not only have we the tried and tested (usually served at many luxury hospitality locations globally) cocktails such as the French 75, but we have creative bartenders giving us ingredients such as tomato juice, sardine oil and squid ink.
So I am taking two of my favoured alcoholic drinks in Guinness (canned draught stout with the widget) and Champagne, indeed I am taking a trophy winning Champagne label for the category of ‘Creamy’ in the hope these two will combine well. It is advisable that you do not pair a too dry / less sugar Champagne as the stout is bitter and will be better paired with a sweet style Champagne (Brut / Extra Dry).
“‘Black Velvet’ was first made by a bartender of Brooks’s Club in London in 1861 to mourn the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s Prince Consort. It is supposed to symbolize the black or purple cloth armbands worn by mourners. It was said that “even the Champagne should be in mourning.” Today, the drink is not exclusive to mourning.” source Wikipedia.
Black Velvet Cocktail
Tools & Ingredients: You will need a tall glass, a cocktail spoon, draught Guinness, Brut Champagne.
Creating the cocktail: Pour slowly the Guinness into your glass slowly to avoid a thick head and fill to one third. Pour in the Champagne slowly using a cocktail spoon so the liquid remains relatively divided in the glass and fill the glass. You should be left with a split between the Guinness at the bottom and Champagne at the top.
Drinking the cocktail: Depending on the tasting experience you can either drink the cocktail split for Champagne first then Guinness or you can mix the two together (once mixed they stay mixed).
Black Velvet Tasting Notes: “Poured carefully then you’ll get the darkness of the Guinness looming at the bottom of the glass. More or less clear Champagne formation at the top. Aromas are metallic with subtle sharpness of citrus added and a sea breeze touch. Citrus flavours of Champagne character, more or less as per tasting the Champagne on its on though a notable metallic character. Mixing the drink you get quite a relaxing flavour of the stout with softer citrus and acidic yellow fruits. You do indeed get to enjoy both ingredients at once and neither over shines the other. Once mixed it stays a mixed solution. The mixed solution works well.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.