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Encyclopedia > Black Velvet (cocktail)

The Black Velvet cocktail, also known as a Bismarck, is a cocktail made from a stout beer (often Guinness) and a white, sparkling wine, traditionally champagne. cocktail In general, a cocktail is a mix of several substances, usually liquids. ... A pint of stout Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malts or roast barley. ... Arthur Guinness Son & Co. ... Wine is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting grapes or grape juice. ... Champagne is often drunk as part of a celebration Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the secondary fermentation of wine. ...

A black velvet is made by filling a tall flute glass halfway full of chilled stout and floating the sparkling wine on top of the stout, with the differing densities of the liquids allowing them to remain largely in separate layers (as in a pousse-café). Relative density (also known as specific gravity) is a measure of the density of a material. ... A pousse cafe is a kind of cocktail in which the slightly different specific gravities of various liqueurs are used to create an array of colored layers. ...

According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the black velvet was the favorite drink of Otto von Bismarck, who supposedly drank it by the gallon. In Germany, the cocktail often goes by his name. Prince Otto von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (April 1, 1815 – July 30, 1898) was one of the most prominent European aristocrats and statesmen of the nineteenth century. ...

A common variation is the poor man's black velvet, prepared with a cider bottom layer.


Whatever the top layer is, the effect is best achieved if it is poured over a spoon turned upside down over the top of the glass so that the liquid runs gently down the sides rather than splashing into the lower layer and mixing with it.

The origin on the drink is from Brook's Club, London, 1861, and was served as the nation mourned the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's Prince Consort.

Poor Man's Black Velvet

Apple cider or perry is sometimes used in place of the more expensive champagne, in which case the stout is floated on top of the cider or perry. This cocktail is known as a Poor man's black velvet. It has been suggested that Apple juice be merged into this article or section. ... Traditional perry (poiré in French) is bottled champagne-style in Normandy Perry or pear cider is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented pear juice. ...

See also

A similar effect is achieved by mixing a dark and a light-colored beer in the black and tan cocktail, though the more similar specific gravities allow for less distinct layers. Black and Tan is a cocktail made from equal parts English bitter (ale) and Irish stout, with the stout most commonly being Guinness. ...



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