Best White Russian Recipe (3 Ingredient Cocktail) + Video

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Our Best White Russian Recipe creates a creamy, rich, and decadent cocktail. Learn how to make this classic drink that’s easy to stir, serve, and sip. Check out the easy steps to make this simple cocktail! 

titled (shown in cocktail glass); best white russian recipe


A dash of mocha, a splash of vodka, and a drop of cream is all you need to mix together an award-winning drink.

This simple vodka and kahlua cocktail recipe is also deliciously versatile, with customizations and variations for every ingredient.

This classic cocktail is perfect for a holiday party, happy hour, or an after-dinner drink. Delicious drinks like this are a fun twist of strong flavors.

It’s literally the definition of a guilty pleasure. 

All that you need to pair with it is a holiday cookie for a perfect holiday twist. Everyone will love this traditional recipe and favorite drink! 

white Russian recipe ingredients - bottles of vanilla creamer, Kahlua and vodka

Best White Russian Recipe

So what makes this the best White Russian recipe? It has just a hint of sweetness and a delicate vanilla flavor. 

It’s smooth, iced coffee consistency and taste profile also means it’s a total crowd favorite. Try any of these classic cocktails.

This delicious Russian drink calls for the best desserts to go with it! My mocha smores dip pairs so well with the coffee flavors in this cocktail. 

These toffee caramel cookies also go really well with the vodka and kahlua drink’s bitter notes.

For another creamy mocha cocktail, check out my mocha express! It’s just as silky smooth, but with a bigger kick of coffee flavor.

pouring vodka over ice in highball glass

Kahlua White Russian Drink Tips and Tricks

  • Make it frozen! Blend everything together with one cup of ice until you achieve a slushie consistency.
  • Stirring cocktails on the rocks dilutes them. The more you stir, the more water you add to the mix. 

    A good rule of thumb is to stir for no more than 20 seconds when mixing.
  • Get great layers every time. To keep your creamer layer from mixing with the liqueur, pour the creamer slowly over the back of a spoon.
pouring Kahlua into vodka cocktail

Vodka and Kahlua Serving Suggestions

Throw together some seasonal garnishes for every occasion!

Sprinkle some cinnamon into the glass during the fall, or throw in a peppermint stick during the holiday season. 

Rimming the glass with crushed candy canes would be tasty as well!

For a refreshing summer treat, top the frozen variation of this Russian drink with a dollop of whipped cream.

I also recommend serving with a straw – this way, you won’t have to mix before serving, allowing guests to stir their own drinks and enjoy the layered presentation.

White Russian Cocktail Variations

Check out these delicious variations of the original, classic vodka and Kahlua drink!

  • Bailey’s White Russian – The booziest version of this drink! Add Bailey’s Irish Cream to your Kahlua White Russian in place of the coffee creamer.
  • Rumchata White Russian – Try out this variation for a spicy cinnamon taste! Rumchata takes the place of Kahlua and makes the drink much sweeter.
  • White Russian With Milk – For a thinner, less sweet cocktail, swap out the coffee creamer with plain milk. Great for those seeking a low sugar drink.

White Russian Recipe FAQ

What’s the difference between a white Russian and a Mudslide? 

While both are delicious vodka cocktails made with Kahlua, a Mudslide also includes some Bailey’s Irish Cream, and is typically served as a frozen cocktail.

How do you keep cream cocktails from curdling? 

Avoid using low-fat, skim, or most non-dairy milks. High fat creamers keep the mixture emulsified when combined with acidic liquors.

Does a White Russian drink taste like coffee? 

Yes! The best white Russian recipe includes a coffee liqueur that gives sweet, slightly bitter notes of mocha. Kahlua and coffee creamers are a great pair for that!

Do I need a cocktail shaker to make a classic white Russian cocktail?

You don’t need a cocktail shaker to make this creamy cocktail. You can use a rocks glass with ice cubes to make this White Russian Cocktail recipe. Just follow the steps on the recipe card below to make the simple drink.

Is this easy cocktail a little bit sweet? 

It is. This is why it just might be your new favorite cocktail. If you’re a fan of a sweet drink recipe, this is a good choice. You can make a small glass, sip it, and decide if it’s your thing! 

Just know that you’ll want to use a great vodka for this class recipe. When you use the best vodka, you get a really great taste! Don’t settle for just a “decent vodka”. Splurge on one that will give big flavors.  

This simple tip will make the perfect White Russian drink for Christmas drinks or the next time you’re having friends over to the house. You’ll love this classic recipe! 

overhead: 2 cocktails with Kahlua and vodka

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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adding milk to white Russian cocktail

Best White Russian Recipe (3 Ingredient Cocktail) + Video

Donna Elick
Our Best White Russian Recipe creates a creamy, rich, and decadent cocktail. Make this classic drink that’s easy to stir, serve, and sip.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 1


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/4 ounces coffee liqueur, we used Kahlua
  • 1 1/4 ounces French Vanilla Creamer, or heavy (whipping) cream


  • Fill glass with ice, add vodka and coffee liqueur. Stir to combine. Pour creamer over top. Serve and enjoy.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 253cal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Sugar: 17g | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for best white Russian recipe

Originally published November 2012, updated and republished March 2024

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I’m not usually one for coffee/creamy cocktails, but after my mom made these for us during christmas I had to have the recipe. They were amazing!

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