how to make a separator cocktail or the dirty mother cocktail

The Separator cocktail is a drink that is very similar to a Black Russian. The base spirit in the Black Russian, which is Vodka is substituted with Brandy in this drink. As Brandy is the base spirit, the drink is also sometimes called the Brandy Separator.

The drink is usually served in an old fashioned glass with ice. The drink can be served in two different ways. You can choose to layer the drink as you might do with a White Russian or Black Russian. You can also choose to shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve it over ice. It is a very easy drink to make as it contains just two ingredients and no garnish.

The drink is also known by the name of Dirty Mother. There is a variation of this drink that adds cream to the list of ingredients which is then known as Dirty White Mother cocktail.


  • 2 shot of Brandy
  • 1 shot of Kahlua Coffee Liqueur


  1. Add ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 2 shots of Brandy into the shaker
  3. Add 1 shot of the Kahlua into the shaker
  4. Shake well to mix the ingredients
  5. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice cubes
  6. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass
Separator Cocktail or Dirty Mother

Variations and Similar Drinks

Black Russian: Substitute the base spirit Brandy in this recipe with Vodka.
Brave Bull: The Brandy in this recipe is substituted with Tequila.
Dirty White Mother: Add cream to the drink. This drink is usually shaken rather than build on the rocks, as this Separator cocktail could be.


  • Sometimes Brandy is substituted with Cognac. It should probably be called Cognac Separator, though I have not heard that name being used.
  • As mentioned above the drink can also build just as a Black Russian, directly on ice instead of shaking the ingredients.
  • The recipe calls for Kahlua, but you could use another coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria.
  • You can increase the proportion of Kahlua or the coffee liqueur if you want the drink to be sweeter.