Cocktails Around the World: London’s Black Velvet

Plush, brooding, and opulent all perfectly describe Black Velvet – the fabric, the song, and yes, the cocktail.

The history of the Black Velvet dates back to 1861 London, where it was concocted in the Brooke’s Club as a drink to mourn the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. In her bereavement, the queen opted to wear all black for the remainder of her life. This inky cocktail is made from roughly equal parts Champagne and Guinness, two seemingly opposing beverages that meld together into what can only be described as pure decadence.

“Black Velvet” is also a pretty epic blues-rock song belted by Alannah Myles in 1989 (one that we may or may not have been unashamedly listening to on repeat). We love sipping this unique cocktail while listening to the Canadian singer’s gritty, yet melodic vocals. Even if you’re not into late-80s power ballads, you’re going to love this deceptively simple drink – it’s perfect for your next cocktail party or seasonal celebration.


  • 1 to 2 parts Champagne or other sparkling wine such as Cava or Prosecco, chilled
  • 1 part Guinness Extra Stout or other similar dark stout, chilled

You’ll also need:

  • A Champagne flute, highball glass, or other tall glass


  1. Fill a tall glass of your choice about halfway with sparkling wine.
  2. Gently pour the Guinness on top.
  3. Feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking by adding more or less of either the sparkling wine or stout. Also, try playing around with your pouring method. If you gently let the stout cascade over the back of a spoon, you may get an impressive layered effect.

And now, just because we can’t help ourselves – cue “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles, if you please…

Find sparkling wine for your next cocktail and much more when you shop the wine selection at WTSO.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *