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Here’s how to make a mudslide! This mudslide recipe makes that classic drink starring vodka, Kahlua and Irish cream.

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The word “Mudslide” might make you think milkshake-style boozy cocktails at chain restaurants. But have you ever had a classic Mudslide? It couldn’t be more sophisticated…and delicious! You can make this Mudslide recipe both ways: first as drink was first intended: shaken with coffee liqueur and Irish cream and served up in a cocktail glass. It’s more than a glorified milkshake: it’s classy and full of intrigue! Of course, you can make it frozen too: blend it up with vanilla ice cream. Here’s how to make a Mudslide…both ways!

What’s a Mudslide?

The Mudslide cocktail is a dessert cocktail made with Kahlua and Irish cream that’s a variation on the White Russian. It was invented in the mid-1970’s on Grand Cayman Island at a bar called Wreck Bar. The story goes that a customer ordered a White Russian, but the bar didn’t have heavy cream. They did happen to be stocked with Irish cream, so they used that instead and the Mudslide was born! This drink later evolved to be blended with ice cream and became popular at chain restaurants, where it’s more like a boozy milkshake. This style of the cocktail is referred to as a “frozen Mudslide.”

What are the ingredients in the classic Mudslide drink? How to make the frozen variation? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vodka
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Irish cream
  • Heavy cream (classic) or vanilla ice cream and ice (frozen)
Mudslide recipe, Mudslide drink

How to make a Mudslide: 2 ways!

Of course, as homemade cocktail connoisseurs we are partial to the classic Mudslide! But if you want to make a frozen Mudslide (aka boozy milkshake), we probably can’t stop you. Here’s what you’ll need to do for each variation:

  • Classic Mudslide: Place vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Shake until cold, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with shaved chocolate.
  • Frozen Mudslide: Place vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, vanilla ice cream, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a glass. Go 1990’s style and decorate the inside of your glass with chocolate syrup.

Use any coffee liqueur, like Kahlua

You can use any type of coffee liqueur for a Mudslide. The most popular type is Kahlua. But what actually is it? Here’s what to know about this coffee liqueur and other types you can use:

  • Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that’s made in Mexico: it’s made with rum, sugar and coffee (no dairy!). It does have some caffeine, but only about 25% as much as the same volume of coffee.
  • How much does Kahlua cost? It costs about $15 to $20 for a large 750 ml bottle.
  • What to use instead of Kahlua? Try other types of coffee liqueur, like Tia Maria or Sheridan’s.
  • What other cocktails use Kahlua? Use it to make other Kahlua drinks like a White RussianBlack Russian, B-52, Mind Eraser, Colorado Bulldog or an Espresso Martini.

Use any Irish cream

The other required element in a Mudslide? Irish cream! Irish cream is a liqueur made with Irish whiskey and cream. The most popular Irish cream is Baileys Irish Cream, but there are other brands of Irish cream. The most popular cocktail made with Irish cream is this one. You can also use it to make Irish Cream cocktails like the Chocolate Martini, Coffee Martini, Baileys White Russian, B52, and more.

And that’s it: how to make a Mudslide! Let us know if you make the classic or frozen version in the comments below.

More vodka cocktails

There are so many more tasty vodka cocktails to try! Here are a few more ideas for using up a bottle of vodka…as if you needed any!

How to make a mudslide

When to serve a Mudslide

The Mudslide is a dessert cocktail that’s great for Valentine’s Day or a romantic dinner…or just anytime you need a sweet treat in cocktail form! Try it as a:

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Classic Mudslide

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4.5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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Here’s how to make a mudslide: the real way! This mudslide recipe makes the classic drink starring vodka, Kahlua and Irish cream.


  • 1 ounce* vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur (like Kahlua)
  • 1 ½ ounces Irish cream (like Baileys)
  • 1 ½ ounces heavy cream (or 2 scoops vanilla ice cream and ½ cup ice*)
  • For the garnish: Shaved chocolate (optional), chocolate sauce for the rim (optional)


  1. Classic Mudslide: If desired, spread the chocolate sauce on a plate and carefully dip in the cocktail glass rim. Place the vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Garnish with shaved chocolate if desired. 
  2. Frozen Mudslide: Place the vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, vanilla ice cream and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a tall glass. 


*1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I use coffee ice creame.

  2. John Rhoe says:

    I make both classic and frozen. Although, when someone orders a mudslide they usually mean the frozen kind. I ask, ” you mean the frozen mudslide, right? They answer, “Yup!”
    Though sometimes I get to make the classic! It’s fun to be behind the bar!

  3. Wil2K says:

    I made my first one, the recipe it used was espresso, Kahlua, milk, and Smirnoff vodka, then I put it into the freezer to chill.

  4. Patricia McIntyre says:

    Have. Mercy. This would corrupt a missionary. FAB!

  5. Laurie Schultz says:

    Can you use Rumchata in a mudslide in place of any or all other alcohol?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You could definitely swap it for the Bailey’s!

    2. Walter Ingle says:

      I’d replace the vodka with the Rumchata. Vodka and I do not get along well. I would also do the ice cream version and make it with chocolate ice cream and maybe sneak in some chocolate liquor, maybe just a splash. Irish cream has flavor components that’re hard to replace.

      1. Josh rlqu says:

        I think the chocolate liquor sounds like a great alternative or addition to this. I will definitely have to try that some time.

  6. Bonnie S. Holley says:

    I’ve had a mudslide on the beach at Rum Point in Grand Cayman which claims originality and superiority.
    Pretty good but I will try your recipe and look forward to it!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Let us know what you think!

  7. Greg Fournier says:

    Actually with icecream they are referred as a New England Mudslide. In New England we eat more icecream than any other part of the US.