The first written account of a cocktail mixture was from a popular London paper in 1798. That means cocktails like the White Russian have been around for over 220 years, and they are still as popular as ever.
While some people enjoy a sweet or acidic drink, others want something with a kick. Very few have a main component of milk, yet this one does.
Twin Drinks To Enjoy
Gustave Tops is said to have created the twin Russian drinks in 1949. As a Belgian bartender in Brussels, he found people loved the taste of vodka mixed with coffee liqueur. For the Black Russian, no milk or cream was added, but for the White Russian, it became a creamy delight with the addition of heavy cream.
For those watching their calorie intake while consuming the intoxicatingly tasty drinks, milk was used in place of the cream. Some may wonder how a Belgian created a drink with a Russian name, but since the immigrants that loved the drink were bringing vodka out of their home country with them, the name made sense to Gustave.
Popularity Rises and Falls
The White Russian slipped into gradual obscurity until 1965 when the Oakland Tribune did an article about the drink, including coffee liqueur. After a short surge of popularity once again, the milky drink slowly slipped into obscurity until 1998.
One of the stars in a film call The Big Lebowski drank nine White Russians, and as the film became a cult classic, the creamy drink shot into the realm of the superstars.
Variations Come to Life
If you love coffee and cream in your White Russian recipe cocktails, there are many variations for you to choose from. The White Canadian substitutes goat’s milk for heavy cream, while the White Belgian adds chocolate liqueur to the creamy mixture instead of the coffee.
The White Mexican is made with horchata in place of the cream, and the Dirty Russian does away with the cream and uses chocolate milk.
There is also the Mudslide that adds Irish flavored cream to the mixture, and the Anna Kournikova that saves calories by adding skim milk instead of cream. Make sure you use a clean vodka like Absolute with your drinks for a pure flavor profile, or the taste can be a little off.
Food Pairings Can Delight
The White Russian is a sweet drink, and since coffee has been a meal finisher for over a hundred years, the combination is often considered a dessert beverage.
For that reason, almost any meal can be finished with the creamy, swirl of delicious coffee flavors. From a roast and potatoes to a meat pie to wings to hamburgers – everything goes with the delicate creamy flavor of the White Russian.
No matter where you are in the world, there is a White Russian or variation of the drink that can suit your taste buds. Whether you love chocolate and coffee, coffee and cream, or all three together, you can find a luscious dessert combination just right for you.