Beverages and CocktailsDrinks and Desserts

Mudslide Recipe – Classic and Frozen Mudslide

The Mudslide has earned its popularity as a quintessential boozy milkshake. This sweet, creamy, and rich concoction strikes a delightful balance between coffee, liqueur, Irish cream, heavy cream, and vodka. Its appeal lies in its effortless preparation and irresistible flavor, making it a staple on cocktail menus at chain restaurants like TGI Friday’s and a favorite at home cocktail parties. 



While the Mudslide’s roots can be traced back to the 1970s at the Wreck Bar in the Rum Point Club on Grand Cayman Island, it truly gained momentum as an après-ski cocktail in the United States. The Mudslide, with its origins in a tropical paradise, eventually found a new home on the snowy slopes, becoming a beloved treat after a day on the slopes. Whether you’re sipping it on a sandy beach or enjoying it fireside, the Mudslide’s journey from shores to mountains showcases its versatility and enduring appeal

Why the Mudslide Works for You

While the classic Mudslide is served in circus-size glassware, the extremity of the recipe often leads to brain freeze and a calorie overload due to its generous use of ice cream, heavy cream, and sugar. However, a leaner approach can still yield a satisfying cocktail. By scaling back on spirits, sugar, and dairy, you can create a lighter yet equally enjoyable experience.

The creamy element in the Mudslide serves a two-fold purpose. First, the combination of Baileys Irish Cream and heavy cream provides the drink with its signature richness. Second, this dairy assault mellows the intensity of the vodka and coffee liqueur, slicing through their acerbity while complementing their flavors.

For those with a sweet tooth, the Mudslide can be tailored to individual preferences. If you’re watching your calorie intake, consider swapping heavy cream for milk or even skim. To fancify the drink, you can swap the vodka for French brandy. This unconventional choice adds an extra layer of complexity, with brandy’s aged roundness beautifully complementing the other ingredients. A sprinkle of chocolate as a garnish not only adds a visual hint but also enhances the overall aroma and flavor profile.

How to Make a Mudslide: 2 Ways!

For homemade cocktail connoisseurs, there are two main ways to enjoy a Mudslide. The classic shaken version involves combining equal parts vodka, coffee liqueur, and Irish cream with a slightly larger measure of heavy cream in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. A vigorous shake ensures the ingredients are well chilled and blended. The mixture is then strained into a chilled cocktail glass and optionally garnished with shaved chocolate.

Alternatively, the frozen Mudslide offers a delightful boozy milkshake experience. This variation involves blending the same proportions of vodka, coffee liqueur, and Irish cream with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a cup of ice. The result is a smooth, creamy concoction that’s poured into a glass and often decorated with chocolate syrup, a popular trend that emerged in the 1990s.

Mudslide Recipe

Recipe by Whisk and NibbleCourse: Drinks


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

A decadent blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and cream, shaken or blended with ice for a sweet, indulgent treat.


  • 28 ml (1 oz) vodka

  • 28 ml (1 oz) coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlúa)

  • 42 ml (1 1/2 oz) Irish cream (e.g., Baileys)

  • 42 ml (1 1/2 oz) heavy cream (Alternatively, for a frozen Mudslide, use 2 scoops vanilla ice cream and 1/2 cup ice)

  • Optional Garnishes:
  • Grated chocolate

  • Chocolate sauce for rimming the glass

For a Classic Mudslide

  • Optional: If you want a fancy touch, drizzle some chocolate sauce on a plate and dip the rim of your cocktail glass into it, coating it evenly.
  • Chill and Shake: Combine the vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Fill it with a generous amount of ice—enough for two good handfuls. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold.
  • Strain and Serve: Fill your prepared glass with ice, then strain the cocktail mixture into it.
  • Chocolate Touch: For an extra touch of decadence, sprinkle some shaved chocolate on top.
  • For a Frozen Mudslide:
  • Blend It Up: Toss everything—the vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, vanilla ice cream, and ice—into a blender.
  • Smooth It Out: Blend the mixture until it’s perfectly smooth and creamy.
  • Pour and Enjoy: Pour the frozen concoction into a tall glass and savor the sweet, icy indulgence.
  • Shaking vs. Stirring: While a cocktail shaker is recommended for the classic version, you can also stir the ingredients gently in a mixing glass if preferred.
  • Ice Matters: For a smoother frozen Mudslide, use smaller ice cubes or crushed ice.
  • Dairy-Free Options: If you’re avoiding dairy, replace the heavy cream with a dairy-free alternative like coconut cream or almond milk. For a richer texture, use full-fat versions.
  • Ice Cream Choice: Feel free to experiment with different ice cream flavors in the frozen Mudslide, such as chocolate or coffee.
  • Pre-chill Your Glass: Pop your serving glass in the freezer for a few minutes before making your drink. This will keep your Mudslide colder for longer.
  • Chocolate Lovers’ Tip: For an extra chocolatey kick, rim the glass with chocolate syrup before adding the cocktail.


