HomeCoffeeWhite Russian Cocktail Recipe: A Espresso Lover’s Variation

White Russian Cocktail Recipe: A Espresso Lover’s Variation


The White Russian cocktail, a minimum of to members of my era, is strongly related to the traditional cult film The Huge Lebowski. Whereas Jeff Bridges’ character, the Dude, isn’t precisely worthy of emulation, he knew his cocktails.

A traditional White Russian combines cream, vodka, and occasional liqueur in a glass with ice. However we’ll put a espresso lover’s spin on our White Russian recipe by including a wealthy shot of espresso.

What You Want

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce espresso
  • Heavy cream, to style
  • Ice cubes
  • 8-ounce rocks glass or quaint glass

What Is In A White Russian?

An excellent rule of thumb when making espresso cocktail recipes is that the less elements, the upper high quality they need to be. You can’t cover the dangerous flavors with solely 4 White Russian elements. Go forward, and splurge on the most effective vodka, liqueur, and occasional.


Vodka is the first ingredient on this cocktail, although it’s recognized primarily for its absence of taste. It’s a transparent, distilled alcohol often made out of grains or potatoes (1). You possibly can select any high-quality vodka you want, however a Russian vodka stays true to the spirit (pun meant) of the White Russian.

Espresso Liqueur

There are numerous varieties of espresso liqueur, and experimenting with completely different choices is a straightforward strategy to get inventive. Kahlua is a typical and broadly accessible alternative. It’s made out of rum, sugar, and Arabica espresso and has an alcohol content material of 20% (2). Utilizing different liqueurs is a enjoyable strategy to make White Russian variations just like the Russian Cherry Orchard, which makes use of Grand Marnier.

Associated: Attempt our Kahlua and occasional recipe for a warming different to the White Russian.


Espresso is a matter of non-public style, however we suggest a traditional medium roast for this recipe. Select one thing with candy taste notes like caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, vanilla, or toasted nuts. A darkish roast might be too bitter. A lightweight roast might be fairly acidic and, when paired with vodka, runs the danger of curdling the cream.

The right way to Make a White Russian Cocktail

Espresso and booze are a pure pairing. In fact, it makes excellent sense to mix our two favourite chemical vices, caffeine, and alcohol. You’ll discover regional espresso cocktails everywhere in the world. In Spain, there’s the Cafe Corretto. In Mexico, there’s the Carajillo drink. And in America, there’s the White Russian. That’s proper, the one factor Russian about this made-in-the-USA beverage is its vodka (3). 

Let’s get this White Russian drink recipe began.

1. Put together The Glass

Chill an 8-ounce rocks glass, and fill it midway with ice cubes.

Professional tip: To amplify the flavour, use espresso ice cubes to keep away from diluting the drink because the ice melts. To make them, merely freeze brewed espresso in an ice dice tray.

2. Pull A Single Shot Of Espresso

Utilizing an espresso machine, pull a single shot of espresso. You possibly can pull it right into a demitasse cup and add it to the ready glass or simply pull it immediately over the ice cubes to avoid wasting time. For those who don’t have an espresso machine, an oz. of robust brewed espresso from an Aeropress or Moka pot is a effective substitute.

Professional tip: Use 1 ounce of storebought or home made chilly brew focus as an alternative of espresso.

3. Add The Alcohol

Prime the espresso with 2 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of Kahlua. Combine every little thing collectively.

Professional tip: We love the marginally bitter and toasted taste the espresso contributes to this drink. However if you happen to choose the sweeter unique, you possibly can stir in 1 teaspoon of straightforward syrup at this stage to steadiness any bitter notes.

4. Add Cream To Style

Prime the drink with a splash of heavy cream. Heavy cream (36% milk fats) makes for a decadent drink with a creamy mouthfeel, however you can too use desk cream (18%) or half-and-half (10%) for lighter variations. For those who change the cream with entire milk, the skinny drink is named a Caucasian.

Professional tip: Feeling fancy? Put your cream into a relaxing mason jar and shake it nicely. This may aerate it and add physique, identical to the chilly foam topping at your favourite cafe.

Remaining Ideas

The normal White Russian is a straightforward and scrumptious cocktail, however espresso lovers will choose this variation. The wealthy shot of espresso doesn’t simply put an additional pep in your step. It balances the liqueur’s sweetness and provides an interesting creamy physique to the drink. We predict the Dude would abide.

Did you do that recipe? When you sober up, tell us your ideas within the feedback beneath!


The distinction between a White Russian and a Black Russian is {that a} Black Russian doesn’t include any dairy. Including cream is what provides the White Russian its coloration and title.

Irish espresso is a cocktail with espresso. In making Irish espresso, the next elements are wanted: espresso, brown sugar, and Irish whiskey, often topped with whipped cream. Not like White Russians, it’s a heat cocktail greatest suited to chilly climate sipping.

You make a White Russian vegan by swapping the liqueur and the dairy. Surprisingly, Kahlua will not be vegan-friendly. For a vegan recipe, change the Kahlua with Tia Maria, and swap the cream to your non-dairy milk or cream of alternative.

  1. Russia Past. (2012, December 12). Russian vodka: A historical past. Retrieved from https://www.rbth.com/articles/2012/12/12/russian_vodka_a_history_20971
  2. Holladay, H. (2021, October 29). 10 Issues You Ought to Know About Kahlua. Retrieved from https://vinepair.com/articles/ntk-kahlua-coffee-liqueur-guide/
  3. McCabe, C. (n.d.). Origin of the White Russian. Retrieved from https://www.cultursmag.com/origin-of-the-white-russian/




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