- Cocktails and Spirits
August 12, 2011
This favorite, on the menu at The Cellar at Beecher's in New York City, is a unique take on the classic Old Fashioned that features muddled fig.
- 2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye
- 1 ounce turbinado simple syrup
- 1 dried Black Mission fig
- Orange peel
Muddle the rye with the simple syrup and fig. Add ice and stir 20 times. Garnish with orange peel.
The Enduring Legacy of the White Russian Cocktail
The White Russian, a combination of vodka, coffee liqueur and cream, is comfort food in a glass. Warming in the winter, refreshing like a cold milkshake on a summer day, there’s a reason this cocktail has endured through decades of shifts in cocktail tastes and pop culture references.
The drink is said to have been created as a riff on the Black Russian, a drink composed of vodka and coffee liqueur, and thought to date to Belgium in 1949. While the cocktail has no connection to its namesake country beyond the use of vodka, the recipe was appropriated by coffee liqueur companies that sought recipes to promote their lines, most notably now-defunct brand Coffee Southern.
The White Russian maintained modest popularity throughout the decades to follow but found renewed cultural awareness after featuring prominently in the cult 1998 film The Big Lebowski. The drink’s place in it has since become the subject of academic study, down to dissertations on the decision to float or mix the cream. What’s worth noting is that while other cocktails have seen their popularity ruined, or forever stigmatized, by attachment to pop culture properties, 23 years after The Big Lebowski’s release the White Russian remains as popular as ever.
One possible explanation for the cocktail’s endurance is its simplicity and accessibility. A White Russian is as suitable for a brunch accompaniment as an after-dinner digestif. Its ingredients are a perfect triangle of equal parts but can easily be adjusted to taste, or free-poured without measuring, and still yield a perfectly tasty drink. And, unlike similar cocktails like the Brandy Alexander, which shares a boozy milkshake-like profile, the ingredients are widespread enough that you can expect to find them in most home bars. It’s why, of all the outlandish aspects of the film, the least surprising aspect is that The Dude would find a bottle of vodka, a bottle of Kahlúa and some sort of milk wherever he ended up.
Here we opt for a floated White Russian, primarily because it photographs well. If you’re looking for a creamier head to the drink, shake the cream separately before pouring over the other ingredients. But also, feel free to shake, stir or combine the ingredients in any way you see fit. It’s a White Russian—you’re not going to screw this up.
Stir together vodka and coffee liqueur in rocks glass filled with ice. Top with cream, poured slowly into glass, or over the back of a spoon, to float. Optionally, substitute cream with half-and-half or whole milk if a thinner drink is desired). The drink doesn’t require a garnish, but feel free to add crushed cacao nibs or dust with cocoa powder.
White tequila-based cocktail recipes
1. Add ice to a tall-stem cocktail glass. Slowly pour cream de noyaux over ice until some settles on the bottom.
2. Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice, & orange juice into a shaker with ice, and shake thoroughly.
3. Garnish with straw, and lime slice or orange & cherry.
Shake well with lots of ice. Strain into glass. Garnish with fresh lime wedge if desired.
Shake and strain into a double-cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
Pour into an old-fashioned glass three-quarters filled with broken ice, and serve.
Place salt in a saucer. Rub rim of a cocktail glass with lime wedge and dip glass into salt to coat rim thoroughly, reserve lime. Pour tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and crushed ice into a blender. Blend well at high speed. Pour into a cocktail glass.
Pour all ingredients over finely shaven ice in a margarita glass, and serve.
Pour the silver tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lime, and serve.
Float the ingredients in order by pouring over the bottom of a spoon.
Shake tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a whiskey sour glass and squeeze a further wedge of lime on top. Discard lime, and serve.
Shake well with ice in a shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The White Russian
The White Russian is among the best, easiest, and most popular vodka cocktails you will come across. The creamy counterpart to the equally famous Black Russian—vodka and coffee liqueur—the white version is incredibly simple to make by just adding cream to the black one. Made famous by the beloved "Dude" character in the Big Lebowski movie, the drink took off during the late '90s among a new generation of fans of this cult favorite.
Adding this easy recipe to your bartending arsenal will give you a two-for-one lesson, as buying coffee liqueur and vodka will give you a complete drink (black), and adding cream on top of it will provide a second cocktail (white). The White Russian is a very approachable drink, so delicious that one can barely notice there's alcohol in it, and this has only fed the drink's popularity. You get vodka accented with the taste of coffee in a luscious, creamy cocktail.
Our recipe just requires a quick stir, but play a little and test your bartending skills by floating the cream on top of the spirits and ice. It may require a bit of practice to get a clean layer, but it makes for a great-looking drink. Serve this with a straw and allow the drinker to stir the ingredients as they like. Enjoy a White Russian—stirred or layered—after dinner, during happy hour, or anytime you're looking for a quick and delightful drink.
Oscar Night Cocktail Recipe: “The Lincoln” White Whiskey Margarita
When the Oscars roll around, my husband and I usually shrug at the noms since we typically haven’t seen any of the movies. This year, though, the mythical gods of “free-time” shone down on us and we were able to squeeze in a few of the films we usually only hear about. So it seems we will have a reason to actually watch the ceremony for more than the red carpet. Without hesitation, I grabbed the shaker to create an Oscar-worthy cocktail that we could sip while watching Hollywood’s biggest night.
There are so many delicious drinks that could be used to mirror the equally delicious performances this year. While my personal pick for best picture would be Argo, I just can’t get over Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln. I have no idea what Lincoln was really like but from now on he will indelibly be imprinted in my mind as Daniel Day Lewis. But as a cocktail muse, there was just one problem: Lincoln didn’t drink. Yet I was determined to find the perfect sip for this performance so worthy of a toast.
After a few shakes I found the white whiskey margarita to be the perfect Oscar party drink, a nod to Lincoln’s birthplace of Kentucky. White whiskey is not straight up moonshine, otherwise known as white dog. Those are spirits right off the still that never see a barrel and can burn the bejesus out of your mouth, throat, stomach…You get the idea.
This cocktail highlights Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey, which is a true whiskey aged for at least one year in un-charred white oak barrels. It smells like sweet corn in the glass but has a delightfully playful briny note. I first started sipping it with a simple squeeze of fresh lime juice, but this white whiskey works swell in all sorts of cocktails including a whiskey sour, a Bloody Mary and this Lincoln Margarita.
Below you’ll find a recipe that makes two drinks, one to share with your own best supporting actor. While the man himself was reportedly a teetotaler, it doesn’t mean Lincoln isn’t worthy of a toast. So bust out some fancy hors d’oeuvres and pour up the Lincoln Margarita as a perfect conversation starter tonight or on Sunday at your Oscar party.
Citrusy White Negroni Cocktail RecipeThe classic Negroni cocktail has been around for more than a century – as in it just celebrated its 100th in 2019 – and it’s one of ou.
The classic Negroni cocktail has been around for more than a century – as in it just celebrated its 100th in 2019 – and it’s one of our favorite cocktails of ever.
The mix of equal parts of sweet red vermouth, Campari, and gin means it is a balance of sweet, bitter, and herbal. Translation: it’s an extremely food friendly cocktail.
But even the best things are worthy of a riff every now and then. In the case of a Negroni one riff we turn to often is the white Negroni. The White Negroni was said to have been created by London mixologist, Wayne Collins, back in the early 2000s and he stirred together bitter Suze liqueur, the French aperitif Lillet, and gin. That version is a modern classic but we don’t find it to be particularly food friendly.
Enter our take on the white Negroni made with dry white vermouth, Cocchi Bianco aperitif, and a London style (read: herbaceous and juniper-y) gin. The result is a cocktail that lives on the taste spectrum between a refreshing Gin & Tonic and a Vermouth & Soda.
Yes, those are both go-to cocktails for tapas in Spain because they’re both very food friendly. As such this cocktail is refreshing, balanced, and pretty much begging to be served with your next meal.
A Word About The Liquors
- Dry White Vermouth: An aromatic fortified wine made by infusing a grape spirit base with a host of aromatics like flowers, herbs, and bark, you’ll come across both dry and sweet vermouth. Dry vermouth (aka white vermouth) is less sweet than red (aka sweet) vermouth. We use Dolin White Vermouth in this cocktail.
- Cocchi Americano: Like a less intense and less bitter take on spirits like Campari yet more bitter than Lillet, Cocchi Americano is an aperitif wine made with quinine. In other words, it’s the key to providing the cocktail’s bitter note. If you can’t find it, you can use Lillet though the end cocktail will be a little less bitter and sweeter.
- London-Style Gin: Classically, you want to use a “dry gin” for a Negroni meaning a gin that doesn’t have any added flavorings above and beyond the natural botanicals used in distilling. We like the balanced Sipsmith brand London Dry Gin for this cocktail.
See The Recipe Made Step By Step
Heads up that we made this recipe during our Cooking Club Cocktail Party class. So, if you want to see it made step by step -- and get a glimpse of the menu we'd pair this with -- go ahead and watch the recording of the class!
Okay, that's it! Go stock up on all your bar essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @ saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
Frozen wine cocktails with grapefruit
I adore frozen cocktails since they’re so much fun to sip through a straw out of stemless wine cocktail glasses.
They give me an excuse to use my high speed blender more often, too!
For the Frozen Wine Cocktails with Grapefruit, instead of freezing grapefruit juice in ice cube trays, I froze pieces of ruby red grapefruit overnight. That way you get a bit of fiber along with your cocktail. (We can all use more fiber in our diets, right?)
I cut back on some of the calories by using stevia instead of sugar, too. (You can also use powdered monk fruit sweetener.)