  • 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

Pairing Your Mudslide: A Symphony of Flavors

The Mudslide’s decadent blend of coffee, chocolate, and cream opens up a world of delicious pairing possibilities. Here are a few ideas to elevate your Mudslide experience:

Sweet Indulgence

Chocolate Decadence: The Mudslide’s inherent chocolate notes harmonize beautifully with rich chocolate desserts like brownies, flourless chocolate cake, or chocolate truffles. The contrasting textures create a symphony of indulgence.

Fruity Delights: The sweetness of the Mudslide pairs surprisingly well with the tangy sweetness of fruit tarts, especially those featuring berries or citrus fruits. The acidity of the fruit cuts through the richness of the cocktail, creating a balanced and refreshing combination.

Savory Balance

Salty Snacks: The saltiness of pretzels, nuts, or popcorn provides a delightful counterpoint to the sweetness of the Mudslide. The combination of salty and sweet creates a satisfying flavor contrast that keeps you coming back for more.

Charcuterie & Cheese: A charcuterie board featuring sharp cheeses, cured meats, and olives offers a complex and savory pairing that complements the Mudslide’s richness. The saltiness of the cheese and the smokiness of the meat enhance the cocktail’s depth of flavor.

Unexpected Pairings

Spicy Cuisine: Surprisingly, the Mudslide’s sweetness can tame the heat of spicy dishes like Mexican or Thai cuisine. The creamy texture helps to cool the palate, while the coffee and chocolate notes add complexity to the overall flavor experience.

Barbecue: The smoky, savory flavors of barbecue pair surprisingly well with the Mudslide’s sweetness. The richness of the cocktail complements the bold flavors of grilled meats, while the creamy texture provides a cooling contrast.

READ: Grapefruit and Rum Cocktail

Use Any Coffee Liqueur, Like Kahlua

Kahlua is the most common coffee liqueur used in Mudslides. Originally from Mexico, this dark liqueur is made with rum, sugar, and coffee, offering a robust coffee flavor with a hint of sweetness. Its higher caffeine content compared to other ingredients like vodka, Baileys, and even chocolate syrup, adds a subtle energy boost to this decadent drink.

Whether you’re using a blender for a frozen Mudslide or a cocktail glass with ice cubes for the classic version, Kahlua is the key to achieving that signature coffee taste. While it’s typically the priciest ingredient in the recipe, costing around $15 to $20 for a large 750ml bottle, its unique flavor profile justifies the expense.

Of course, Kahlua isn’t the only option. If you’re looking to experiment, other coffee liqueurs like Tia Maria or Sheridan’s can also be used, each bringing its own subtle nuances to the Mudslide. Regardless of your choice, remember to garnish your creation with a flourish, whether it be a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of chocolate shavings, or a classic maraschino cherry.

Kahlua isn’t just limited to the Mudslide. It’s a versatile ingredient found in other popular cocktails like the White Russian, Black Russian, B-52, Mind Eraser, Colorado Bulldog, and Espresso Martini.

Use Any Irish Cream

While Baileys Irish Cream is the classic choice for a Mudslide, any Irish cream will do the trick. This creamy liqueur, made with Irish whiskey and cream, lends a rich, velvety texture and a hint of sweetness to the cocktail. Whether you prefer the original Baileys or other popular brands like Carolans, Saint Brendan’s, or Five Farms, you’ll still achieve the Mudslide’s signature decadent character.

Don’t limit your Irish cream to just Mudslides! This versatile liqueur is a star player in a variety of cocktails, from the sophisticated Chocolate Martini and the Coffee Martini to the classic Baileys White Russian and the layered B-52 shot.

More Vodka Cocktails

With a bottle of vodka in hand, you have a world of tasty cocktail possibilities at your fingertips. Here are a few ideasfor using your vodka to create refreshing andenjoyable drinks:

  1. Vodka Gimlet: A simple yet classic cocktail made with vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Moscow Mule: A refreshing mix of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, traditionally served in a copper mug.
  3. Cosmopolitan: A glamorous pink cocktail made with vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec (orange liqueur).
  4. Variations on the Classic:
    • Vodka Tonic: Vodka with tonic water and a lime wedge.
    • Vodka Cranberry: Vodka with cranberry juice and a lime wedge.
    • Vodka Spritzer: Vodka with soda water, a splash of fruit juice, and a lemon or lime wedge.
    • Bloody Mary: A savory cocktail made with vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and various spices.
    • Lemon Drop Martini: Vodka with lemon juice and simple syrup, served in a sugar-rimmed glass.
    • Pomegranate Martini: Vodka with pomegranate juice and lime juice.
    • Cranberry Martini: Vodka with cranberry juice and lime juice.
    • French Martini: Vodka with pineapple juice and Chambord (raspberry liqueur).

