White Russian Cocktail Recipe

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White Russian Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The White Russian is a classic cocktail that gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. It is said to have been created by a Belgian bartender named Gustave Tops, who was working at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. The drink is named after the Russian vodka used as its base spirit, and the addition of cream which gives it a white appearance. The White Russian became even more famous after being featured in the 1998 film 'The Big Lebowski', where it was the favorite drink of the main character, The Dude.

How White Russian Tastes?

The White Russian is a creamy, sweet, and slightly strong cocktail. The combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream creates a rich and indulgent flavor profile that is both comforting and satisfying.

Interesting facts about White Russian

  • The White Russian is sometimes called a 'Caucasian' due to its white appearance and the use of Russian vodka.
  • The Black Russian is a variation of the White Russian, made without cream.
  • The White Russian is often considered a dessert cocktail due to its sweet and creamy taste.


A few good options for White Russian are:

  • Absolut
  • Belvedere
  • Ciroc

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Vodka (50ml)

Vodka is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a clean, strong alcohol base without overpowering the other flavors. At 50ml, it's enough to give the kick a White Russian needs without making you see double too quickly. If you skip it, you'll just have a sad coffee cream and miss out on the merriment.

Emma Rose

Coffee Liqueur (20ml)

Rich and sweet, coffee liqueur gives the cocktail its distinctive coffee flavor and a bit of sugary kick. Too much, and you might as well be drinking iced coffee; too little, and it'll lack depth. Kahlúa is the typical go-to, but if you swap it for a different brand, you might find a new dimension to your drink.

Alex Green

Heavy Cream (30ml)

The crowning glory of the White Russian, heavy cream adds a velvety texture and smooth finish. It floats like a dream on top of the cocktail, creating that iconic look. Swap it out for half-and-half for a lighter version, but heavy cream is where it's at if you're going for indulgence.

Mary Mitkina


Ice is the unsung hero, keeping your drink cool and refreshing. No ice equals a lukewarm, less satisfying cocktail experience. Cubed, crushed, in a glacier if you must, but make sure it's in there.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make White Russian Drink

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Pour 50ml of vodka and 20ml of coffee liqueur over the ice.
  3. Gently pour 30ml of heavy cream on top, allowing it to float on the surface of the drink.
  4. Optionally, you can give the drink a gentle stir to combine the ingredients.
  5. Serve immediately.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality vodka for a smoother taste.
  • For a lighter version, substitute heavy cream with half-and-half or milk.
  • Chill your glass before serving for an extra refreshing cocktail.

Perfect Pairings

Savory Snacks

  • Charcuterie Boards: The creaminess of the White Russian pairs well with salty and umami flavors found in cured meats and cheeses.
  • Salted Nuts: A bowl of salted almonds or cashews can enhance the rich taste of the cocktail.

Sweet Treats

  • Chocolate Desserts: Dark chocolate, with its slight bitterness, is a perfect counterbalance to the White Russian's sweetness.
  • Coffee-Flavored Treats: Tiramisu or coffee-flavored gelato can echo the coffee liqueur notes in the cocktail.

Complementary Drinks

  • Cold Brew Coffee: To intensify the coffee essence, serve alongside a glass of cold brew.
  • Sparkling Water: A palate cleanser like sparkling water is great between sips to refresh and prepare for the next creamy delight.

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What you could change in White Russian

  • Vodka: Any clear spirit like gin or rum.
  • Coffee Liqueur: You can use a chocolate liqueur or even a coffee-flavored syrup.
  • Heavy Cream: Half-and-half, milk, or a dairy-free alternative like almond or coconut milk.

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Black Russian Twist

  • Omit the heavy cream.
  • Garnish with coffee beans or a dusting of cocoa powder.

This twist takes us back to the roots, creating a starker, stronger drink for those who prefer to sip on the darker side. Perfect for coffee purists and cocktail enthusiasts.

Salted Caramel White Russian

  • Add a splash of salted caramel syrup to the coffee liqueur.
  • Use caramel vodka instead of regular vodka.

The salted caramel twist adds a playful sweetness and depth, bringing a dessert-like quality to the cocktail. It’s indulgent, it’s festive, and it might just become your new favorite.

Vegan White Russian

  • Use coconut cream or almond milk instead of heavy cream.
  • Ensure the coffee liqueur is vegan-friendly.

Deliciously inclusive, this plant-based alternative invites everyone to the party. With a hint of tropical or nutty undertones depending on your creamer choice, it'll make you reconsider dairy.

Each twist offers a unique flavor profile and experience, perfectly suited to your personal preference or dietary needs!

In case you forgot basics how to make White Russian

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on White Russian

What is the origin of the name 'White Russian'?

The 'White Russian' is named after the Russian vodka used as its base spirit, and the addition of cream which gives it a white appearance.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of a White Russian?

Yes, a non-alcoholic version of a White Russian can be made by substituting the vodka and coffee liqueur with non-alcoholic spirits or syrups, and the heavy cream with a non-dairy alternative.

How should a White Russian be served?

A White Russian is typically served in a rocks glass and is often garnished with three coffee beans for presentation.

What is the difference between a White Russian and a Black Russian?

The main difference between a White Russian and a Black Russian is that the latter does not contain cream.

Can I use a different type of alcohol for a White Russian?

While vodka is traditionally used in a White Russian, any clear spirit like gin or rum can be used as a substitute.

Can I customize the taste of a White Russian?

Yes, the taste of a White Russian can be customized by adjusting the ratio of vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream to your preference.

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