White Lady Classic Cocktail
For years we searched for a perfect, anytime-anywhere gin cocktail. Negronis are delicious, but some evenings we crave something with a little less of a bitter bite. Gin & Tonics are always refreshing, but at times a little too simple. One day we stumbled upon the White Lady cocktail in the Cocktail Codex and immediately knew this was the cocktail we had been searching for.
The White Lady cocktail is a gin cousin of the Sidecar. A beautiful spirit, some orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. This prohibition classic has a bit of a contested history. Some claim it was created by Harry MacElhone while at London&rsquos Ciro&rsquos Club in 1919. His creation originally called for crème de menthe instead of gin, and then he switched to the gin in 1929 when he was tending at Harry&rsquos New York Bar in Paris. Others attribute the White Lady to Harry Craddock, who was making them at The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London and printed the recipe in The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930)
Today, the White Lady is often made with an egg white shaken into the cocktail to give body. Original variants did not use an egg white, but it is an excellent evolution of the cocktail. Peter Dorelli while at American Bar of the Savoy Hotel is often attributed for the addition, and I say &ldquothank you sir&rdquo. Some cringe at the thought of an egg white in a cocktail, but after having it with and without, you may find yourself a convert. It gives the cocktail a great mouthfeel to what otherwise might come across as a little flat. Especially if not shaken properly. When using the egg white, make sure to double shake the cocktail. First shake all the ingredients &ldquodry&rdquo (without ice), then add ice and shake again. You can also do it the other way around, first with ice then shaken again without, but it is a little cumbersome.
Recommendations: As all gin lovers know, gin flavor profiles vary tremendously. For our cocktails like the White Lady, we tend to reach for gins which have bit of a citrus note. Often it will be Hendricks or Tanqueray Rangpur, as they are frequently chilling in our home freezer. But feel free to play with your favorite gin. For the orange liqueur, Cointreau is one of our favorites for its dryness and flavor profile. And please use fresh lemon juice. It just isn&rsquot the same with bottled lemon.
There are some alternate names for the White Lady. There are quite a few and among the ones we&rsquove seen and love are the Delilah, Lillian Forever and Chelsea Sidecar.
Easy White Wine Cocktails
A glass of white wine is great on its own, but you can easily jazz it up by adding fresh fruit, fruit juices and other liqueurs. Try these recipes, from Snooth.com wine expert Gregory Del Piaz, for a cool change from your standard mixed drinks. (Also, check out his recommendations for 5 budget-friendly white wines.)
Choose a white wine that is dry and fresh with good acidity, such as a Chenin Blanc, to build your drink mix. Because the wine already has some tropical fruit flavors, work with them and use fruits that will complement its taste.
Combine the wine and fruit in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic -– no metal) and blend well. Put the sangria in the fridge and let it sit overnight.
Taste the sangria just before serving and add sugar if you want more sweetness. I find that the fruits release enough sugar for me, so I like to keep it just the way it is!
If you want to experiment with wine cocktails, Prosecco is a great place to start. The bubbly white wine is the base for some classic like the famous Bellini, a mix of peach nectar and Prosecco, the Poinsettia, where it’s blended with Cointreau and cranberry juice, and my favorite, the Sparkling Americano! Make your own with these recipes.
Place 1 ounce of peach nectar (or fresh peach puree) in the bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Top with 4 ounces of Prosecco. If you wish, add a drop of raspberry syrup the classic Bellini included one to give the drink a pink hue. Enjoy -- it’s that simple and delicious!
Fill the glass with Prosecco and garnish with orange zest.
A New Twist on an Old Classic: Sparkling Americano
Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled Champagne flute. Fill the glass with Prosecco and garnish with an orange slice.
This past year has been a lot, to say the least! Now it is time to celebrate summer and fun with this epic shot layered with red, white, and blue layers.
We are so excited for the Fourth of July and summertime. It feels like we haven't really left the house in a while.
This layered shot is also called the Captain America Shot which I am all in for! It makes me think about interviewing Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth for the Avengers.
Each brand of liquor will have its own density. You will need to practice with the brands you have to get them layered.
Shot Glass - We used a 2 oz shot glass for this recipe
How to make a layered Fourth of July Shot
Step 1 - Pour grenadine into the bottom of a shot glass.
Step 2 - Slowly pour Blue Curacao over the back of a spoon onto the grenadine.
Step 3 - Slowly pour the Vodka over the back of a clean spoon onto the Blue Curacao. We suggest rotating the shot glass so you are not pouring over where the Blue Curacao went in.
This red white and blue shooter works best if you don't have to move it a ton. If you move it and the flavors mix don't worry it still tastes great.
This recipe can also be made with Peach Schnapps instead of vodka. Dekuyper Peachtree Schnapps is frequently used because of the density of the liquor.
You can use drink syringes to add in the liquor if you don't like pouring over the back of a spoon.