White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

Splurges. That is what this is about.

We have gone over all the basic alcohols already. We talked about vodka, rum, tequila, gin, whiskey, and bourbon.

Now I want to talk about two extras to keep in your cabinet on a regular basis- coffee liquor and vanilla vodka.

White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

Confession- when we first started making these I used Kahlua and Smirnoff vanilla vodka. Not that there is anything wrong with that. They make decent drinks.

Then on a recent run to the liquor store (I do that a lot these days) the store clerk suggested Absolut instead of Smirnoff. I honestly thought there couldn’t be that big of a difference but he promised that Absolut was infused with vanilla instead of flavored and that I would love it. Sure. Ok. I’ll try it.

White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

Um. There is no comparison between to the two. Hands down Absolut wins through and through.

Then I met Vivacity’s Turkish Coffee Liquor. Shut the front door. They use freshly roasted coffee and add cardamom, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs. Lordly is it good. Again, wins hands down compared to Kahlua. 

White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

There really are a host of finer things in life and I believe these are both worth the splurge.

And with this one little splurge are two great drinks you can make with these two sweet spirits and a little bit of cream. Just adjusting the proportions makes two different, yet equally delicious, drinks.

White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

Make em. Then enjoy them.

One year ago today: Ensalada Mixta

Two years ago today: Real food banana muffins and Tough day buttermilk and rosemary pound cake

White Russian

White Russian (makes 1 drink)

1 ounce coffee liquor
2 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka (plain vodka is traditional)
1 1/2 ounces cream

Pour the coffee liquor into a small glass filled with ice. Then pour in the vanilla (or plain) vodka, then the cream. Stir before sipping if you want.

Spiked Vanilla Latte

Spiked Vanilla Latte (makes 1 drink)

2 ounces coffee liquor
1 ounce vanilla vodka
3 ounces cream or milk (really just use cream)

Add all of the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds to a minute (this creates the foam). Pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy.

White Russians and Spiked Vanilla Lattes

Cosmopolitan and Vodka Collins

Vodka is not particularly high on my list of favorite alcohols. Not that I don’t like it I just have never appreciated it.

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Till now. I tasted all three of the vodkas I currently have on hand side by side. What.a.difference. The pretty white bottle with red writing is Medoyeff from Bull Run. I have spent quite a bit of time enjoying other craft alcohol but had never ventured down the path of fine vodka. So worth it. A bit spicy and subtly sweet.

And the things you can do with vodka. I also missed the boat on this. I’ve had my tryst with the other delicious spirits but not much of a relationship with vodka.

Cosmopolitan

The two best things I have found to make vodka are a cosmopolitan and a vodka collins. One is the quintessential girl drink and the other a great summer thirst quencher. I’m completely won over to the I love vodka camp.

Cosmos are oh so sweet and beautifully pink. You can barely tell there is liquor in them.

Vodka Collins are a new drink to me. With just a bit of lemon juice, some simple syrup, and a big splash of club soda you have a ridiculously good light grown up version of lemonade. Try just drinking one.

Vodka Collins

Also today we embark on the mixers journey. I think it is safe to say that as far as I am concerned triple sec needs to be in your liquor cabinet. And club soda and cranberry juice. And limes and lemons on your counter. Just do it. You can make these two drinks (plus so many others) with just these few mixers.

(And I am so loving writing about cocktails)

One year ago today: Planked salmon

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan (makes 1 drink)
(I read many many recipes and settled on the easiest. It is amazing)

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce cranberry juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. Shake the cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds until well chilled. Then, strain into a martini glass.

Vodka Collins

Vodka Collins (makes 1 drink)

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (recipe below)
5-6 ounces club soda
Lime for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, fresh lime and simple syrup. Shake for 30 seconds or till well chilled. Pour over ice into a tall glass. Top off with club soda and garnish with a lime.

Simple Syrup (makes 1 cup)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Turn the heat to medium and stir till warm and all the sugar is dissolved. Cool and use in cocktails. Store in the fridge.

Cosmopolitan