Tuesday, September 29, 2009

White Russians.... and no, not the anti-Bolshevik group that fought against the Red Army

From what I have learned from Dr. Denner, what is perhaps the best part of Russia is the booze. Lets face it, if it's that cold, you are going to want something to warm you up. So, I wanted to explore the history of a little cocktail known as "The White Russian".

A White Russian is usually made from equal parts vodka, Kahlua (a coffee flavored liqueur), and cream. Simple enough. But where did this drink gets its start and, more pertinent, its name? I will assume the White Russians didn't drink White Russians as they marched on Omsk... white russians are usually served iced. And, once again, it is cold in Russia. Especially late in the year.

Not shockingly, the drink did not originate in Russia. According to various internet sources, the first record of the drink was in a California newspaper, the Oakland Tribune in 1965. It is so named because, nu, it is white in color and, during the Cold War, Americans associated vodka with Russia (just watch Dr. Strangelove...).

The White Russian was mostly popular in the 1970's, and then its popularity waned until 1998, when "The Dude" (aka Jeff Lebowski in The Big Lebowski) was seen drinking them. Since then, fans of both White Russians and Lebowski abound. (Note: Leboswki now has both a festival and religion in his honor)

No comments: