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White Russian

December 18, 2023

There is beauty in simplicity, and the White Russian–with just three ingredients–is as simply delicious as they come. Just vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream over ice.


  • Winter
  • Cocktails
2 white russian cocktails in a cocktail glasses
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More spirited tipples

A White Russian Recipe That’s Beyond Easy

Rich and creamy coffee beverages are perfect for sipping through the holidays, and between our Espresso Martini and this easy White Russian, we’re set. A White Russian is just vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream over ice. For a festive setting, you can make a tableau of Sausage Rolls, Turkey Hand Pies, and Popcorn to nosh on while you sip your White Russian and visit with guests.

2 white russian cocktails over ice in cocktail glasses made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream

White Russian History

The drink was created in 1949 by a Belgian bartender called Gustave Tops. Cocktail lore has it that back in the day, much of the vodka that we drank was imported from Russia, giving this cream-based drink its identifying moniker.

a bottle of vodka, a bottle of coffee liqueur, heavy cream, and ice to make a white Russian cocktail

Ingredients For A White Russian

  • Vodka

  • Coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa

  • Heavy cream

vodka being poured over ice in a cocktail glass

How To Make A White Russian

  1. In a jigger measure 2 ounces of your favorite vodka and 1.5 ounces of coffee liqueur to a rocks glass filled with ice.
  2. Top with 1 ounce of heavy cream and stir with a cocktail mixing spoon to combine.
coffee liqueur being poured into a cocktail glass with vodka and ice

Tips For Making A White Russian

  • Is a White Russian shaken or stirred? For presentation’s sake, you can leave the White Russian un-stirred, but for drinking purposes it should be stirred to blend all of the rich flavors. A White Russian can definitely be shaken. It will be extra-icy, if that’s how you like it.

  • Variations abound! A Blind Russian is made with Irish cream instead of coffee liqueur. A black Russian omits the heavy cream.

  • You can make this dairy-free by substituting almond milk, or your favorite alternative milk.

  • What is the best vodka for a White Russian? Tito’s is a great budget-friendly vodka, but feel free to use your favorite.

heavy cream being poured into a cocktail glass with vodka, coffee liqueur and ice

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White Russian

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 338


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1½ ounces coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
  • 1 ounce heavy cream


  1. Add the vodka and coffee liqueur to a rocks glass filled with ice.

  2. Top with the heavy cream and stir to combine.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories338
  • Protein0 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat9 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol40 mg
  • sodium10 mg
  • Total Sugars18 g

White Russian

Questions & Reviews

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    Any questions?

    Need to change up some ingredients? Unsure about a step in the method? Click the Ask a Question button above. We’re here for you.

  • Kay

    Yes, Yes, Yes. Perfection.

    Thanks Kay, so glad you loved it!