Updated White Russian


This month’s Mixology Monday challenge, hosted by Tipicular Fixin’s [roundup post now up!], is to update a cocktail you enjoyed before you really got into cocktails, but would be, perhaps, ashamed to order now. I decided to take a stab at the White Russian. I think the White Russian is still a solid drink, but it’s pretty one-note. This is an attempt to add some more flavor complexity and improve the presentation while still keeping the alcoholic-iced-latte nature intact.

1.5 oz coffee vodka (see below)
1.0 oz sweet spiced milk (see below)
0.5 oz whole milk
1      egg white

Shake once without ice, shake again with ice and strain
Garnish with a grated coffee bean

Updated White RussianThe egg and milk provided a nice body and the bitter of the coffee balanced the sweetness nicely. I liked the cinnamon, but ended up adding a little non-spiced milk in the final version, as my first try was a little too cinnamon-forward. This ended up being classier than the original, and the coffee bean and cinnamon floating on the top gave visual appeal, but I think there’s room to add more flavor wow-factor.

Coffee Vodka:
0.25 cup dark roast coffee beans (Major Dickason's)
1.50 cup vodka (New Amsterdam)

Use a dark-roast coffee here (delicate 3rd-wave stuff is just not going to stand up to other heavy flavors as well) and a mid-range vodka. Roughly crush the coffee beans (e.g., mortar and pestle), put in a glass jar and cover with the vodka, close and give a good shake. Steep for a couple of days. I recommend leaving it on a shady party of the counter and shaking it ever time you walk past. Strain using the method you prefer for coffee (drip through a filter, french press, aero press, etc.). If not using all of it immediately, be vigilant about filtering out as much of the grounds as possible, they will keep steeping and eventually give that distinctive unpleasant “old coffee” flavor

Sweet Spiced Milk: 
0.75 cup whole milk 
2 Tbsp   white sugar 
0.5 tsp  vanilla
0.25 tsp cinnamon

Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly, until milk is steaming. Let cool before using. Refrigerate unused portion.


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