White Russian Recipe

A white Russian is a popular classic cocktail made with 2 ounces vodka. 1 ounce of Kahlua. and 1 ounce of cream. The combination of the three creates a rich and creamy drink that’s perfect for sipping on during happy hour or after dinner. For myself, I love sipping on a White Russian on Friday movie nights at home.

Below is how to make a great tasting White Russian.

White Russian Recipe

Recipe by Maurice BeaverCuisine: Cocktail


Prep time





Looking for the perfect way to wind down on a Friday night while watching the game or your favourite movie? Look no further than the rich and coffee flavoured White Russian.


  • 2 ounces of Vodka

  • 1 ounces of Kahlua

  • 2 ounces of Table Cream


  • Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the vodka and Kahlua and stir gently.
  • Float the heavy cream on top by carefully pouring it over the back of a spoon so it gently rests on top of the other ingredients.
  • Stir ever so gently – don’t mix completely! Doing so would cause the cream to blend in with the rest of the ingredients and create an entirely different drink than what you are trying to make!
  • The Dude Abides


Your White Russian should taste like a creamy and rich mocha with a bit of a vodka kick. Drinks that use heavy cream are all about decadence. The heavy cream also masks that there is two ounces of vodka in this beverage as the fats of the cream round out Vodka’s sharper edges.

The vodka will taste sharper if you use a lighter cream or milk. If using skim milk, I’d recommend using less Vodka, as the drink will taste quite thin.

The quality of your Vodka also makes a huge difference in how much of the Vodka you taste. For example, a premium Vodka like Grey Goose or Belvedere will be barely noticeable by taste as these are smooth Vodkas. I can’t afford to drink expensive Vodka every night, so I often settle for a mid-tier Vodka such as Absolute or Stoli.

Why is it called a White Russian?

A White Russian is not a Russian drink. It is called a White Russian as it contains Vodka, which is a spirit that is famously made in Russia. The White part comes from the heavy cream or milk you add to the cocktail.

The White Russian first appeared in the late 40s, however its popularity had died off by the 1980s. The cocktail had a huge boost in popularity when the Big Lebowski gained popularity on video shelves in 1998. I know I never heard of the drink before then, and for years after it was my go to beverage of choice. I still enjoy a White Russian when I am sitting down to a good comedy. The Dude abides.

What’s the difference between a Black Russian and a White Russian Drink?

The main difference between a White and Black Russian is that a White Russian contains cream or milk.

What’s the difference between a White Russian and a Paralyzer?

The main difference between a White Russian and a Paralyzer is that a Paralyzer contains cola. A Vodka Paralyzer is a White Russian with an extra four ounces of cola and an ounce of tequila. A Paralyzer will often use milk instead of cream, as milk is less likely to curdle than cream.

Do I have to use Cream in my White Russian?

If you are making a White Russian in a restaurant or bar, adding cream is ideal as that is what your customer expects (unless they specify otherwise). If you are making a White Russian at home, you can add whatever you like, such as milk, vanilla ice cream, coffee whitener, almond milk or oat milk.

Do I have to use Kahlua to make my White Russian?

Nope, you can use any Coffee Liqueur you like. Most bars carry Kahlua as it has brand recognition and it’s also not that expensive. Be aware, however, if you use Tia Maria, understand that it is not a coffee liqueur as it contains Vanilla.

White Russian Variations

  • Black Russian – A White Russian without Cream
  • Skinny White Russian – A White Russian using Skim Milk instead of Cream
  • White Cuban – Substitute Rum for the Vodka
  • Dirty Russian – Use Chocolate Milk instead of Cream
  • Blind Russian – Use Baileys instead of Cream

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