When was the Balalaika Invented
The Balalaika is a classic cocktail that was invented during the 1930s. It is believed to have been created by the Russian-born bartender, Sasha Petraske, who is also credited with popularizing the speakeasy-style cocktail bars in New York City during the early 2000s.
The Balalaika cocktail features a combination of vodka, orange juice, and raspberry liqueur, which creates a fruity and refreshing flavor profile that’s perfect for summer sipping.
The cocktail is named after the balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument that’s commonly used in folk music.
What You Need
- 1½ oz vodka
- ¾ oz raspberry liqueur
- ¾ oz fresh orange juice
- Orange twist, for garnish
How to Make a Balalaika
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Add 1½ oz of vodka, ¾ oz of raspberry liqueur, and ¾ oz of fresh orange juice to the mixing glass.
- Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients until they are well combined and chilled.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
- Serve and enjoy your delicious Balalaika cocktail!
Note: You can also shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice instead of stirring them in a mixing glass, if you prefer a more diluted cocktail. Simply add the ingredients to the shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled glass.
Tip For Making a Balalaika
- Use fresh ingredients: For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed orange juice and high-quality vodka and raspberry liqueur.
- Chill your glass: To keep your Balalaika cocktail cold, chill your glass in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Stir gently: When stirring the cocktail, be gentle to avoid over-diluting the drink. Use a bar spoon to slowly stir the ingredients until they are well combined.
- Garnish with an orange twist: The orange twist not only adds a pop of color to the cocktail but also enhances the flavor by releasing the oils from the orange peel.
- Adjust sweetness: If you find the cocktail too sweet, you can adjust the sweetness by adding a splash of fresh lime juice or using a dry raspberry liqueur instead of a sweet one.
- Experiment with ratios: Depending on your taste preference, you can adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste. Try using more or less raspberry liqueur, or swapping out the vodka for gin or tequila for a different twist on the Balalaika cocktail.
Frequently asked questions
What does the Balalaika taste like?
The Balalaika is a sweet and fruity cocktail with a prominent raspberry flavor and a hint of orange. It’s a refreshing drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot day.
Can I substitute the raspberry liqueur with another fruit liqueur?
While raspberry liqueur is a key ingredient in the Balalaika, you can experiment with other fruit liqueurs if you prefer. Strawberry or blackberry liqueur could be good substitutes.
Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Balalaika?
Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the Balalaika by substituting the vodka and raspberry liqueur with non-alcoholic alternatives. You could use a raspberry syrup or puree for the raspberry flavor and a non-alcoholic spirit for the vodka.
Can I make a batch of Balalaika in advance for a party?
Yes, you can make a batch of Balalaika in advance, but it’s important to keep it chilled until serving to ensure it stays fresh and cold. You may also need to adjust the ingredient measurements to make a larger quantity.