The White Russian is a classic cocktail that combines several of my favorite vices: caffeine, sugar, and booze. At its core, it tastes like the blissful blend of a drink and a dessert, which only adds to the appeal for people with a sweet tooth like me. Although it is traditionally made with coffee liqueur, vodka, and heavy cream, there are so many ways to mix up the basic White Russian.

Whether you're vegan, looking to be healthier or wanting a stronger drink, this recipe can be modified to cater to your desires. What's more, it takes hardly any time to make. With four ingredients, two minutes of preparation time, and only two to three dishes to wash, the White Russian is the perfect drink for those times when you need sweet, boozy comfort ASAP.

Basic White Russian

  • Prep Time:2 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:2 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • Ice
  • 1.5 fl. oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1.5 fl. oz. vodka
  • 1.5 fl. oz. heavy cream or variation
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Athena Huynh
  • Step 1

    Fill a glass with ice cubes.

    cocktail, beer, ice
  • Step 2

    Add the coffee liqueur and vodka.

    chocolate, milk, coffee, cream, ice
  • Step 3

    Pour in the heavy cream.

    #SpoonTip: If you're feeling ambitious, carefully pour the heavy cream over the back of a spoon into the glass to create a pretty layer on top.

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  • Step 4

    Stir the heavy cream through the liqueurs before drinking, or sip it through a straw to get the alcohol on the bottom.

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Athena Huynh

Keeping the same proportion of 1:1:1 of coffee liqueur to vodka to heavy cream (or one of the variations below), you can modify the basic recipe above to suit your tastes.

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Athena Huynh

1. Make it vegan

Substitute the heavy cream with your plant-based milk of choice.

2. Make it healthier

Substitute the heavy cream with half-and-half, low-fat milk, or even skim milk, depending on how healthy you want to go.

3. Make it boozier

Substitute the heavy cream with another type of liqueur. Irish Crème liqueur is a personal favorite.

4. Make it sweeter

Stir in chocolate syrup or powdered chocolate drink mix.

5. Make it more caffeinated

Substitute regular ice cubes for coffee ice cubes.

As one of the most decadent cocktails out there, the White Russian is a treat best saved for special occasions. However, I believe that if you're going to indulge, you might as well go all-out and savor every minute of it. This flexible White Russian recipe will let you do that by combining coffee, sugar, and booze into one multi-purpose drink, so go forth and enjoy it!