Once derided by cocktail enthusiasts as more of a milkshake than anything else, the White Russian is becoming a signature drink among hipsters, writes Steven Kurutz in the New York Times. For this, we can thank the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski. The drink—a mixture of vodka, Kahlua, and milk or cream—is the beverage of choice for Jeff Bridges' character, the Dude. The movie's many devotees have followed suit.
In fact, fans of the movie often gather for Lebowski Fests, where the Dude’s laid back approach to life is celebrated by bowling and pushing a bar’s capacity to make White Russians to its breaking point. The man who is the real-life basis for the Dude, Jeff Dowd, also enjoys the cocktail: “It’s essentially a liquefied ice cream cone that you can buy in a bar.”