Many people add different alcohol to coffee. If its’ whiskey, the coffee drink is known as the Irish coffee, if it’s vodka – the drink is known as the Russian coffee. What nonsense! Real Russians will never drink vodka and coffee from the same glass! Russians drink vodka with specially selected snacks (crispy pickles, pickled mushrooms, herring, and so on), and drink coffee with cake. And never together. If someone offers you a mix of coffee and Russian vodka, that someone doesn’t know anything about coffee or vodka, or Russia for that matter.
Are you still insisting? Where are you from? From Germany? Come on over – I‘ll serve you sweet rice with your beer and sausages. From France? Do not rush, enjoy onion soup with … melon.From England? Instead of fish in fish and chips let’s add some … steamed turnip. From Italy? Calm down, I am sure that all Italians just love pasta and pizza without the dough. How so? Just like that! I hope that now we finally understand each other.
Still, Russian coffee does exist. We’ll tell you all about it. Let’s start with the history.
To begin, let’s recall what Russia is and who Russians are. Russia is a huge country, the largest in the world. Most of the territory of Russia is located not in the most favorable of climates. Hence, the Russian character. Russians appear calm: why get fussy if you do not know whether or not you will get the harvest. But at the same time Russians can be absolutely desperate. This probably was best witnessed by the Napoleon’s army (very few French soldiers returned home), and by the army of Hitler (the same situation: the Germans considered being sent to the Eastern (Russian) front to be the worst punishment, and only few were lucky to have returned home safe and sound).
As you have probably already realized, Russians love extremes. Riding at full speed first on horses and these days in cars is a national Russian sport. Drinking so much vodka that even experienced foreign drunkards finally renounce consuming alcohol is another Russian trait. At the same time, in the very last moment Russian can do wonders: accomplish the amount of work in a month that others can only do in a year. Yes, Russians are very unpredictable.
You love the cold, the frost? I doubt you do. And try eating ice cream in minus 10 degrees Celsius weather. OK, everything is clear. Yet Russians, especially children, eatice cream outdoors all year round. And it’s not thatRussians have some special endurance in them. Even British wear less clothing in winter and inside of their houses during winter is 10 degrees Celsius colder than in Russian homes.
Russians simply like contrasts. They first get very cold and then like to warm up properly. Foreigners won’t understand why you need to heat the stove and keep the window open in the winter at the same time. Why turn on air conditioning with the windows open in the summer.
This is where the recipe for Russian coffee came from.
When I was a student, I used to like to have coffee with ice cream. You may say that it’s nothing new. Yes, indeed, coffee with ice cream is included in the standard menu of coffee drinks and it was invented either by the French, or the Italians. This coffee is called coffee glace.
Note, that coffee glace is a cold coffee drink for a hot day. First coffee is brewed, then it is cooled to make sure that ice cream does not melt for a while, and then you add ice cream. Overall – nothing special, just ice cream with coffee flavor.
I, though, made coffee differently. Firstly, the students in Russian don’t go to school during summer. Accordingly, all student fun falls to the cold seasons. So why not have fun with coffee…
Imagine winter, when you come in from the cold, brew a cup of scalding coffee and add ice cream to it. And then you drink it very fast before the ice cream melts. Fantastic! You get a huge contrast between cold ice cream and hot coffee. Ideally you want to feel cold and hot inside of your mouth all at the same time! Here it is – the real Russian coffee. A true contrast. A true breakthrough! Combining things that are extremely different, just like Russian character.
Just a few seconds longer and you will get a typical French-Italian standard coffee drink. But in the first few dozen seconds you can enjoy the Russian coffee!!
I give you this recipe, and don’t tell me that drinking both hot and cold at the same time is bad for your teeth. Yes, it’s bad. And, as they say in Russia, living is harmful too – it leads to dying. Just enjoy the taste of real Russia, real Russian coffee!