Dieters and capitalists turn back now! Midweek Libations throws caution to the wind and presents an indulgent classic sure to make your trainer cringe; the White Russian. Although this creamy concoction was famously quaffed by The Dude in The Big Lebowski, the Oxford English Dictionary refers to the first mention of the word “White Russian” in the context of a cocktail as far back as November 1965, in the Oakland Tribune. It was placed in the newspaper as an insert: "White Russian. 1 oz. each Coffee Southern, vodka, cream."
Today the White Russian remains a popular after-dinner cocktail, especially with the ladies. It has no actual Russian heritage but takes its name from one of the main ingredients, Russian vodka. The combination of vodka, heavy cream and coffee liquor results in a heavenly smooth, dangerously drinkable treat.
No need to break the bank with this drink, save the premium vodka for your martinis or other cocktails where quality counts. I’m not saying you should go buy that 2 liter jug of Kalashnikov vodka, but an everyday vodka like Smirnoff or Svedka will do just fine. Combine 1½ measures of vodka with equal amounts of fresh heavy cream (half and half may be used but skim milk just doesn’t work) and coffee liquor. I favor Kahlua or Tia Maria. Kahlua is a rich, dark brown coffee liquor made from Mexican coffee, with cane spirits and a hint of vanilla. Tia Maria is equally good.
Some people like their White Russians on the rocks. If you are one of those people, please try the above method first. If you still prefer the rocks, the drink can be mixed in the glass by pouring all three ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. A brisk stir will pull them all together.
Variations: the White Russian can be made with differing ratios of vodka, coffee liquor and cream. Try 2 measures each of vodka and Kahlua and just one shot of cream.
Black Russian – A White Russian without the cream. Fill a rocks glass with fresh cracked ice, pour 2 measures of vodka and one measure of coffee liquor over the ice and stir well. A Tall Black Russian is made in a highball glass by adding cola to the above recipe.