Last edited on July 28, 2023

There's a unique thrill that comes with a well-made Mind Eraser shot. This cocktail is a heady blend of Kahlua, vodka, and club soda. Sometimes, it's referred to as the 'memory loss' or 'blackout shot'. But don't worry, it's all in good fun! Ready to learn how to whip up this party favorite? Let's get started.

layered mind eraser shot in a shot glass, on a cocktail bar


  • ½ Ounce Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
  • ½ Ounce Vodka
  • ½ Ounce Soda Water


  1. Pour the Coffee Liqueur into a shot glass.
  2. Layer the Vodka on top of the Coffee Liqueur by holding a bar spoon against the side of the glass just above the drink, and slowly pouring the Vodka onto the back of the bar spoon.
  3. Using the same layering technique, layer the Soda Water on top of the Vodka.
  4. Enjoy!

Tips For Making A Mind Eraser Shot

  • Use a spoon while pouring the vodka and soda water to maintain the layers. Bar spoons are traditionally used for this, but any spoon will work. The main idea is just to take away the momentum of the liquid being poured, so it doesn't mix with the rest of the drink.

  • Experiment with flavored vodkas for a twist.

  • The Mind Eraser is commonly enjoyed as a drink on the rocks as well. To have it like this, double the quantities, and serve it with ice in a rocks glass.

Mind Eraser Shot Ingredients

The Mind Eraser is a layered cocktail made of three ingredients: coffee liqueur, vodka, and soda water.

  • Coffee liqueur brings a deep, bitter-sweet taste.
  • Vodka offers a smooth, neutral spirit base.
  • Soda water adds a fizzy freshness.

Best Vodka For A Mind Eraser

A vodka with a clean, neutral flavor works best for a Mind Eraser, allowing the coffee liqueur to shine. Brands like Grey Goose offer an ultra-smooth, clean finish perfect for this cocktail, due to their premium distillation process.

Mind Eraser Shot History

The Mind Eraser is believed to have originated in the late 1980s as part of the "shooter" trend. Its creation is often credited to American bars, though the exact origin is unclear.

The shot's name likely comes from its potency, making it popular amongst partygoers. Today, it’s a beloved classic known for its layered presentation and distinctive flavor profile.

Drinks Similar To The Mind Eraser

If you enjoy the Mind Eraser, you might also like the White Russian or Espresso Martini.

The White Russian shares a key ingredient with the Mind Eraser – coffee liqueur. It adds cream, creating a rich, sweet cocktail that contrasts the Mind Eraser's refreshing effervescence.

The Espresso Martini also showcases a coffee flavor, but it uses real espresso for a more intense coffee hit.


Why Is It Called A Mind Eraser?

The Mind Eraser gets its name from its strong combination of ingredients. The shot can often result in getting a little too drunk, and maybe forgetting some events, hence the name. However, it's always essential to drink responsibly!

Is The Mind Eraser A Shot Or A Cocktail?

While it's often served as a shot, the Mind Eraser can also be sipped slowly as a cocktail. The unique layering effect and complex flavors make it enjoyable either way.

Is the Mind Eraser strong?

Yes, the Mind Eraser can be quite strong due to the equal parts of Kahlua and vodka, coming in at around 20% ABV. However, in terms of shots, it's definitely on the weaker side, since Kahlua only contains 21% ABV, and the club soda dilutes the drink.

Keep in mind that no matter how strong or weak a drink is, enough of them will invariably get you drunk. It's always important to consume alcohol responsibly and know your limits.

What Does A Mind Eraser Shot Taste Like?

The Mind Eraser offers a harmony of coffee-like bitterness from the coffee liqueur, the smooth neutrality of vodka, and a refreshing finish from the soda water. The resulting flavor is a rich, robust, yet refreshing shot. It's relatively weak for a shot, with a 20% ABV.