Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Drinks Decoded: White Russian

by Lanna Nguyen on Feb 14, 2017 in Culture

In this series, we take a closer look at well-known cocktails. Get to know the history behind these classic drinks as well as where you can find them in the DMV area. This week’s Drinks Decoded takes on White Russian, in honor of National Kahlua Day on February 27.

The Basics
The White Russian is a cocktail made with vodka, coffee liqueur (typically Kahlua), and cream or milk. It is served on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass by pouring the vodka and coffee liqueur into the glass filled with ice and then adding the cream or milk on top of the alcohol while slowly stirring all of the ingredients together. Variations of the drink include a White Canadian (goat’s milk is used instead of cream), White Mexican (horchata is substituted for cream), and the White Cuban (rum is used instead of vodka), to name a few.

The Backstory
Contrary to popular belief, the drink’s name does not have anything to do with the country Russia, other than having vodka as the main alcoholic base. The drink was originally named a Black Russian when it was created in 1949 by Belgian bartender Gustave Tops. Story has it that Tops made the drink for Perle Meste, the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. The first version of the drink only contained vodka and coffee liqueur, hence its name. The introduction of cream to the Black Russian - thereby turning it into a White Russian - did not occur until the 1960’s. The cocktail was enjoyed throughout the decades, but did not receive much notoriety until it was featured in the cult classic The Big Lebowski as The Dude’s drink of choice. The drink has a reputation as being on the sweeter side and cocktail selection for those sensitive to the strong taste of liquor.
 
The Bars
Burger Tap and Shake
The February cocktail of the month, Pandamonium, is made with Smirnoff Whipped vodka, Creme de Cacao, and a splash of milk and mint - modeled after the White Belgian (substituting chocolate liqueur for coffee liqueur). (2200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW; 202-587-6258)
 
Co Co Sala
The chocolate-inspired restaurant bar’s take on the White Russian includes Svedka Vanilla, Patron Cafe XO and Baileys and milk foam. (929 F St, NW; 202-347-4265)
 
Ted’s Bulletin
The classic American diner serves up an adult milkshake version of the White Russian - made with vodka and Kahlua, get a taste of nostalgia for $10.99. (multiple locations)

Photo via Flickr user stevendepolo

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Flying Dog Terminates Brewers Association Membership, Cries McCarthyism

Flying Dog Terminates Brewers Association Membership, Cries McCarthyism

The Brewers Association, creators of the recently reported on craft brewery logo has lost one of its members: ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jul 18, 2017
A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

Morgan Street Company out of Ontario is trying to crowdfund a set of 'unique' whiskey stones....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 18, 2017
SPONSORED
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are
Game of Thrones & Ommegang Are Teaming Up For Its Line's Latest Beer, 'Winter Is Here'

Game of Thrones & Ommegang Are Teaming Up For Its Line's Latest Beer, 'Winter Is Here'

Just ahead of the July 16 premiere of HBO's megahit series Game of Thrones, Ommegang has announced its latest ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 11, 2017
Keep Calm & Carry On This Summer With Pimm's Popsicles

Keep Calm & Carry On This Summer With Pimm's Popsicles

The latest boozy summertime treat is the poshest yet - a U.K. based company is producing Pimm's popsicles....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 11, 2017
AB InBev Brewers Responds to Brewers Association's Craft Label

AB InBev Brewers Responds to Brewers Association's Craft Label

AB InBev has released a video response to the craft beer seal recently developed by the Brewer's Association....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jul 11, 2017
Cool Off With These Boozy Frozen Drinks in D.C.

Cool Off With These Boozy Frozen Drinks in D.C.

When DC's signature heat and humidity begins to seep into the city, there's only one way to stay cool: with a frozen cocktail in hand. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Jul 11, 2017
A Negroni Fountain Now Exists in New York City

A Negroni Fountain Now Exists in New York City

Award-winning cocktail bar Dante, a New York institution, has teamed up with design and concept firm AvroKo to take over the currently empty Genuine r...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 6, 2017
A Texas Brewery Has Combined Ramen With Beer For Their Latest Brew

A Texas Brewery Has Combined Ramen With Beer For Their Latest Brew

College students, rejoice: a Texas brewery has made a beer using and inspired by ramen noodles....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 6, 2017
Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite: Where to Celebrate Bastille Day 2017 in D.C.

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite: Where to Celebrate Bastille Day 2017 in D.C.

Celebrate the 228th storming of the Bastille with fetes, French-inspired dinners, drink specials and more thro...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Jul 6, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close