The Black Latvian Cocktail

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The Black Latvian Cocktail with a garnish of rosemary and blueberry

The Black Latvian cocktail is a drink made from a base of Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant. This cocktail is not too sweet, not too bitter, but overall quite strong. The alcohols in here are common in a home bar, and by slowly stocking up on uncommon liquors you’re home collection will be quite unique in it’s collection.

Let’s talk about the three different alcohols in this Black Latvian cocktail. They are English Dry Gin, Luxardo Maraschino Liquor, and the star of the show, Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant. So really each liquor comes from a different country. Overall I’d say this cocktail is a happy balance between fruity and herbal.

What Is Riga Black Balsam?

Riga Black Balsam is a balsam, an herbal liqueur with a high proof that was originally used for medicinal purposes. Because of the herbs, roots, flowers, and more used in the making of a balsam, there are quite a lot of similarities to amaro.

The other day I was playing around with making a cocktail from Vecchio Amaro del Capo and created the Lucciola. I think Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant would also go great in that cocktail.

The Black Latvian Cocktail with ingredients behind it

I’ve garnished this cocktail with a sprig of rosemary skewering two blueberries. Why did I go this route? Well, it was what I had on hand and I felt it would look good.

Last but not least is the tonic. I’m a fan of tonic, so I add it to many of my own cocktail creations. However if you do not like tonic then it may not be for you. I personally don’t think the tonic overpowers the other flavors, especially the black balsam, but you may be able to taste it more distinctly.

The Black Latvian Cocktail Ingredients

50 ml Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant

25 ml London Dry Gin

25 ml Luxardo Maraschino Liquor

30 ml Tonic Water

2 Blueberries garnish

1 sprig Rosemary garnish

The black latvian cocktail with a base of riga black balsam blackcurrant

Black Latvian Cocktail

An herbal and fruity cocktail with a base of Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine: Eastern European, European
Keyword: Black Latvian Cocktail, Riga Black Balsam cocktails
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Cost: $2


  • Old Fashioned Glass


  • 50 ml Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant
  • 25 ml London Dry Gin
  • 25 ml Luxardo Maraschino Liquor
  • 30 ml Tonic Water
  • 2 Blueberries garnish
  • 1 sprig Rosemary garnish


  • Add an ice ball to a rocks / old fashioned glass. Pour in the ingredients in the order they appear on the list above. Use a cocktail spoon to give everything a quick stir. Garnish with two blueberries skewered by a rosemary sprig. Serve.
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!

If you would like to see more of my cocktail inventions while I am stuck in this corona virus quarantine, check out my Love In The Time Of Coronavirus, or my article SKIP THE QUARANTINI – 7 TASTY COCKTAILS FOR YOUR CORONA VIRUS QUARANTINE

More Uses For Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant?

You can substitute 1:1 the Creme de Cassis in a traditional El Diablo for Riga Black Balsam Blackcurrant

1 Comment

  1. […] a fruity twist, try using Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, and this recipe to make a berry-inspired […]

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