Mind Eraser Mixed Drink

Mind Eraser Vodka and Kahlua Cocktail or Shot

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

The mind eraser is a fun mixed drink that's rather tasty. The recipe a simple mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, and soda, so it's like 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 the name.

This has long been a favorite bar drink from the 1980s 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.


  • 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
    The Spruce / 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 / 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.

    Layering vodka in a mind eraser cocktail
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  4. Slowly add the soda, again breaking the pour with ice or a spoon.

    Pouring soda for the mind eraser cocktail
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  5. Serve with a straw and enjoy.

    Mind eraser cocktail served with a straw
    The Spruce / 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.

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