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.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. White Russian Recipe

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.
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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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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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