A White Russian is a classic cocktail, perfect for slow sipping on a chilly evening. It is incredibly simple to make and only requires a few ingredients, making it an approachable drink for those who are new to mixing cocktails.

White Russians beige drink on a bar with a bit of cream or full-fat milk

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This cocktail has definitely gained popularity in the last 25-ish years thanks to the 1998 cult-classic movie The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges– This is his character, The Dude’s, drink of choice. If you haven’t seen it, it really is a must. And maybe the White Russian will become your favorite drink, too.

WHITE RUSSIAN INGREDIENTS AND VARIATIONS

The White Russian is a really easy mixed drink because there’s not much to it and requires almost no prep time– and it doesn’t require equipment except for a jigger and bar spoon. You don’t even have to shake it with a cocktail shaker!

White Russian on a bar, the beverage of choice for the main character in the classic film The Big Lebowski

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But a word of caution: It is not a low-calorie cocktail! It contains a blend of 2 ounces vodka, coffee liqueur, and 1/4 ounces heavy cream– two of which are pretty rich ingredients. Of course, you can switch out your half-and-half with low-fat milk, a non-dairy creamer, almond milk, soy milk… The world is your White Russian oyster, friends.

We recently featured the Black Russian, the “cousin” to this classic drink recipe, eliminating the heavy cream (or milk). If you’re not too keen on the extra dairy, check that one out, too.

Putting a straw into the white russians drink with Kahlúa original, your favorite cream or milk, and vodka for a decadent drink

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HOW TO MAKE A WHITE RUSSIAN COCKTAIL

Like I mentioned, no need to pull out the cocktail shaker on this one– You’re going to mix this decadent and surprisingly easy-to-make cocktail right in your old fashioned glass (AKA rocks or lowball glass). Watch the video below to see how Chris makes this delicious, indulgent, 3-ingredient drink.

And if you want to get really creative, you can play with the cream element– cereal-infused milk is one way to punch up the flavor and get nostalgic while you’re at it (Fruit Loops and Cap’n Crunch, anyone?). You could also boost up the flavor using chai or Horchata, or by simply infusing your dairy ingredient with cinnamon.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about this classic cocktail and if you have a favorite variation for the different seasons. We’d love to hear what you’re stirring up this winter and into next year!

Bartender holding a White Russian delightful drink with the primary ingredient of vodka

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White Russian cocktail hour drink on a bar with a gold straw

The White Russian Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlúa coffee liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Heavy Cream Or Whole Milk or Half and Half

Instructions

  • Add the vodka, heavy whipping cream, and Kahlúa to a rocks glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir with a bar spoon.
  • No garnish on this one, but you can add a straw to make it look fancy!