After enjoying a Chocolate White Russian, I couldn't help but be reminded of its predecessor. After all, the creamy cocktail is but a variation of the Black Russian, a simple yet satisfying coffee creation. Invented in the 1950s by Brussels barman Gustave Tops, the Black Russian is basic enough for even the most inexperienced bartender to whip up.

The drink's proportions are disputed — some argue the vodka-liqueur should be 1:1, while Kahlúa maintains it's 3:2 and the International Bartenders Association, 5:2 — but my vote's with Mr. Boston's recipe. Serve it at an Oscars viewing as a sultry sip while you root for Black Swan. For my favorite Black Russian, read more.