What is a Mudslide?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In the culinary world, the word mudslide refers to a sweet, creamy cocktail, not a natural disaster. The mudslide cocktail is often categorized in the "trio" category of cocktails, because it is made with three different kinds of alcohol. Mudslides are made with Malibu rum, Kahlúa, and Irish cream. Sometimes vodka is used to substitute for the Malibu rum.

Mudslides can be made in a smoothie blender.
Mudslides can be made in a smoothie blender.

The nonalcoholic ingredient in mudslides is cream. Sometimes cream is replaced with milk or skim milk. For a richer flavor, some people like to use chocolate milk instead of cream or milk. Some mudslides are even served with a topping of grated chocolate or powdered cocoa.

Most mudslide recipes call for the use of whole milk or cream.
Most mudslide recipes call for the use of whole milk or cream.

Mudslides are served cold, usually over crushed ice. It is also very common to have them blended with ice. When the ingredients for a mudslide are blended with ice, the drink is called a frozen mudslide. The drink is served cold or frozen, so it is very popular in warm climates and during hot weather months.

The strength of this drink will depend on the ratio of alcohol to milk or cream. In fact, mudslides can be served as shots when they are poured with just a touch of cream. The drink is best served cold, so mudslide shots should be shaken with ice before they are poured.

As with most cocktails, there are endless variations on this drink. Some people like to add flavored syrups to the drink. Others prefer not to use vodka because it can overpower the other flavors. It is possible to blend the drink with other ingredients such as bananas so that it is both a smoothie and a cocktail. Some mudslide recipes call for garnishes of fresh, sliced strawberries.

If a syrup is added to a mudslide recipe, the glass may be lined with the flavored syrup of choice just before pouring the drink. This can be done by pouring a small amount of syrup into the glass and tilting it from side to side until the entire interior of the glass is coated. This is best to use if you are using a low glass like a tumbler instead of a tall glass like a water glass.

When serving mudslides in hot weather, it is a special treat to serve them in frozen glasses. About half an hour before serving the drinks, wet the glasses with cold water and put them in the freezer. Serving mudslides in frozen glasses will keep the cocktail cold.

Excessive consumption of alcohol, including mud slides, may lead to high blood pressure.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, including mud slides, may lead to high blood pressure.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


I think of a mudslide as a milkshake with a little extra kick to it! They really are quite good, but I say take them in moderation.

One, there can be some pretty strong drinks mixed in those babies. Unless you’re looking to get sloshed, perhaps just one will do.

Another reason to tip mudslides up only ever so often is because they pack a pretty mean punch in the calorie department.

Boy, if you want to put on the pounds and get a little happy, this is the drink to go with.

Otherwise, only on special occasions will work nicely.


You could say that my parents are on the stricter side of being teetotalers, and as such I was very unaware of any kind of alcohol from personal experience growing up. And then I went to college.

Boy, oh boy…it was everywhere and it all looked so good. Can you believe, though, that I never went too terribly wild? I sure didn’t, but it was awfully tempting.

However, on my honeymoon I decided that I was a free woman (little did I know, huh) and could have a cocktail if I wanted to. And I chose a delectable mudslide.

Wow…delicious and very deceiving for a person who never really drank that much.

I was a little wobbly leaving the restaurant to say the least. My husband still teases me about that little episode until this day.

Now, about a decade later, I'm still not much of a drinker. But, when I do a mudslide is my choice.


@zeak4hands - That sounds incredibly delicious. Considering that this kind of drink involves fudge ice-cream and such, I'd imagine it's one of those occasional treats. Drinking too many mudslides could get to be a very unhealthy habit!

Anything with chocolate ice-cream in it, chocolate milk in it, and chocolate bits grated or dropped in chip form on top has my vote. I usually don't like the taste of hard alcohol, but with that much chocolate, I probably would not even taste the alcohol!


I actually like alcohol-free coffee mudslides in the morning. I blend it with my protein shake mix.

Take a medium sized travel mug, fill it 2/3 of the way up with chilled coffee and ice. Dump that into your blender and add two small scoops of chocolate ice cream to it. You can also add some heavy cream or a tablespoon of cocoa powder.

At this point I also add in two scoops of protein powder milk, but it's optional. Blend it all together and pour it over ice in your mug again. It's a great sugar boost before my morning jog. Make sure you use strong coffee or it will turn out too sweet.


I had a chocolate martini-mudslide (that's what the waiter called it) and it was disgusting! Who in their right mind would like martinis?

Now, a chocolate mudslide made with double chocolate vodka -- YUM! My stomach is sensitive to milk, so I made my own recipe.

I take a cup of almond milk and fudge lactose-free ice cream – then I blend it together in the blender just long enough to chunk up the ice cream. I add two or three shots of double chocolate vodka and a blob of dairy-free whip cream on top in the glass.

It's delicious and makes enough for two!


One of my first drinks ever was a mudslide. I had just hit the big 21 and my friends thought it would be the perfect drink to welcome me into adulthood and the bar scene. They knew my love of chocolate and wow were they good guessers at what I would like.

The version of the mudslide I remember used Godiva chocolate liqueur in place of the Malibu Rum and it was sinfully sweet. I had a few too many after trying it, but it was well worth the headache the next morning. The best thing about the mudslides I had were the strawberry accents and a touch of whip cream on top. A really fun birthday drink if there ever was one.


Mudslides are one of the best cocktails you can make if you love chocolate and are looking for a drink that has a really rich flavor. My friends always used to coat the insides of their glasses with Nestle Quik chocolate syrup, and boy did that hit the spot.

Another fun thing we did was put chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk into the mudslide to make it even richer. With the two of these together it was a bit of a chocolate overload but we never complained.

Also, if you have some spare chocolate chips, they make a great topping if sprinkled on the top of your mudslide. Give it a try and see if you like it.

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