White Russian (cocktail)

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White Russian
IBA Official Cocktail
An unstirred White Russian cocktail made with fresh milk
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard drinkware
Old fashioned glass
IBA specified ingredients
Preparation Pour coffee liqueur and vodka directly into old fashioned glass filled with ice. Float fresh cream on the top and stir in slowly.
White Russian recipe at International Bartenders Association

A White Russian is a bitter cocktail made from vodka, coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlúa or Tia Maria), and cream served in an old-fashioned glass with ice. Milk is often used as a substitute for cream.


[edit] Origin of the name

The drink is not traditionally Russian, but is so named due to vodka being the primary ingredient. The "White Russians" were an anti-Bolshevik group from the Russian Civil War.

The Oxford English Dictionary online refers to the first mention of the word "White Russian" in the sense of a cocktail as appearing in the Oakland (California) Tribune on 21 November 1965. It was placed in the newspaper as an insert: "White Russian. 1 oz. each Coffee Southern, vodka, cream." However, origins are speculative. It is also perceived to have been introduced as a dessert cocktail for men after World War I, although this can't be proven. This may actually be a misunderstanding of people incorrectly relating the drink to the anti-Bolshevik group. The drink's popularity tends to wax and wane, reaching highs in the 1970's and again in the late 1990's until today, the latter partially due to the cocktail's prominent exposure in The Big Lebowski. They have mostly been popular among men, although traditionally this drink hasn't necessarily been labelled masculine or feminine.[1]

[edit] Preparation notes

As with all cocktails, various modes of preparation exist, varying according to the recipes and styles of particular bars or mixologists. Most common varieties have adjusted amounts of vodka or coffee liqueur, or mixed brands of coffee liqueur. Shaking the cream in order to thicken it prior to pouring it over the drink is also common. It is important to note that Kahlúa is the brand of coffee liqueur most commonly associated with White Russians, mostly because it has become something of a genericized trademark for coffee liqueur; a recipe for the beverage is also present on the back of a bottle of Kahlúa.[2]

[edit] Popular culture

  • White Russians are the favored beverage of "The Dude" character in The Big Lebowski.[3] He also refers to them as Caucasians.
  • In the the UK television sitcom The IT Crowd, the White Russian is the preferred drink of the character Moss. When he meets Johan, a German cannibal, it is revealed that Moss does not know what is actually in the drink.
  • Norwegian band Kaizer's Orchestra performs a song named "Min Kvite Russer", or "My White Russian" in English.
  • "White Russian" is a song by Marillion from the Clutching at Straws album.

[edit] References

[edit] See also

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