Before we get into the background on the classic Black Russian recipe, here are a few related cocktail recipes you may like: the Butterscotch White Russian
, the Caramel White Russian
, the Chocolate White Russian
, the Salted Caramel White Russian
, the White Russian Split
, and the Coconut Rum White Russian.
As far as the background on this covert-sounding cocktail, the White Russian/Black Russian cocktail wikipedia page
notes that "The traditional cocktail known as a Black Russian, which first appeared in 1949, becomes a White Russian with the addition of cream." And that "Neither drink is Russian in origin, but both are so named due to vodka being the primary ingredient. It is unclear which drink preceded the other." So yeah, you may have thought that the White Russian was the OG Russian drink, but that's apparently not the case. Although a 2016 VinePair article
does state that " The [White Russian] was conceived in 1949 when Gustave Tops, a Belgian barman, created the cocktail, along with its sister cocktail, the black Russian – a White Russian without any cream – at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in honor of Perle Mesta, then U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg." So maybe both were actually made at the same time? Although the Black Russian has never garnered the popularity of a drink like the classic margarita or classic mimosa, the White Russian version really took off in popularity in 1998 after the movie The Big Lebowski
came out. In the film, the White Russian was the drink of choice for the main character, the Dude, and because he was so emulated, so too was his drink.
1 3/4 oz. (52ml) Vodka
3/4 oz. (22ml) Coffee Liqueur
1. Our vodka and coffee liqueur over ice in serving glass.
2. Stir gently.