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The Black Russian & White Russian – Delightfully Intriguing Cocktails!

The Black Russian & White Russian – Delightfully Intriguing Cocktails!

Classic cocktails are some of the best. Many are resurfacing to the delight of those familiar with them plus they’re capturing an entirely new audience. The Black Russian and the White Russian are both classics and worthy of dusting off the old recipes. They’re sophisticated and elegant cocktails and an absolutely delicious way to start the weekend with someone special.

There’s actually nothing “Russian” about the Black Russian or the White Russian except for the vodka used when they were created. The Black Russian is a simplistic cocktail consisting of a great vodka and Kahlua, that delicious coffee liqueur. A White Russian softens the edges a bit and is perfect as an after dinner drink. It starts with the same ingredients as its predecessor – vodka and Kahlua, then it’s topped with a luscious rich, heavy cream.

According to a fascinating article published on, written by Gary Regan, author and expert in all things spirits and cocktails, the Black Russian was invented in the late 1940s in Belgium just as the Cold War was beginning. Created by Gustave Tops, the bartender at the Hotel Metropole it was meant as a tribute to Perle Mesta the American Ambassador to Luxembourg. As Regan describes in his article, the Black Russian was something dark and mysterious. It was reflection of the times.

The White Russian is an adaptation of the Black Russian. Some historical references say that this same bartender concocted the White Russian while others claim it originated years later, either the mid-50s or the mid-60s in California. By the 80s it was falling out of favor until the drink was immortalized in 1998 in the film “The Big Lebowski”. New fans emerged and revived this delightful version.

History is pretty clear on the Black Russian and whoever had the idea to add the touch of cream creating the White Russian, kudos! Both are marvelous cocktails reminiscent of the mid-century modern life! Both are perfect to welcome February – Cheers!

Black Russian

2 ounces vodka

1 ounce Kahlua, 2 ounces if you like a more intense coffee liqueur flavor

Pour the vodka into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

Add the Kahlua.

Stir well before enjoying!

White Russian

1 ounce vodka

1 ounce Kahlua, coffee liqueur

1 ounce heavy cream

Pour the Vodka into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

Add the Kahlua.

Slowly pour the heavy cream into the drink. To keep the layering effect for serving, slowly pour the cream over the top of a spoon.

Stir well before enjoying!



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