This White Russian Recipe Is a Coffee Lover's Dream

Roll out of bed on the boozy side this morning with this delectable white Russian recipe.

Updated February 27, 2024
White Russian With Kahlua

An espresso martini is perfect for when you need a drink for a sophisticated evening, but the white Russian is a coffee lover's go-to when you've got dessert on the brain. Using only three ingredients — with one being Mexico's finest coffee liqueur, Kahlúa — this white Russian recipe is one of the simplest staples you can have in your drink-making repertoire. 

How to Make a White Russian

You've got The Big Lebowski's The Dude to thank for the 1990s' white Russian resurgence. In the decades since its rediscovery, the creamy cocktail's fallen in and out of favor. But, if you're a Starbucks gold card holder you won't be able to resist this smooth coffee goodness. 



  1. In a rocks or highball glass, add ice, vodka, and Kahlúa.
  2. Top off with heavy cream and stir.
Quick Tip

The Colorado Bulldog is a delicious white Russian cola variant. Just add 1½ ounces of cola and drop a cherry to this recipe to create a fizzy version of this creamy cocktail. 

Related: 18 Kahlúa Drink Recipes for Coffee-Flavored Cocktails

6 Variations to Try 

With such a simple base, the white Russian is perfectly primed for experimentation. Lean into the dessert element with sweeter additions or customize it like your morning coffee with syrup pumps and oat milk. The possibilities are practically endless. 

  • Consider using a flavored vodka such as caramel or vanilla for an extra layer of flavor. 
  • Add a splash of rum or a flavored liqueur such as almond, hazelnut, chocolate, or cinnamon.
  • Use a splash of chilled coffee or espresso for a stronger coffee taste.
  • Skip the ice and sip it out of a martini glass instead. 
  • Use milk in place of heavy cream for a lighter cocktail.
  • Add a few drops of aromatic, chocolate, or other flavored bitters.

Garnishes That'll Dress Things Up 

The white Russian is so no fuss, it doesn't come with a garnish. But that doesn't mean you can dress it up. Transform your white Russian into a sight to behold with these exciting garnish ideas. 

  • Top it off with three whole coffee beans.
  • Sprinkle your drink with ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Add an orange peel for an elegant touch. 
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth by topping it with whipped cream. 
  • Use a whole star anise or two for an autumnal spin. 

The Coffee Cocktail Known for Its Kick 

The white Russian is a creamy cocktail you can enjoy morning, noon, or night. The coffee liquor's boldness cuts through the rich cream, resulting in a drink you'll always find space for. So, when your server asks if you've got room for dessert, get them to put a Kahlúa-heavy white Russian on your tab. 

Trending on LoveToKnow
This White Russian Recipe Is a Coffee Lover's Dream