I try to be tolerant of ironic self-expression, one has to around these parts. But I draw the line at drinking ironically. When people try to tell me they really like the taste of PBR—an acrid brew that for most of the 21st century has inexplicably captured the hipster heart—I have a hard time believing them.
And if ever there was a cocktail that epitomized ironic drinking, it’s the White Russian. This of course has everything to the Lebowski set, that not insignificant number of people who still can’t get through the day without a “dude abides” reference. Which is fine, it’s a very good movie…a very good movie that came out in 1998, but nonetheless. My only real issue with the Lebowski thing is that it has sort of soured the rest of us on White Russians. Which is sad.
Well, enough already. Every 11 years or so you get tired of intricately crafted cocktails and rare spirits and you just want a sweet and milky drink to wash down a meal. At least I do. So a few weeks ago, after a greasy lunch at the decidedly sticky Canterbury, I did it. I ordered a White Russian. To my surprise, it arrived with uncurdled cream and wasn’t even too sweet. Its Kahlua-y goodness and the ghosty undetectability of the vodka brought back my early boozing days with Proustian panache.
It was all downhill from there. I continued to sample the White Russians of 15th Avenue East, moving on to Smith where I imagine a lot of ironic White Russian imbibing takes place—the shaggy banged, mini skirted 80s throwback who served it to me barely batted an eyelash when I ordered.
But the best 15th Ave White Russian is to be had at 22 Doors, where a bartender named Chris (who did chuckle when I ordered one) actually frothed the cream, giving the drink a flip-like consistency that added to the milkshakey joy that makes the mixer so appealing in the first place. I heartily recommend.
Order up more Drinks of the Week here.