Mind Eraser Mixed Drink

Coffee-colored mind eraser vodka cocktail on ice in old-fashioned glasses

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
343 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 343
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The mind eraser is a fun mixed drink that's rather tasty. The recipe is a simple mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, and soda, so it's like a fizzy black Russian. It's a very good drink, and because of that, it's easy to indulge in a few rounds, or drink it too fast, which is likely how it got its name.

This has been a favorite bar drink since the 1980s, which is when vodka and Kahlúa (often the coffee liqueur of choice here) made multiple (and regular) appearances in mixed drinks. The mind eraser is built as a layered drink, though some people prefer to shake the liquors. It's served over ice with a straw, and when left unstirred, you get a taste of each layer with every sip. You'll also find some drinkers who treat it like a shot and slurp the entire thing as quickly as possible, likely intensifying its effect.

"I don’t know if it was a pleasure or a pain to be a bartender during the height of the mind eraser’s popularity. I’ve had too many to remember; however, it’s an experience I’ll never forget. Consider reducing the alcohol to 1 1/2 to 1 ounce each, as I found this cocktail to be a little heavy." —Sean Johnson

Mind Eraser Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 2 ounces club soda, or lemon-lime soda

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a mind eraser vodka cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  2. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Pour the coffee liqueur over the ice.

    Coffee liqueur poured over ice in an old-fashioned glass

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  3. Slowly pour the vodka over the ice, either so it hits an ice cube or over the back of a bar spoon.

    Vodka poured over the back of a bar spoon into old-fashioned glass with ice cubes and coffee liqueur

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  4. Slowly add the soda, again breaking the pour with ice or a spoon.

    Bubbling soda added to the cocktail over the top of a barspoon

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  5. Serve with a straw and enjoy.

    Mind eraser cocktail with ice served with a metal straw

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios


  • Don't worry too much if the coffee liqueur and vodka do not make a clean layer. The two liquors tend to meld together. You will notice that the first sips through the straw are mostly coffee, the next sips have more vodka, and then you'll start to get the soda.
  • The type of soda is open to interpretation. Club soda is the most common, though you can pour sparkling or mineral water. Some mind eraser fans prefer a lemon-lime soda, while others enjoy ginger ale. Both of these will create a slightly sweeter drink.

Recipe Variations

  • Shake the vodka and coffee liqueur with ice, then strain into the ice-filled glass.
  • It's popular to enjoy the mind eraser as a party shooter. The challenge is to finish it off in one attempt, and drinking it quickly through a straw creates quite the head rush—similar to eating ice cream too fast. It's best to cut the drink in half, so you're drinking just 3 ounces rather than a full 6-ounce drink.
  • The brain eraser is a shot inspired by this recipe. It's built and drunk in the same way, though the Kahlúa is often split with an equal part of amaretto. Some brain eraser shots are made with equal parts of vodka, Goldschläger, and Kahlúa, layered in that order in a shot glass.

How Strong Is the Mind Eraser?

The mind eraser is not the mildest drink you can make. On average, its alcohol content falls right around 16 percent ABV (32 proof). While that's a little stronger than the average glass of wine, it does have a reputation fitting of its name. That's primarily due to its delicious taste that lures you back for another, and the fact that some people drink it so quickly.

Recipe Tags: