A Few Things About White Russians

A Few Things About White Russians


As you may be aware, a White Russian is a fantastically ridiculous alcoholic beverage made with a mix of vodka, coffee liqueur and cream (or milk). I like them, more for their grandeur and, well, ridiculousness, than their taste. There are no real times where ordering a white-russian is acceptable, which makes is all the more mystifying when someone asks you what you are drinking, only to find yourself looking down on a muddy lactose party in an Ikea tumbler. Nevertheless, White Russians have achieved something of a cult status, due to the constant drinking of them by the 'Dude' in 1998's 'The Big Lebowski', apart from this, not much is known about the origins of the drink. I have milked the teet of the proverbial cow that is the internet to bring you some lesser known facts.



The 'Russian' part of the name refers to the country of origin of the Vodka used in the recipe. This was rather lazily adopted in part, as the name of the cocktail itself by the Americans. I can forgive the lazy naming of the cocktail as it does seem that Russians do love their vodka. In fact, cheap alcohol kills more than half of Russians aged 15-54 according to a Reuters report.

The Black Russian, the alternate drink minus the cream appeared in 1949 but shall not be mentioned, as it pales in insignificance to its counterpart. An somewhat unfinished sympathy.


Slimming World

A White Russian contains around about 257 calories, which roughly equates to the same calories as in a Mars Bar. To burn off that amount of calories, you would have to do at least some actual exercise. Rethinking your beverage choice now eh? Going to order another drink instead? Well, you could deploy the cunning psychological ploy that worked for me:


My thirsty self: “Can I get a White Russian Please?”

Unscrupulous Bartender: “We don't do cocktails.”

My thirstier self: “Not even a White Russian”

Now uninterested Bartender: “Sorry, no cocktails.”

My dutch courage inspired self: “Ok. Can I get a shot of vodka, and a shot of Kahlúa...”

Bartender: .."Yep"..

Me: …"aaaaaand a glass of milk please."


(Goes to grab bottle of vodka)

Me: “Hey! Actually, you can just throw them all in the same glass actually. That'll be fine.”

Bartender: “Ok..”

Me: “Thanks”.....


Thus negating any further issues.


Reading notes

There are also a range of variations on your classic White Russian including:

White Canadian – Cream substituted for goats milk eh!

Blind Russian – Made with Baileys instead of cream.

Anna Kournikova – Made with skimmed milk i.e. a “skinny, low-fat White Russian


Try one, you might just like it.


Image: Jonathon Watney 

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