White Russian Cocktail Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 7 reviews

White Russian is a simple cocktail mix that can be easily prepared at home! It has your favorite coffee flavor with a kick of alcohol that you will enjoy! Also, watch the recipe video below for a quick tutorial. 

Drink this with your buddies at a cocktail party you are hosting, or, mix it for yourself for an afternoon perk-me-up. If you are looking for drinks that you will enjoy this winter, check this out as well as my recipes for Moscow Mule, Irish Coffee, and Instant Pot Apple Cider!

Image of homemade White Russian cocktail recipe.

How to Make White Russian Cocktail

White Russian has stood the test of time and is still a favorite today. This classic is a twist to the traditional Black Russian cocktail which was invented in 1949.  The black version only has vodka and coffee liqueur in it while the white one has an added cream.

While it is named as such, this is not a drink that the Russians invented but I bet they also like it. It was only called as such because of the vodka. And while the basic drink contains only three ingredients, you can make a lot of variations.

So, if you are having a party soon, serve these to your guests! It is simple, but the taste is exquisite. You can enjoy this in the middle of winter, and it will surely warm you as you drink it.

What goes into White Russian Drink?

There are only three ingredients to make this cocktail: vodka, Kahlua, and cream. It is the basic list and some variations include adding ice cream instead of cream. Also, the cream may be heavy or use half and half, or milk if you prefer.

Picture of White Russian cocktail recipe.

How to make White Russian Cocktail:

Feel free to watch the quick video tutorial attached above. Butt these are the simple steps in preparing this drink:

  1. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. Pour the vodka and the Kahlua.
  3. Slowly add in the half and half.
  4. Taste and adjust the proportions if you wish.

Should a White Russian be shaken?

Shaking is no longer necessary, and it is even meant to be served as a layered drink. The classic preparation is to simply pour the vodka over rocks, add the coffee liqueur, then, top with cream. Shaking somewhat dilutes the cocktail.

But, of course, it is a matter of preference. Some would want their cocktail milkshake-like. Some would shake the whole thing altogether or shake only the first two ingredients then, top with dairy. While some would shake the cream separately to make it thicker and that is fine, too.

Photo of homemade White Russian cocktail.

Recipe Variation:

You can experiment on different flavored vodka, coffee syrup, brews, and dairy. Here are some changes that you can make in your cocktail:

  • Add a bit of cola.
  • Add Irish cream instead of vodka.
  • Instead of cream, use almond milk, creamy chai tea, or coconut milk.
  • Add chocolate syrup.
  • Add horchata and cinnamon.
  • Top with nutmeg or pumpkin spice.
  • Use root beer-flavored vodka and whole milk instead, then, top with orange peel.

How many calories are in White Russian?

The calories that each serving has sits somewhere between 220 to 500. This can be attributed to the dairy. Hence, you can substitute it with almond, soy, or coconut milk to lessen the number of calories.

Other delicious cocktails:

Image of White Russian cocktail.

Recipe Tips:

  • Serve it in an old-fashioned glass for that classic experience.
  • Add a hint of vanilla extract for a richer flavor.
  • You may substitute creme de cacao for the coffee liqueur for a more chocolaty taste.
  • While you can always adjust the taste according to your preference, take note of the measurements so that you can mix it again exactly the way you like it.
  • Cream or half and half is still the recommended dairy to add in this cocktail for a rich and decadent finish. Substituting it with milk will yield a thinner drink overall.

Save Recipe
5 from 7 reviews
White Russian Cocktail
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 1 cocktail
Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 5 mins


For ONE White Russian Cocktail:

For FOUR White Russian Cocktail:


Calories: 312 Carbohydrates: 31 Protein: 3 Fat: 3 Saturated Fat: 2 Cholesterol: 9 Sodium: 41 Potassium: 112 Sugar: 31 Vitamin A: 138 Calcium: 96
Save Recipe

Image of White Russian cocktail.

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Use heavy cream and its the perfect dessert.



A white Russian is one of my all-time favorite drinks. I've always thought of it as kind of an alcoholic smoothie or milkshake. They're so good.


Tara Pittman

This is a drink that I have never tried. It sounds delicious



My brother still likes to joke about the time our aunt bought my cousin and I a white russian for our first legal drink. It was so strong! I haven't had one since.


Kita Bryant

This is a great drink to unwind with. I have not had one in a very long time.


Lisa Joy Thompson

I'm not much of a drinker, but this is one of my friends' "drink of choice". I had no idea it was so easy to make at home.


Lyanna Soria

I don't drink cocktails nowadays but that is looking quite tasty. I didn't know you can make one at home easily.



This is such a nice cocktail! My husband loved it.



This was one of the first drinks I ever had. I don't know why I don't make them more often.


Eileen M Loya

Oh wow. That looks so refreshing. I love Kahlua or any other coffee liquer. It is just so versatile. Thanks for the recipe. Will be making this tonight.



Luckily I have all the ingredients in house already. I will make this for Easter weekend. Sounds amazing!


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