It's time to talk about a great cocktail. A cocktail that is as laid back or as showy as you want it to be. The White Russian. As the signature drink of The Dude it gained quite a bit of popularity in the past. And although the hype is long over it still is a good cocktail.
It could be the antithesis of a drink so delicately structured that even 1/8 oz too much or too little of an ingredient causes a train-wreck. I'm not suggesting all out free-pouring but perhaps you've come across a recipe that can roll with the punches of an over/under pour now and again. – Nihil Utopia
Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!
In my humble opinion the White Russian is a perfect fit for a category like forgiving cocktails. The recipe is easy to remember as it only contains three ingredients. It's also very forgiving when it comes to changes in quality of ingredients or amounts used. The classic recipe is listed below.
"Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass (it'll look less wicked than in a martini glass; that's important). Some folks build this one on the rocks, floating the cream on top. No."
Recipe from How to Make a White Russian by David Wondrich
This time tested recipe is the right one if you want to make a proper White Russian. Slightly sweet and creamy with a decent taste of Kahlúa. Really tasty and a perfect drink after dinner or to start your evening with.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
Well so much for the proper recipe. But I must admit that I like my White Russian made a bit lazier and even easier to remember. I just use equal parts of everything since this makes whipping up a White Russian a no-brainer, even without a method to measure your ingredients. And adding ice cubes just negates the need for shaking everything. I'm pretty sure The Dude wouldn't want it any other way.
Pour the vodka, Kahlúa and milk into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and stir.
The recipe is super simple and super fast to make. If you have a bit of experience, or don't care if it's perfect all the time, then you can mix this White Russian without measuring. It's really hard to fuck up. This version is a bit lighter and has a bit more coffee flavor than the recipe at the beginning.
The thing about the White Russian is that no matter if you use milk or cream it will taste good. Of course people have their preferences, but that doesn't mean the other version is bad. It also means this is a pretty safe choice of cocktail to order at a bar. Even if you get the posh version with the cream floating on top you can just go ahead and stir it. Voilá, White Russian done.
Just take it easy man.
What else is possible? Well, I advise against making your White Russian using powdered milk like The Dude. I tried this once and it was horrible. It's hard to create a proper White Russian without cream or milk, so just make it a Black Russian instead.
The next logical thing, if you want to experiment, is to change some ingredients. Choosing a different coffee liqueur can have a really great impact. I can recommend Tia Maria for example, which has a more powerful coffee aroma, but still is sweet and keeps the cocktail close to the original. Or try some Nuevas Rias Licor de Café which is not as sweet and a bit dry. It creates a cocktail with a more mature character.
If you don't have any coffee liqueur on hand, why not make your own coffee syrup and use that instead? Just mix equal parts of coffee and sugar and you are done. It makes your White Russian a bit sweeter, but it's a quick substitute and you get to decide what kind of coffee goes into it.
Or do as I did and switch out the coffee for tea. I tried it earlier this year and the results were simply amazing, so I want to include the recipe here too.
Pour the vodka, syrup and milk into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice and stir.
If you want to go even further, you can substitute the vodka for a different liquor. I have heard of people who tried tequila instead of vodka, but I imagine using a nice dark rum will also yield a tasty cocktail.
The Dude abides.
The White Russian is a truly versatile drink. It lends itself to experimentation and forgives mistakes easily. While it isn't as popular as it used to be, I still enjoy one from time to time. It's quite the crowd-pleaser and most people won't say no if you offer them one. All the more reason to go ahead and experiment a little bit.
I hope after reading all this that you too crave a White Russian now. So go ahead and have one. And whether you make it the right or the easy way, be sure to relax while drinking it. It's what The Dude would want.
Next week I will try to come up with a Christmas cocktail or something else that is Christmas-y. I probably will release it before the 25th so you can enjoy it right in time for Christmas. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to get notified right away when a new article is out.
Title image via pixabay.