Don’t you just love the movie, The Big Lebowski?
It’s one of my all-time favorites. If I’m having a down day, or if it’s raining outside, then I’ll close the garage door over our enclosed patio, turn on the television and spend the next 90 minutes with Lebowski. It’s a slam dunk that I will feel warm and content by the end, because let’s be honest: it’s impossible to feel cheated by the world when you see how happy The Dude is just being himself.
The Dude embodies the California lifestyle (well, one subculture) so well, it’s scary. Obviously, there were many years of field training behind the making of the film!
If you know the story and the characters, then you know that the Dude subsisted on White Russians for most of his caloric intake. It was the pretty much the only thing he consumed through the whole movie.
Which means that Senior Dude and I have something in common: White Russians.
These creamy delights were a staple of my college experience. My best friend and roommate, Cheryl, and I started almost every night out with one. They’re so smooth, tasty and filling it’s hard to have just one.
But I quit drinking Whiteys when I graduated. I moved on to more sophisticated concoctions such as 90 point wines, top-shelf frozen margaritas, single-malt scotch and martinis.
That is, until last weekend, when my “adult” friend Barb served me a Spanish White Russian made with horchata – and WOW, what an upgrade!
In case you’ve never heard of horchata, it is a traditional Spanish sweet drink made from steeped rice and cinnamon. It’s often consumed in the morning with breakfast pastries.
Gorgeous by itself, when mixed with vodka and creme de cacao (Kahlua), horchata transforms itself into the best tropical drink (with attitude) you’ve ever had. Pina Coladas have nuthin’ on the Spanish White Russian.
Now I can be a drink snob AND share a glass with The Dude! Best of both worlds.
The Horchata Spanish White Russian is a refreshing, beachside cocktail that I’m pretty sure would impress even Sr. Dude, if he could ever mix-up his routine.
On second thought…
2 cups of milk
1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
5 cups water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or almond flavoring
2/3 cup white sugar
- 8 oz premium vodka
- 8 oz Kahlua (creme de cacao)
- Mix the rice and water in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 40-50 min. Some let it steep overnight.
- Blend the water, nuts and rice for about 60 seconds in an electric blender set on Blend. The rice will separate a bit at this point.
- Strain the mixture to remove the larger rice pieces.
- Add vanilla, milk, sugar and cinnamon to the white liquid that remains.
- Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Now you have Horchata!
- When ready to serve, add equal parts Kalhua and Vodka to fill 1/2 of each glass.
- Top-off the glass with your chilled Horchata mix.
- Share with your friends… preferably while watching The Big Lebowski in the dark.