White Russian Cocktail Recipe

Teddy Francisco
Published on
by Teddy Francisco
White Russian 101: How to Make the Perfect Vodka Cocktail

Have you watched The Big Lebowski recently and got a strong craving for a White Russian? Check out this article to learn the best White Russian recipe and how to mix it to perfection.

White Russian Recipe Overview

White Russian

The classic White Russian is a creamy cocktail that makes you feel warm and pampered. Though it looks complicated, it’s very easy to make. You only need to gather your ingredients and add everything to a glass with ice; the cocktail shaker is optional.

White Russian Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • 1 ounce of coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
  • A splash of heavy cream

Mixing Instructions

  • Add the heavy cream, vodka, and Kahlua to a glass or shaker.
  • Add ice

And enjoy! Shaking is optional, so if you add your ingredients directly to the glass, remember to stir and let the ingredients combine.

Nutritional Information

This isn’t a light drink. The heavy cream and Kahlua are a delicious combination, but they raise the calorie count to around 540 per serving.

However, you can lower that if you change some things in the White Russian cocktail recipe (more on this later).

Alcohol-wise, they have around 30% ABV if you choose an 80-proof bottle.

Tips for Serving a White Russian

The White Russian is a classic cocktail during happy hour. It’s like a milkshake for adults, so it also works well as an after-meal treat.

Because the prep time is so low, the White Russian can also make an appearance at any dinner party you’re hosting.

The White Russian is always served on rocks. As the ice melts, it slightly mellows, but not enough to become a thin drink.

White Russian Food Pairings

This delicious beverage can be served next to a light dessert. Since the cocktail itself is sweet and slightly heavy, it doesn’t mix well with the main courses, but you can bring it out during the appetizer.

What’s the Best Vodka for a White Russian?

The White Russian needs at least 80-proof vodka. You can also opt for brands that add spices and flavors that pair well with coffee, such as toffee, caramel, vanilla, or cinnamon.

We’d recommend avoiding vodka bottles with a fruitier taste, as these tend to clash with the coffee liqueur.

White Russian Recipe Variation

Man Making White Russian.jpg

Play with the White Russian recipes, and you can get other cocktails like:

  • Black Russian: It’s exactly like the White Russian, sans heavy cream. Still sweet and a great dessert cocktail, but not as creamy and thick.
  • Mudslide: Add some Irish cream to your White Russian for a boozy and heavy drink.
  • The Dude: Add cognac, port, and real coffee to get another delicious cocktail inspired by the White Russian.
  • Toasted Almond: Use tequila, amaretto, and heavy cream for a completely new flavor profile.

Ingredients Replacements

  • Half and half: Adding cream to a drink isn’t for everybody, but you can replace the heavy cream with milk to cut down on the fatty content.
  • Plant-based milk: Use coconut milk, almond milk, or another plant-based drink to make vegan-friendly cocktails.
  • Real coffee: Traditional White Russians have a higher total sugar content, but you can reduce it by skipping the Kahlua and using a freshly brewed cup of joe instead.

Final Thoughts

Vodka, cream, coffee liqueur, and ice—with just these ingredients in your fridge, you’re always minutes away from indulging in this creamy drink.

Try this vodka cocktail today, or any of its variations, to experiment with different tastes.

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Teddy Francisco
Teddy Francisco
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