With these recipes, you can turn a simple bottle of vodka into a wide array of delicious and refreshing cocktails.

When to Serve a Mudslide

The Mudslide’s rich and indulgent character makes it a perfect dessert cocktail, offering a satisfying end to a meal. Its sweet, creamy nature also makes it an ideal choice for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, adding a touch of romance to a romantic dinner.

But why limit yourself? The Mudslide’s versatility extends beyond dessert. It can be a delightful treat during happy hour, a fun and flavorful addition to a girls’ or guys’ night, or a sophisticated choice for cocktail hour. So go ahead, embrace the Mudslide’s adaptability and enjoy it whenever your cravings call for a sweet, boozy indulgence.

READ: Peanut Butter and Vanilla Espresso Martini

Health Considerations

While the Mudslide is a delicious indulgence, it’s important to be mindful of its alcohol and calorie content. Moderation is key to enjoying this cocktail responsibly.

  • Alcohol Content: The Mudslide is a relatively strong cocktail, containing a significant amount of alcohol from the vodka, coffee liqueur, and Irish cream. Be sure to consume it responsibly and within recommended guidelines. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol entirely, as it can harm the developing fetus. Read here about this study by NHS.
  • Calories and Sugar: The Mudslide is high in calories and sugar due to its creamy ingredients and liqueurs. If you’re watching your calorie intake or sugar consumption, consider enjoying this cocktail in moderation or opting for a lighter version by using less alcohol, sugar, or dairy.
  • Women’s Health: Women tend to metabolize alcohol differently than men, making them more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. Therefore, it’s important for women to be extra cautious when consuming Mudslides or other alcoholic beverages.


the Mudslide is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed in various settings and tailored to individual preferences. Whether you prefer the classic shaken version or the frozen, milkshake-like variation, this decadent drink is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. With its rich history, diverse flavor pairings, and customizable nature, the Mudslide remains a beloved classic in the world of cocktails. Remember to savor it responsibly and experiment with different variations to discover your perfect Mudslide experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a mudslide and a bushwacker?

While both the mudslide and the bushwacker offer a creamy, indulgent experience, their key difference lies in their base spirit and flavor profile. The mudslide is primarily made with vodka, Baileys Irish Cream, and coffee liqueur, resulting in a rich, coffee-forward flavor. On the other hand, the bushwacker features rum and cream of coconut, giving it a distinctively tropical taste.

What glass is best for serving a mudslide?

A tall, clear glass is ideal for showcasing the layers of a mudslide and the enticing chocolate drips. For an extra touch, try chilling your glasses in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. This will help keep your mudslide cold for longer.

How much alcohol is in a mudslide?

Despite the ice cream, chocolate, and other delicious ingredients, don’t let this drink’s innocent appearance fool you. A typical serving of a mudslide packs a punch, with the combined alcohol content of vodka, coffee liqueur, and Baileys adding up to a significant amount. If you prefer to tone down the booze, consider using less vodka or opt for a chilled, brewed coffee instead of the coffee liqueur.

Is Kahlua Mudslide the same as Kahlúa?

No, Kahlúa Mudslide is not the same as Kahlúa. Kahlúa is a coffee liqueur, a key ingredient in the Mudslide cocktail. Kahlúa Mudslide is a pre-mixed, ready-to-drink version of the cocktail, combining Kahlúa with other ingredients like cream and vodka.

What drink has 40% alcohol?

A variety of spirits have 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), including:

  • Vodka: Most standard vodkas are bottled at 40% ABV.
  • Rum: Many rums, especially white and spiced varieties, are 40% ABV.
  • Whiskey/Whisky: While some are bottled at higher proofs, many standard whiskeys and whiskies are 40% ABV.
  • Gin: Most gins are also bottled at 40% ABV.
  • Tequila: Some tequilas, particularly the blanco (silver) variety, are 40% ABV.

Can alcohol be 100%?

Pure, 100% alcohol (ethanol) is possible to produce, but it’s not typically available for consumption. This is because it’s highly hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water readily from the air. Additionally, consuming 100% alcohol would be extremely dangerous due to its high potency.

Is vodka 70% alcohol?

No, standard vodka is typically 40% ABV. However, there are some vodkas with higher alcohol content, often referred to as “overproof” vodkas. These can range from 50% to 95% ABV.

What alcohol is 100 proof?

In the United States, “proof” is a measure of alcohol content, calculated as twice the ABV. Therefore, 100 proof alcohol is 50% ABV. Common examples include some varieties of rum, whiskey, and high-proof vodka.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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