A White Russian
is a sweet cocktail
made from vodka
, coffee liqueur
or Tia Maria
), and cream
served in an old-fashioned glass
with ice. Milk
is often used as a substitute for cream.
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 context 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."
- White Russians are the favored drink of "The Dude" character in The Big Lebowski. He also refers to them as Caucasians.
- In the movie Catwoman, the title character orders a White Russian with no vodka, no ice, and no Kahlúa, making it simply a glass of cream/milk.
- White Russian was a popular flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, although it is no longer produced. The ice cream was based on the flavor of the drink, and included Kahlúa flavoring.
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.