White Russian

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The classic White Russian cocktail is made with vodka, Kahlúa, and cream. It’s simple, delicious, and tastes a little bit like iced coffee.

A white Russian cocktail with a bottle of Kahlua in the background.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for White Russian cocktails.

Ingredient notes

  • Kahlúa: Or substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur such as Tia Maria or Bailey’s espresso.
  • Heavy cream: Or substitute milk, half and half, or a cream liqueur.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In an Old Fashioned glass filled to the top with ice, add vodka and Kahlúa.
Someone mixing the vodka and Kahlua for a white Russian.
  1. Using a bar spoon, stir until well incorporated, about 10 seconds. Top with heavy cream.
Someone pouring cream into a glass of Kahlua and vodka to make a white Russian.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  • Glassware: The White Russian is traditionally made in an Old Fashioned glass, a 6-ounce to 10-ounce glass tumbler. Similar to a rocks glass or lowball glass, the Old Fashioned glass is usually decorated in the cut glass style.
  • Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) vodka, 8 ounces (1 cup) Kahlúa, and 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream in a pitcher. Have ice and glassware on hand so guests can help themselves.
  • Black Russian: Omit the heavy cream.
  • Mudslide: Substitute Irish cream for the heavy cream, add a drizzle of chocolate sauce to the inside of the glass, and garnish the drink with chocolate shavings.
  • Dirty Russian: Substitute chocolate camel’s milk for the heavy cream.
  • White Cuban: Substitute rum for the vodka.
  • Anna Kournikova: Substitute skim milk for the heavy cream. 
  • Colorado Bulldog: Add a splash of cola.
  • Hot: Add hot coffee for a hot drink on a cold day.
  • Cold: Substitute ice cream for the heavy cream for a chilly cocktail.
  • Shaken: Some prefer the cocktail shaken so the cream is blended with the other ingredients.
A white Russian cocktail with a bottle of Kahlua in the background.

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A white Russian cocktail with a bottle of Kahlua in the background.

White Russian

The classic White Russian cocktail is made with vodka, Kahlúa, and cream. It's simple, delicious, and tastes a little bit like iced coffee.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine Russian
Calories 326

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces vodka (¼ cup)
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa (2 tablespoons, see note 1)
  • 1 ounce heavy cream (2 tablespoons, see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In an Old Fashioned glass filled to the top with ice, add vodka and Kahlúa. Using a bar spoon, stir until well incorporated, about 10 seconds. Top with heavy cream.

Notes

  1. Kahlúa: Or substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur such as Tia Maria or Bailey’s espresso.
  2. Heavy cream: Or substitute milk, half and half, or a cream liqueur.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  4. Glassware: The White Russian is traditionally made in an Old Fashioned glass, a 6-ounce to 10-ounce glass tumbler. Similar to a rocks glass or lowball glass, the Old Fashioned glass is usually decorated in the cut glass style.
  5. Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) vodka, 8 ounces (1 cup) Kahlúa, and 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream in a pitcher. Have ice and glassware on hand so guests can help themselves.
  6. Black Russian: Omit the heavy cream.
  7. Mudslide: Substitute Irish cream for the heavy cream, add a drizzle of chocolate sauce to the inside of the glass, and garnish the drink with chocolate shavings.
  8. Dirty Russian: Substitute chocolate camel’s milk for the heavy cream.
  9. White Cuban: Substitute rum for the vodka.
  10. Anna Kournikova: Substitute skim milk for the heavy cream. 
  11. Colorado Bulldog: Add a splash of cola.
  12. Hot: Add hot coffee for a hot drink on a cold day.
  13. Cold: Substitute ice cream for the heavy cream for a chilly cocktail.
  14. Shaken: Some prefer the cocktail shaken so the cream is blended with the other ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 14mgPotassium: 22mgSugar: 13gVitamin A: 417IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing how to make this wonderful drink. I used to buy these drinks for the Cuties at the bar. But, now, I have a reason to ask me Lady Friends home. Thanks, Culinary Hill …5 stars