This month’s Mixology Monday, Creme de la Creme, features drinks made with cream-based liqueurs.
When our hostess, Anna, allowed that “lazy bums can include cream in their cocktail” in lieu of a cream liqueur, my path became clear.
“Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s The Dude, in Los Anglez. And even if he’s a lazy man — and The Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in all of Los Anglez County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide.”
A perfect inspiration for lazy, creamy-cocktail drinkers everywhere, wouldn’t you say?
For those of you not acquainted with the Coen Brothers’ 1998 noir parody, The Big Lebowski …well, there’s no way I could possibly convince you of its worth in 20 words or less. Suffice to say that its hysterical, convoluted plot finds room for Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, Flea, and Tara Reid all on the same screen. It’s a rollicking two hours filled with mistaken identities, bowling tournaments, extortionate Nihilists, and many, many White Russians.
Right there in the opening scene, we find our hero Jeffrey Lebowski — known to all as The Dude, or “His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing” — strolling through his local Ralphs. He picks a carton of half-and-half out of the dairy case with a connoisseur’s care, pausing to open the container and sniff the contents.
That particular carton meets a sad fate well before finding its way into The Dude’s signature cocktail, but never fear: Many a vodka-Kahlua-cream concoction appears in The Dude’s mitts as the story unravels. One even serves as the vehicle for a nasty plot twist…
“But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced it enough.”
Like most cocktails that have been around the block a time or two, the White Russian sports plenty of variations, and a number of competing formulas. The “official” recipe seems a bit out of synch with common usage, proposing a 5:2:3 (vodka, Kahlua, cream) ratio. Most cocktail manuals and drink sites lean more toward a 4:2:1 mix, which I prefer. More vodka seems fine, but an abundance of cream quickly overpowers the Kaluha.
Of course, you could do as many folks — including The Dude, it should be noted — do, and swap the cream for a lighter dairy product. Half-and-half makes a pleasant drink; whole milk will do in a pinch; I can’t recommend low-fat or any of that other what-have-you.
2 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz cream (or half-and-half, if you’re not into that whole gluttony thing)
Combine the vodka and Kahlua in an ice-filled rocks glass. Float the cream on top.