White Russian is a classic Russian cocktail which is popular since the Cold War era. The drink derives its name from the chief combining ingredient vodka. Some food historians suggest that the name of the drink is the pun intended for anti Bolsheviks who were called “White Russians” during the Russian Civil war. The Tsar was guarded by Red Army, Green Army, Black Army and White Army. The soldiers from White army were also addressed with this name. This sweet cocktail is normally served as the post dinner drink or it is treated as a socializing drink. This White Russian is perceived as the right drink for those who drink occasionally and great drink for those who drink a little too much.
Origin of White Russian Drink
The drink was named very long before the vodka appeared on the scene. It got its present name in 1930’s, much before the popular vodka campaigning of 1950’s rose into limelight. The drink is not Russian in origin but it is named so because it contains vodka. The drink got its present form only in 1960’s when it was fixed by combining vodka, cream, kahlua liqueur and moniker in equal proportions. The recipe for Black Russian was released by Diners Club Drink Book in 1961 and same recipe was modified by adding a cream and drink was renamed White Russian. As per the Oxford English Dictionary the word (in terms of a cocktail) first appeared in a newspaper published from California which was called Oakland Tribune, on November 21, 1965 in form of an insert. Like many other cocktails of the cold war era, this drink also faded into oblivion but it surged back towards the end of 90’s due to the cult movie The Big Lebowiski. The main protagonist of the movie gulped down various shots of the drink. Similarly, the Cat woman in the movie ordered this drink, which further added to its popularity. After the release of the movie many drinking games evolved with this name.
White Russian Recipe: Ingredients and Method of Preparation
The cocktail is fixed by combining ingredients like vodka, kahlua, light cream and milk. The dieters can opt for goat’s milk, soy milk, or skimmed milk in place of the cow’s milk. At times the kahlua is replaced with Tia Maria and similarly the cream can be replaced with other dairy creamers. The food experts say that the lightness of the combining ingredients is managed by adding thick ingredients like cream. The milk –cream combination accounts for the richness of the coffee liqueur. For best results the vodka and kahlua are mixed in equal proportions. The milk-cream combination separates this drink from Black Russian.
The White Russian drink can be fixed up in three ways:
- All the ingredients are combined in a shaker and served with ice.
- All ingredients are poured over the ice in the order – vodka, kahlua, light cream and milk.
- The ice, vodka and kahlua is combined together and served after layering with cream and milk.
This cocktail is mostly served in a half and half built double old fashioned glass. The White Russian Milkshake has gained popularity in the recent times. This milkshake is prepared by combining- kahlua, vanilla vodka, Crème de cacao, and vanilla ice cream. This milk shake is garnished with toasted sweetened coconut flakes and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Popular White Russian Variants
- Collorado Bulldog: This is a popular variant of the sweet Russian cocktail which is prepared by adding extra coke to the basic recipe. The drink is fixed by combining ingredients like vodka, Kahlua (Coffee liqueur), milk and Coco Cola. This drink is normally served after topping with a cream.
- White Cuban: This is also one of the most preferred drink variations and here rum is substituted in place of vodka. This drink is prepared in the same way as the White Russian by combining other regular ingredients like Kahlua, milk, cream and ice with rum.
- Anna Kournikova: This drink variant is dedicated to the beautiful Tennis player of the same name. It is prepared by replacing the regular cow’s milk with the skimmed milk.
- Larry’s White Russian: This White Russian is prepared by adding Malibu/Coconut flavored liquor to the original recipe.
- Dirty Russian: This drink variation is created by adding chocolate syrup to the original recipe.
- White Canadian: This cocktail variant is prepared by combining the goat milk with the other regular ingredients.