Best White Russian Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Close up of double cream being poured into a White Russian cocktail

Want to make the best White Russian cocktail recipe ever? We’re talking about the epic creamy vodka and coffee liqueur drink. If you want to make one, we suggest a little inspiration. It’s a movie from the late 90s called The Big Lebowski, created by the Coen brothers and starring a much younger Jeff Bridges as ‘The Dude’.  

During the film, he scoffs down nine of these indulgent cocktails, but not in a seductive ‘James-Bond-martini’ way we’d like to imagine. Even though the White Russian was created in the 60s, it wasn’t until The Dude’s White Russian glugging antics on-screen that this now-iconic cocktail soared to fame. 

Best White Russian cocktail 

If you’re wondering what is in White Russian drink, it couldn’t get simpler. You can make this classic cocktail with just three ingredients in four easy steps, within five minutes flat! This is the perfect nightcap to share, so we suggest you enjoy this cocktail with good friends after an indulgent dinner, watching a movie, and lazing around.




Watching your weight? Use milk instead of double cream.


Vegan friends at your dinner party? Swap out the double cream for coconut cream or soy, almond or rice milk.


In the mood for a milkshake? Omit the ice, add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to a blender, along with the coffee liqueur and vodka, then blitz until smooth, and enjoy!



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

Coffee liqueur
Glug of double cream
Maraschino cherry to garnish (optional)


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Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes


Add the vodka and coffee liqueur 


Pour over a splash of double cream 


Serve with a swizzle stick and pop a cherry on top

A brief history of the White Russian cocktail 

Before the White Russian was a thing, the Black Russian drink (made with vodka and coffee liqueur) was all the rage. Legend has it that in 1949 a Belgian barman by the name of Gustave Tops created both these vodka drinks at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels to honour the US ambassador of Luxembourg. So while you’d think these cocktails originated in Russia, these drinks get their names from the addition of vodka. As this popular creamy drink spread across the globe, the recipe was finally published in California’s Oakland Tribune in 1965. And then, the 1998 classic cult film, The Big Lebowski, hit our screens, along with this legendary cocktail. The rest, as they say, is history.  

What makes a proper White Russian recipe

A proper White Russian recipe is deceivingly simple to make, but sometimes the simplest things in life are also the most delicious. If you want to know how much alcohol is in White Russian, then all we can say is that even though it tastes a little like melted coffee-flavoured ice cream, it’s actually quite potent with three ounces of alcohol in one drink. So, slowly does it!

With only three ingredients, the best White Russian cocktail is packed with good quality. We suggest premium vodka and a top-shelf coffee liqueur. When it comes to the cream, make sure it’s proper heavy cream—not the instant whipped kind! 

The best vodka for a White Russian

At 60ml per cocktail, vodka is the star of this nightcap, so it’s essential that you choose a high-quality brand, like SKYY Vodka. Because of this vodka brand’s quadruple column-distillation and triple-filtration processes, you can expect a softer taste and a citrusy spice-like scent. 

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The White Russian drink tastes like boozy and chilled coffee-flavoured milk. At 60ml vodka in one drink, they're quite potent, so take it slowly.

A White Russian is deliciously deceiving and quite potent. It comes in at an ABV of 24% (depending on the vodka you're using).

A White Russian cocktail should never be made with flavoured vodka. You have to use a vodka that won't overpower the taste of the coffee liqueur.