The Mind Eraser is a shot meant to be experienced in layers, beginning with a coffee kick from a coffee-flavored liqueur and finishing with subtle effervescence from club soda. Classic Mind Eraser recipes like the one found on Kahlua.com call for plain vodka in the middle layer, but this recipe suggests using vanilla vodka instead to add a sweetness that pairs well with bitter coffee notes. A sneaky cocktail, the Mind Eraser goes down so smoothly that if you have two or three in rapid succession you’ll unwittingly discover how the shot got its name.

Start to Finish: 3 minutes

Servings: 1

Difficulty Level: Beginner

  • 1 ounce coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • Ice

Fill a small cocktail glass with ice.

Pour in the coffee-flavored liqueur first, followed by the vanilla vodka. Top the shot with club soda.

Insert a straw into the glass. Drink, keeping the straw near the bottom of the glass, until you have finished the shot.

Mix it up. In lieu of vanilla vodka, use plain vodka instead; try adding a splash of vanilla extract or creme de cacao to add sweetness. Or experiment with other flavors of vodka, such as whipped cream or cherry. Rum 151 and Demerara rum pair well with coffee flavors and create tasty variations on the classic recipe.

You can use tonic water or sparkling water if you don’t have club soda on hand.