An Abiding Classic

by Oscar Castillo


We all love our coffee. It is our awakening elixir that invigorates us each morning with its nutty, smooth aroma. In the mornings, it is customary to drink it hot, but in the afternoons, or even during the summertime, we tend to like our coffee iced. When going out on the town, many will debate between a nice dose of iced java at a café or a strong drink at a bar to make things just a bit more fun. However, the White Russian is the best of both worlds.

Though not really originating from Russia, it is so named due to its main component being vodka. Also known as a Caucasian, the drink initially starts as a Black Russian as many may prefer it. It consists of vodka and coffee liqueur such as Kahlua. Add some fresh cream, or even milk in some cases, and the Russian goes from Black to White. The black version of this drink is more on the nutty and bitter side, so coffee purists may enjoy this version a bit better. The white incarnation is creamier and sweeter, which is perfect to also sate your sweet tooth.  Served on the rocks, it is a perfect summer drink to kick back and relax to after a heavy day at the office.

Although its origin is not clear, one of the first recipes for this drink appeared on the newspaper The Oakland Tribute in 1965. However, it rose to popularity thanks to the classic 1998 film The Big Lebowski, where it served as a preferred drink to Jeff Bridges’ character, “The Dude.” A fresh, delicious treat, try asking for a White Russian next time out on the town.