You can pour as many different combinations of spirits and liqueur into a glass as you can think of, but you’ll be hard pressed to come up with one as delicious, or timeless, as the Black Russian. With the possible exception of the Godfather, this really is the cocktail with the most perfect pairing the two. It’s listed by the American Bartenders Association as a Contemporary Classic.
Kahlua is a coffee based liqueur from Mexico, first manufactured in 1936. It is a blend of rum and coffee, both made from crops grown in rural Veracruz where the liqueur originated. The Black Russian first appeared in 1949, followed six years later by the White Russian, which is the same drink with the addition of a splash of cream. It actually takes seven years to make a bottle of Kahlua if you take into account the time it takes to grow the coffee.
Hollywood has always loved Kahlua, and cocktails with a Kahlua base have stolen the scene in numerous films over the years. The Dude’s indulgence in White Russians throughout the Cohen Brothers’ hit movie “The Big Lebowski” is said to have single-handedly catapulted the drink to one of the most popular bar requests in 1999, the year following its release.
The Dirty Black Russian, also called an Australian Black Russian, adds a splash of cola to the mix. A California Russian adds a measure of Triple Sec and a Black Magic adds a squeeze of lemon juice. Play with it if you must, but the classic Black Russian is still as good as they come.
Here’s the recipe for a Black Russian:
- 30ml Vodka
- 15ml Kahlua
- Maraschino cherry to garnish
- Fill a rocks glass with ice.
- Add the Vodka.
- Float the Kahlua on top.
- Stir gently.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
- Rocks glass