Don’t let the name put you off, this is a sneaky cocktail that will get the party going while still tasting great and looking stylish.
This cocktail’s dramatic name will ring true with many bartenders, it’s likely they know it well as the mind eraser is a flavored drink by bartenders who have just finished their shift and want both a caffeinated slap with a boozy finish. Combining coffee notes, vodka, and fizz, it is essentially a variation of a Black Russian.
History of the Mind Eraser
Although it’s hard to say who the drink’s originators are, it seems their intentions were to get drunk rather than create a fancy cocktail – the Mind Eraser is an accidental classic.
The Black Russian was created in the late 1940s in Brussels and has sprouted a whole world of varieties that have succumbed to their own fame such as the notorious White Russian, and it seems likely that the Mind Eraser was an offshoot of this two to one vodka and liqueur mix. While the Black Russian was known for its easy recipe, the Mind Eraser tops it calling for equal measures of liqueur, vodka, and mixer.
How to Make a Mind Eraser
The cocktail, much like the intention with its creation, doesn’t bother with traditional cocktail methodology. The Mind Eraser is made directly in the glass, rather than using the classic cocktail shaker.
The effect of this is to create a layered drink, where each measure sits on top of each other. The only real trick is to make sure you get the layers in the right order, or you might end up with a kick of vodka right at the end. The ideal order is to get a sip of sweet liqueur first, then the vodka, then the soda water to chase it all away.
You can achieve this layered effect by pouring the drink really slowly. Some reminisce that they used to drink the whole thing in one sip with a straw that was cut in half, it was both tasty and effective. Although some do argue that the three layering approach was an aesthetic choice by bartenders rather than an optimisation of your inebriation.
The Mind Eraser won’t erase your memories, as long as you’re careful, but one or two might make you forget your troubles for a moment.
Mixing Things Up
There are a few ways you can switch this cocktail up a little, one is simply to switch out some alcohol to spice things up! Some people swear by Chambord in this cocktail rather than coffee liqueur. The chambord provides the same sweet kick at the start of the cocktail but also adds fruity, caramel, and vanilla notes for those who aren’t keen on coffee liqueur.
Much like a Black Russian, if you enjoy a creamy affair why not go for something like Baileys instead of coffee liqueur to create a ‘white’ version of this cocktail while also reducing the alcohol in favour of taste. Depending on the time of year there are some potentially festive and seasonal variations for you to consider.
If it’s Christmas, go for some eggnog (see also: Best Rum For Eggnog)on the bottom layer for a unique after dinner aperitif. Another festive option is cherry kirsch which has a similar effect to a liqueur and always goes well with vodka, especially vanilla vodka.
Another great idea to spruce up this cocktail is to go for a flavored vodka. Our suggestion would be vanilla as it would really compliment the coffee liqueur. Although if you are switching up the bottom layer you could go for some left of field flavors such as apple or cherry flavored vodka with a Chambord bottom layer.
If you aren’t a big fan of Vodka, then something like Rum would work great for the middle layer too. Some spiced rum could pair real well with the coffee liqueur, or even your favorite brandy for a finer touch. This is a pretty heavy cocktail that could be too much even for a seasoned drinker, some opt for 1 or 1 ½ ounces rather than the recipe specified 2 ounces.
The Top Layer
That final chaser can be the key to a great Mind Eraser, like any encounter you want to finish on a good note. Some say that club soda is chosen because the carbonation can get you drunk quicker. So if you want a classier affair then feel free to experiment with the non-alcoholic elements of the cocktail.
If you want to go full White Russian you could choose milk for the final sip. Some find that milk is the best chaser as it provides a moorish finish that wipes away any trace of alcohol, it also provides creamy finish with the coffee liqueur (see also: Coffee Liqueurs)that is reminiscent of an Espresso Martini.
Depending on your chosen layers, you could go for any selection of carbonated drinks you want as the chaser. Lemonade would go great with any combination of layers, cloudy lemonade could add an aesthetic edge too.
Our suggestion with the original recipe is to go for cream soda. Cream soda is an all-rounder that provides creaminess and carbonation that will perfectly balance the flavors of vodka and coffee liqueur.
- 2 oz coffee liqueur, we like Kahlua
- 2 oz vodka
- 2 oz club soda
- Fill a glass with cubed ice
- Pour coffee liqueur over the ice
- Pour vodka, layering on top of the coffee liqueur
- Pour 2 ounces of club soda on top of the vodka
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 0g
Our Final Say
If this three layered approach doesn’t attract you, then you could quite happily pour the concoction into a shaker and pour over ice, or leave the ice cubes in the shaker and get a crushed ice effect. How you enjoy the cocktail will be a little different as you will be enjoying the layers mixed together rather than having them one after another.
The original recipe for the Mind Eraser is a great one, and leaves lots of room for the home bartender to experiment, as well as for bars to create their own variations. This cocktail is a classic and a great way to approach layered drinks and still have fun. Honouring the drink’s name, the true history of the Mind Eraser is lost in the jovial nights spent enjoying the cocktail – maybe you can find it!