White Russian Recipe – Winter Bliss in a Glass

Discovering cocktails through movies and series has been a delightful journey for me. From the suave Appletini in “How I Met Your Mother” to the sophisticated Vesper Martini in the iconic 007 series, each drink has a story to tell. Recently, I stumbled upon another classic cocktail – the White Russian, thanks to the film “The Big Lebowski.”

Making White Russian drink recipe
Caucasian is sometimes used interchangeably with White Russian in “The Big Lebowski.”

In the world of the main character – “The Dude,” played by Jeff Bridges, the White Russian cocktail becomes more than just a drink. The combination of vodka and coffee liqueur provides a sweet and bitter harmony, while the cream adds a velvety smoothness that lingers on the palate. It’s a drink that invites you to kick back, take it easy, and savor the moment.

Basic White Russian recipe

The drink is not from Russia. As for the name, I think the “Russian” part likely comes from vodka, a spirit often associated with Russia. The “White” refers to the addition of dairy—either cream or milk—that gives the cocktail its distinctive color.

So, here’s how to make the White Russian – a cocktail that transcends its ingredients and becomes a part of the narrative.

Classic White Russian

A timeless and indulgent cocktail
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 230 kcal


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur like Kahlúa or Baileys
  • 1 oz heavy cream or milk
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the vodka and coffee liqueur over the ice.
  • Gently float the heavy cream or milk on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon or by drizzling it slowly over the back of the glass.


If you don’t have cream, you can use the cream liqueur like Rumchata
Keyword alcohol, cocktail, drinks, homemade

White russian variations

There are many variations of the drink, allowing for a range of interpretations and personal preferences. Here are some ideas you can check them out:

  • Black Russian: This is the predecessor to the White Russian and contains only vodka and coffee liqueur. It’s a simpler, bolder drink.
  • Dirty Russian: For a slightly edgier twist, some people add a shot of cola to the classic recipe.
  • Anna Kournikova: Named after the Russian tennis sensation, the Anna Kournikova is a playful variation with vodka, coffee liqueur, and milk instead of cream. It’s lighter in texture but still packed with flavor.
A glass of Black Russian on the table
The Black Russian
  • Eggnog White Russian: You can enjoy the holiday spirit by swapping out the cream for rich, creamy eggnog. This combination creates a velvety, indulgent drink that’s perfect for cozying up by the fireplace during the holiday season. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top for that extra touch of warmth.
  • Chocolate Russian: If you love chocolate, this version is for you. Adding chocolate liqueur into the mix to create a delightful blend of coffee, vodka, and chocolate flavors.
  • White Cuban: Swap out the vodka for white rum, and you’ve got yourself a White Cuban – a perfect choice for those who enjoy a taste of the Caribbean in their cocktails.
  • Blonded Russian: This version uses Irish cream liqueur.
  • Salted Caramel White Russian: Elevate your cocktail game by adding a drizzle of salted caramel syrup.
Pumpkin spice white russian best recipe
The pumpkin spice version
  • Peanut Butter White Russian: Add a dollop of smooth peanut butter to the recipe and garnish with a few crushed peanuts for a crunchy finish. It’s like a liquid peanut butter cup—utterly irresistible!
  • Pumpkin Spice White Russian: Add a dash of pumpkin spice syrup to bring a cozy warmth to the White Russian, making it a delightful choice for fall evenings.
  • Vanilla Russian: Infuse the cocktail with a hint of vanilla flavor by adding a splash of vanilla syrup or using vanilla-flavored vodka.
  • Peppermint White Russian: For this variation, you can add a splash of peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract to the classic mix. Garnish with a candy cane or crushed peppermint.
Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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