Blind Russian blindsides

Blind Russian. Photo by Heather Hamilton/TNL

The Blind Russian is an aptly-named cocktail that will slap you upside the face if you’re not careful. This beverage contains absolutely no mixers (not even ice), so it isn’t for the faint of heart even if the taste doesn’t work you over.

To make the drink, pour two shots of unflavored vodka into a small glass, add a shot of Kahlua and top it off with Bailey’s (no measurement is given in the recipe used, so TNL poured in a shot and a half). While all the components separately are fantastic (depending on the vodka), together they’re a bit off.

The Kahlua and Bailey’s play beautiful games with your nose; the Kahlua exudes the rich scent of sweetened coffee, while the Bailey’s adds in that bit of creamer that completes the perfect picture of a peaceful morning. The tip immediately brings you back to the present (hopefully evening) with the slightly different taste that reminds you that you’re drinking a cold cocktail. The Kahlua and Bailey’s blend together brilliantly for a tempered coffee-esque taste in that brief moment of initial contact. And then, as the delightful drink slides further back into you mouth…

And, not so much an aftertaste as it is an in-between one, the flavor immediately morphs into an overpowering monster. The qualities of an unpleasant vodka aftertaste are there, in the middle of your mouth, and the only way to end the misery is to finish the sip and actually experience the aftertaste, which holds absolutely no hint of the Kahlua or Bailey’s that made the initial tip of the drink so lovely.

It also lingers. The only way to get rid of the double-tap of vodka is to take another sip, which starts the process all over again in an vicious cycle that won’t stop until your drink is gone.

Do yourself a favor and don’t be brave; drink a White Russian instead, which substitutes the Bailey’s for creamer or milk, and dilutes the overpowering combination of booze.