A White Russian Cocktail on a brown table

A White Russian cocktail is incredibly easy to make, requiring just three ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream/milk. Here’s the recipe detailing how to whip up this creamy drink in a matter of seconds. However, if you’d like to craft a White Russian that rivals those made by seasoned bartenders, see below the recipe for some pro tips from our team.

White Russian Cocktail Recipe

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Recipe by Craig Comer Difficulty: Easy


Prep time



A White Russian Cocktail is a creamy coffee-flavored drink consisting of vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream or milk.


  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)

  • 1 oz Heavy Cream/Milk


  • Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in 2 oz of vodka.
  • Pour in 1 oz of coffee liqueur.
  • Pour in 1 oz of heavy cream or milk.
  • Stir to combine.

Watch How To Make A White Russian

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Making A White Russian Cocktail: Pro Tips

As you can see, making a White Russian cocktail is super easy. If you want to make your cocktail extra special, here are some pro tips to ensure your White Russian is of bartender quality:

Use Quality Ingredients

Start with high-quality vodka and coffee liqueur. While the cocktail’s overall taste is creamy and sweet, a smoother vodka will make a noticeable difference. Likewise, a good coffee liqueur like Kahlúa will provide depth and richness.

Chill Ingredients

Ice cold ingredients help make this drink shine. Store your vodka in the freezer and your coffee liqueur in the fridge before making your cocktail. The coldness not only enhances the taste but ensures the drink remains chilled for longer.

Layering Technique

To achieve the visually appealing layered effect, use the back of a bar spoon. Pouring the cream or milk over it helps the liquid flow gently, creating distinct layers. Once served, the recipient can decide to stir or enjoy it layered.

Cream Vs Milk

The choice between heavy cream and milk can greatly affect the texture and taste of your White Russian. Heavy cream offers a rich, velvety feel, while milk makes for a lighter version. Half-and-half is a good middle ground. Experiment to find your favorite!

Use Large Ice Cubes

Crushed or small ice will quickly melt and water down your drink. Use large ice cubes so that this drink can be sipped for a long time without becoming too watered down.

Use The Right Glass

The best type of glass for a White Russian is a chilled Old Fashioned glass. This kind of glass can typically hold 6 to 10 ounces, meaning it can hold the drink and large ice comfortably without overflowing.

Add A Garnish

While the traditional White Russian doesn’t often come with garnishes, consider freshly grated nutmeg or chocolate shavings. Freshness makes a difference in their aroma and can elevate the overall experience.

White Russian Variations

While the classic White Russian is made with just three ingredients, adding or swapping out ingredients can add a delightful twist to this classic cocktail. Here are our favorite White Russian variations.

Colorado Bulldog

A Colorado Bulldog cocktail is essentially a White Russian with coke added. While this may sound unappealing, the creaminess of the milk combined with the effervescence and sweetness of the cola creates a surprisingly good mix. To make a Colorado Bulldog, simply prepare a White Russian as detailed above and top it off with cola. Colorado Bulldog Recipe.

Blind Russian

If you like the creaminess of a White Russian but want a stronger flavor, try the Blind Russian cocktail. To make a Blind Russian swap out the milk/cream in a White Russian for an Irish cream like Baileys. Blind Russian Cocktail Recipe.

Flat White Martini

This variation is inspired by the espresso-based Flat White coffee and is great for those who want a stronger coffee taste in their cocktail. Flat White Martini Recipe.

Vegan White Russian

If you’re a vegan but still want to try a creamy cocktail like a White Russian, then you can swap out the cream/milk for vegan alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.

More Vodka Based Cocktails

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