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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Food and Drink: The White Russian

Yesterday's story in the New York Times about the resurgence of Kahlua and cream, a.k.a. "a White Russian", as a hip beverage must give people of serious purpose pause: Should a beverage be created from booze mixed with a dairy product?

On initial consideration, some might say no. Alcohol and dairy conjures up images of dipsomaniacs swilling Scotch and milk (with apologies to dipsomaniacs who do not imbibe this mixture, non-dipsomaniacs who do, and Joyce Randolph). Of the White Russian, David Wondrich, drinks correspondent for Esquire, says in the NYT's article, “'When I first encountered it in the 1970s, the White Russian was something real alcoholics drank, or beginners.'”

Wholesale condemnation of the drinks-and-dairy combination should be avoided, however. Eggnog, for example, spiked with a bit of brandy or whiskey, is a fun holiday treat (and according to Wikipeida, a excellent source of magnesium).

Perhaps a drink like eggnog, or a White Russian, simply requires the right context. It's not for every day, or for drinking at the bowling alley (unless you are either a character in a movie or between the age of 21 and 32). But late in the evening, lingering after dinner and enjoying a fabulous view of a city or the ocean, a celebratory round of a sweet drink like Kahlua and cream may just suit perfectly.


Another wrinkle from dairy products: Who wants bovine growth hormone in their holiday drink? Not I. This brand of eggnog is rBST free.