White Russian Cocktails are a sweet and creamy drink that will make any holiday party special. This delicious coffee-flavored drink with its layer of cream on top is as tasty as a milkshake.

You don’t need a degree in mixology to make this pretty cocktail either. Just follow the classic recipe.

White Russians in glasses filled with ice

What’s In a White Russian?

Only three ingredients go into a white Russian cocktail:  Heavy cream, vodka, and Kahlua in equal amounts. Any coffee-flavored liquor can substitute for the Kahlua.

A less rich version can be made with milk or half-and-half instead of making them with cream. You can also cut out the vodka if you want to lower the alcohol content.

How to Make a White Russian

These cocktails are so pretty and almost as much fun to make as to drink. Here’s how to assemble a white Russian like a pro:

  1. Fill a lowball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add the vodka and Kahlua. (printable recipe below)
  3. Float cream on top and serve with a swizzle straw.

To get the cream to stay on top, pour it in slowly over the back of a teaspoon so it drizzles onto the ice. It will float, and slowly sink and mingle into the darker Kahlua and vodka layer, which gives it a little movement and drama to this charming and popular party cocktail.

If using milk you’ll likely have trouble getting it to float, but your drink will still be delicious.

Ingredients for White Russian and white russian in a glass with ice and milk being poured in

Fun White Russian Additions

This is a fun drink to play around with too. Here are some mix-ins, substitutes, and variations for giving the drink your own signature touch:

  • Add an ounce of crème de cocoa, for a mocha white Russian.
  • Swap the cream for Bailey’s instead.
  • In place of the floating cream layer, pile whipped cream on top and garnish with a chocolate-covered coffee bean, or drizzle with chocolate syrup.
  • Instead of Kahlua, use green crème de menthe.

Go ahead and experiment. It isn’t hard to make the holidays happy when white Russian cocktails are part of the program

More Festive Cocktails

White Russian in a glass with ice
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White Russian Cocktail

A sweet and creamy drink that will make any holiday party special.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cocktail
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  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur such as Kahlua
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce heavy cream


  • Fill a short glass with ice.
  • Add liqueur and vodka.
  • Gently pour cream over an ice cube allowing it to settle on top of the other layers.
  • Serve.
5 from 4 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 261 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 13mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 417IU | Calcium: 18mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage
Cuisine American
White Russian ingredients and white russian in a glass with milk being poured in with writing
White Russian in a glass with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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