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How to Make a Vodka-Based Blackhawk Variant

Blackhawk Variant.  Look at that color!

Blackhawk Variant. Look at that color!

The Blackhawk

I'm usually a pretty simple woman with pretty simple tastes. I like a martini, and I like to drink my whiskey neat. I like tequila straight. I like wine and beer without a lot of fuss.

Sometimes, though, I like a little something extra. I like to play the "mad scientist" in my kitchen, and sometimes I find that I have an ingredient that needs to be used up. Right now, I have vodka.

I'm not a big vodka drinker. I don't know why I have so much vodka in the house, but there's only one solution to this problem. I need to find cocktails that will help me eliminate the stash. Fortunately for me, I have Stuart Walton's The Ultimate Book of Cocktails to help me through.

I originally intended to make this cocktail as written by Walton. I was convinced that the beautifully-colored liqueur sitting on my counter was créme de mûre. It was not; it was créme de cassis. Cassis comes from black currants and is still delicious.

I also firmly believed that I had lime juice on hand. This turned out to not be the case, which I guess is what I get for living with other human beings and making cocktails the day before grocery day. Oh well, we live and learn, I guess.

As a side note, I used a vodka made from apples that I brought from Beak & Skiff Orchards' 1911 Spirits. Vodka is usually a pretty neutral spirit, but this does have a very faint apple flavor that I think gives a little depth and joy to this drink. Your mileage may vary, of course, and the only way for me to be sure would be to experiment with a different vodka. Strictly for science, of course.

I fell in love with this drink. I'd probably fall in love with the original too, but this truly put a smile on my face. If you want a beautiful beverage to serve at a holiday party or other celebration, this might be the treat for you. As always, enjoy in moderation.


  • 1 1/2 measures vodka
  • 1/2 measure Créme de cassis, the original recipe called for créme de mûre, which I thought I had but did not
  • 1/2 measure lemon juice, the original recipe called for lime juice


  1. Mix together ingredients. Shake well with ice.
  2. Strain into empty cocktail glass.


Blackhawk cocktail on a step, black and white.

Blackhawk cocktail on a step, black and white.