Thursday, May 6, 2010

How Many White Russian Variations Does One Need?

To commemorate the 55th anniversary of the White Russian first appearing in print (who knew?), Kahlua has hustled up four modern spins on The Dude's favorite cocktail.

Now, I'm pretty much OK with there just being one White Russian out there, but I admit to becoming curious when I saw one of the recipes came from Greg Seider of Summit Bar, whose work I like. But, to be fair, I'm printing all four here. Be prepared: there are a ton of eggs involved, and instructions are lengthy and difficult on three of these. (Double boiler? Really?) In fact, two of the recipes actually seem to be desserts, not drinks. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The same could be argued about the White Russian itself.

Moscow in Mexico
Created by Mixologist Gregory Seider of Summit

1 part Kahlúa
1 part Absolut Vodka
1 shot of espresso
1 half part walnut liquor

Combine all ingredients into metal cocktail shaker and add ice. Hard-shake for 10 seconds and double strain through tea strainer into martini glass. Using aerolatte milk frother, froth cold milk and spoon on top of cocktail. Top with cardamom powder.

Kahlúa Anglaise
Created by Pastry Chef Millicent Souris of Roebling Tea Room

8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Kahlúa
1 1/2 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
5 white peppercorns (optional)
5 coriander seeds (optional)
Splash of Absolut Vodka
Red berries

Separate eggs. Put yolks in a medium sized stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk together. Set a medium sized saucepan filled less than halfway with water over a high flame.

Mix Kahlúa and whole milk in a small saucepan with the white peppercorns and coriander seeds. Steep over a medium high flame. Pull off the flame.

Hold the Kahlúa and milk pot over the bowl of yolks and in a slow steady stream, whisk the mixture into the egg yolks.

Put the bowl with the Kahlúa/milk/yolk mixture on top of the saucepan. This is referred to as a double boiler. Make sure that the water in the pot does not touch the bowl. Turn down to a gentle simmer.

Using a wide rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, constantly moving the mixture for about 10 minutes. When ready, pull the bowl off the double boiler and strain contents through a fine sieve into a bowl, removing spices and any lumps. Add a pinch of kosher salt and mix well. Let cool. Mix a splash of Absolut Vodka and red berries and pour over pound or sponge cake.

The 'Lúa-Leche
Created by Molecular Gastronomist Simone Bonelli of Perbacco

For "ricotta"
1/3 ounce lemon juice
17 ounces milk
1/2 ounce sugar

For liquid
1 sheet gelatin
1 part Kahlúa
1 part Absolut Vodka

For espresso lid
1/32 ounce agar agar
2 shots espresso

Add 1/3 ounce of lemon juice to 17 ounces milk. Boil for 3-4 minutes and filter in a gauze to separate the curd. Drain from all the liquid, then add 1/2 ounce sugar. With the mixture, form little balls. These can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for no longer than two days.

Soften the gelatin sheet in cold water for five minutes, then melt it in .88 ounces of warm water and add to the vodka and Kahlúa mix. Set aside in the refrigerator for an hour to make it fluid.

Mix 1/32 ounce agar agar with two shots of espresso, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and pour onto a flat surface in order to get a thin espresso gelatin. When this is set, cut circles of the same diameter of the border of the glass the drink is going to be served in.

With an espresso machine steamer, foam up some whole milk for a thick, soft foam.

Put a small "ricotta" ball on the bottom of the serving glass. Add the vodka and Kahlúa mixture, filling the glass up to .79 inches to the border. Fill the glass with the warm milk foam and top off with espresso gelatin "lid."

The Cocolúa
Created by Beverage Director Adam Schuman of Fatty 'Cue

1 young coconut
1 part Kahlúa
1 part dark rum
4 ounces coconut water
1/2 ounce egg white
1/2 tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice
Splash of soda
1 stick sugar cane

Remove top of a young coconut by making 4-8 clean cuts with a cleaver. Transfer fresh coconut water into a clean container. Combine Kahlúa, rum, egg whites and coconut water in a small shaker. Dry shake for 20-30 seconds until mixture is well incorporated.

Ice a pint glass to the top and transfer shaken mixture over ice. Cover pint glass with large metal shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Add a splash of soda to shaken mixture and strain back into the young coconut.

Garnish the cocktail with a stick of sugar cane that has had one end dipped in Chinese 5 Spice. Garnish additionally with a straw and small spoon for eating the flesh of the young coconut.

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