Friday, June 1, 2012

Monthly Moonshine: Black Russian

I have to tell I was contemplating cocktails to share with you I realized I had very little alcohol to mix anything complex. So that is a problem I will rectify by the time our next Monthly Moonshine rolls around. 

And then I decided that I need to get over my bias against vodka. That, and it turns out my sister and I have three separate kinds of vodka in our freezer and it's about time we used some of that.

So I bring you the Black Russian.

The Black Russian was invented in 1949 by Gustave Tops at a hotel bar in Brussels, Belgium for American ambassador Perle Mesta. It is so named for the use of vodka, a typically Russian spirit, and the dark hue of coffee liqueur. It seems strange, given the political climate at the time and the impending Cold War, that such a drink would be created for an American diplomat, but there you have it.   

Like every cocktail ever invented, opinions vary as to the correct ratios. However, in this case I found a clear trend toward 1 1/2 oz vodka and 3/4 oz coffee liqueur. So that's how I made mine. I would recommend using Russian vodka, for obvious reasons, but I found some Grey Goose so I used that. Kahlua is probably the most common choice for the coffee liqueur, but Tia Maria is also popular. 

In an old fashioned glass pour vodka over ice followed by the coffee liqueur. Stir and enjoy! Since this cocktail has no mixers to speak of it packs a bit of a punch. The coffee flavour hits you first, but it's quickly followed by a bite of vodka. 

My inner geek is certain that this is Black Widow's cocktail of choice. It appears unassuming, almost sweet on the surface, definitely nice to look at, but don't let your guard down because it will knock you off your feet. I'm sure her fellow Avengers would agree.

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