The Great Indoors: Celebrate Olympics with Russian-themed drinksIf you’re like a lot of Americans (except maybe those living in Seattle) the highlight of the recent blowout Super Bowl wasn’t the game play or even the less than groundbreaking commercials, it was the food. We pig out that day and we like it! Well, now you have another chance. It might not be the Super Bowl, but why not throw a Winter Olympics party?
By: Tracy Briggs, INFORUM
If you’re like a lot of Americans (except maybe those living in Seattle) the highlight of the recent blowout Super Bowl wasn’t the game play or even the less than groundbreaking commercials, it was the food. We pig out that day and we like it! Well, now you have another chance. It might not be the Super Bowl, but why not throw a Winter Olympics party?
Knowing what to serve might be a challenge. Somehow beer, nachos and Buffalo wings don’t seem to fit for these games set in Russia. At the same time, sitting down to a steaming bowl of borscht while you cheer on your favorite bobsled team seems less than festive. So instead of the food, perhaps we should concentrate on the cocktails you’d serve and of course, that’s got to mean vodka.
Sochi is right in the middle of the “vodka belt,” a portion of Eastern Europe where vodka originated and where vodka consumption is the highest in the world. It’s not surprising then that cocktails would be named in honor of Mother Russia. But what makes them different from one another and which one is the star of the group?
This is the drink that gave birth to all of the following. It was created, not in Russia, but in the United States in 1949. It combines equal parts vodka and coffee flavored liqueur such as Kahlua. Strong and straightforward. Like Vladimir Putin, only with his shirt on.
This is simply a Black Russian with a shot of cream. This is definitely the most popular of the Russian cocktails and received a huge boost from the 1998 movie, “The Big Lebowski,” where Jeff Bridges character, “The Dude,” drinks White Russians like water. He’s such a fan, sometimes he substitutes non-dairy creamer for cream. Ick. We’ll stick with our recipe.
Dirty Black Russian
It’s not a pretty sounding drink, is it? But it’s simply a Black Russian where chocolate milk is used instead of cream, or where the cocktail is topped off with a shot of cola.
This one packs a punch. It’s vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. The “blind” part comes because every part of the drink contains alcohol.
The Russian tennis star, known more for her pin-up girl looks and relationship with Enrique Iglesias than her play on the court, is the inspiration for this drink. It’s a twist on a white Russian, but skim milk is used in place of cream. Get it? It’s a skinny white Russian. I’m sure Miss Kournikova would be honored.
My colleague LaurelLee Loftsgard and I created this one by accident. After shooting the video that accompanies this story, we had to clean up, so we dumped all of the previous 5 cocktails in a bowl to throw away.
But then curiosity got the best of us. What would it taste like if you mixed them all together? That’s vodka, Kahlua, cream, chocolate milk and Bailey’s Irish Cream in one glass.
Turns out it was pretty good. Strong, but pretty good. After a couple of sips we ended up dumping our new creation down the drain. After all, we have to keep our wits about us if we’re going to watch that bobsled competition.
Watch ‘The Great Indoors’ with Tracy Briggs every Thursday on www.InforumTV.com