How To Make A White Russian Cocktail

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As someone who went to college in the decade following “The Big Lebowski,” trust me when I say I’ve had my fair share of White Russians.

This creamy cocktail goes down smooth as a bowling ball on a freshly waxed lane and will add some character to your glass as people inevitably wonder what it is you’re sipping. Another plus of the White Russian (or “Caucasian,” as Jeff Bridges’ character in the aforementioned comedy calls it) is that it’s really easy to make.

Unlike many mixed drinks, you won’t find yourself turning on a blender, slicing a garnish or even using a cocktail shaker to put one of these together. If you’ve been wondering how to make a White Russian, we’ve got the foolproof recipe below, so you can add it to your list of go-to orders at the bar or at home.

A White Russian cocktail in a glass with ice
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What’s in a White Russian?

If you’ve seen “The Big Lebowski,” you probably know exactly what’s in a White Russian just from seeing The Dude make them numerous times on screen. However, if this drink is totally foreign to you, you’ll be glad to know the ingredient list consists of just a handful of ice cubes and three liquids: vodka, Kahlúa and heavy cream (some people also use half & half or milk as handy substitutions).

The measurements of those ingredients can vary by how stiff you like your cocktails. Some recipes call for an extra ounce (or part) of vodka, while others keep the three ingredients at an equal split. However you decide to mix your White Russian is just, like, your opinion, man.

Photos: Target/Amazon

How to Make a White Russian

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part Kahlúa
  • 1 part heavy cream

Fill a short glass with ice. Combine the vodka and Kahlúa in the glass, stir. Pour heavy cream in a layer on top, allowing it to naturally settle into the drink.

That’s it! Pop in a Creedence tape, splay out on your favorite rug and enjoy your new favorite cocktail.

Preparation of white russian cocktails
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White Russian Variations

One of the best things about the White Russian is its versatility. While a purist like Jeff Lebowski would never fool around with the recipe, there are plenty of ways to make this drink your own.

If you dig the Flat White at Starbucks or another coffee shop, Kahlúa has a recipe for a Flat White Russian that will get you buzzing and buzzed at the same time. In addition to vodka and Kahlúa, this throws in one part espresso and two parts plant-based milk.

If dairy isn’t your thing (and you also aren’t into plant-based milk), you should try the Black Russian. As the name would suggest, it’s essentially the same as a White Russian, just without the cream element. Kahlúa’s own top-rated Black Russian recipe calls for two parts vodka and one part Kahlúa over ice.