White Russian Cocktail

This White Russian Cocktail is a deliciously creamy cocktail that everyone should try! A coffee and vodka drink recipe with a splash of cream!

If creamy cocktails are your jam, try our retro Toasted Almond Cocktail or this Campfire Milk Punch, perfect for sipping by a fire – inside or out!

A White Russian cocktail with a pitcher of ice in the background

What Is A White Russian?

A White Russian is a drink recipe made with Kahlua, Vodka and cream. Usually this cocktail is served in a low ball glass or an old fashioned glass, but you can really make it however you’d like. But since a White Russian is a creamy and rich drink it’s typically served in a smaller glass.

This drink recipe is actually a variation of the original drink, a Black Russian, which is served without the cream. Other variations include a Blind Russian (served with Irish Cream) and a Souther Russian served with Southern Comfort.

White Russian Ingredients

The ingredients for this cocktail are simple. You can substitute half and half or even whole milk but heavy cream is the thickest (and the tastiest) and with lighter creams or milk the cocktail won’t be as rich.

  • Vodka
  • Coffee Liquor (Kahluha)
  • Cream

How To Make A White Russian

Making a White Russian is as easy as adding all the ingredients to a glass over ice, but there is a trick! We like to fill an old fashioned glass with ice, more than you think you need because it will melt down as you pour in the alcohol and cream, and start with the Kahlua first.

Kahlua being poured into a rocks glass to make a White Russian

Next you can add the vodka. Plain vodka for this cocktail recipe, nothing flavored. You don’t have to use the most expensive vodka for this drink but I wouldn’t use bottom shelf vodka, either.

My rule of thumb is that you have your mixing booze and your sipping straight up booze. The mixing booze should still be something that you like that flavor of, not something that you’re trying to cover up with other ingredients.

The last ingredient, the cream, is poured in slowly or over the back of a spoon so that you get these nice, deep swirls as we’ve shown you here…

Cream pouring into a glass to make a White Russian drink

Some people like to leave this layer as long as it lasts, some like to stir it into the drink to mix the flavors together. There is obviously a gorgeous look to this drink that you’d want to show off before mixing it in, but after serving you can go ahead and stir it up.

How To Serve A White Russian

All you need to serve a White Russian is a couple of straws so that your guest can stir the White Russian as little or as much as they like to. If you use the straws for sipping, you’ll get the bottom layer of Kahlua and vodka first, then the cream that’s floating on top.

My preference is to stir the drink slightly, then sip it with the glass, not through the straws so that the rich cream layer hits you first and helps to tame down the boozy Kahlua and vodka layer.

White Russian drink with a glass pitcher full of ice

Let us know if you try this classic cocktail recipe! We love switching things up during cocktail hour instead of always grabbing a beer or a glass of wine. Making cocktails like this makes those couple of hours of the evening feel like a special occasion!


white russian cocktail collage for pinterest

Looking For More Classic Cocktail Recipes?

Cream pouring into a glass to make a White Russian drink

White Russian Cocktail

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

This creamy, delicious classic cocktail is perfect as an after dinner drink or sipping on during happy hour!



  • 2 ounces coffee liquor (like Kahlua)
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 23 ounces heavy cream


  1. Add ice to a low ball glass.
  2. Pour in the Kahlua and vodka, then top off with heavy cream. You might use more or less depending on the size of your glass.
  3. Serve with straws for stirring.

Recipe Notes

To make the cream swirl and sit on top of the drink pour the cream in slowly or over the back of a spoon.

  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: white russian, white russian cocktail, drink recipes, classic cocktails, drinks with kahluha

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