The White Russian originated, like myself, in Oakland, California. The name refers to the "White Movement" an anti-Bolshevik group that operated in Russia during World War I, and the interbellum years. Beyond the name, and the use of vodka, the drink actually has very little to do with Russia, but it's nice to think otherwise.
When made properly, the White Russian is a smooth drink, with a hint of coffee flavor. A sort of alcoholic's mocha. Starbucks should sell these, then maybe I'd actually consider going into one of those pits of despair.
To make the White Russian, you need Vodka, a Coffee Liqueur, such as Kahlua, and a dairy product, either milk, cream, or half and half. Take a old fashioned glass and drop some ice into it. This drink is always served on the rocks, the ice diffuses and chills the creamer. Served straight up, this drink is barely palatable. Next add 1.5 ounces of vodka and 2/3 ounce of Kahlua, and stir. Float 1 ounce of creamer over the top, and slowly stir the creamer into the drink. Take a sip, and picture yourself braving the cold Moscow winter. Be glad you're inside enjoying the drink.
Here are a few variations on the drink. First, if you stop at the Vodka and Kahlua stage, you have what is called a Black Russian. If you substitute the creamer for Coke, you get what is called a Smith and Wesson. Replace the vodka with SoCo, and you've got a Rebel Russian. Finally, switch the vodka for scotch, and you get a drink aptly named, Aggravation.