- In a rocks glass, add ice, vodka, and coffee liqueur.
- Top off with heavy cream, do not mix.
Variations and Substitutions
Although the base ingredients are pretty crucial to the white Russian, you can make a few swaps without losing its essence.
- Instead of heavy cream, experiment with half and half.
- Skip the cream and try out different types of milk: dairy, almond, soy, and coconut all make great options.
- Use different flavors of vodka such as caramel, whipped cream, or coffee.
- Play around with the proportions but still aim for a total of approximately three and a half ounces. A popular ratio is equal parts vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream.
- Add a splash of chilled coffee for extra coffee flavor and a little caffeine boost.
Just because the classic white Russian doesn't call for any garnishes doesn't mean you need to follow the recipe.
- For a rich garnish, use whipped cream.
- Add whole coffee beans, this can be with whipped cream as well.
- Garnish with an orange twist or ribbon.
- Include a dehydrated citrus wheel.
- Sprinkle a small amount of chocolate shavings or ground cinnamon.
About the White Russian
Many French-sounding cocktails originated in New Orleans, many with sophisticated, high-brow names emerged from New York City, and the white Russian obviously has nothing to do with Russia. Its name is merely a hat tip to the vodka spirit. The drink originated in the United States, some believe California, around the 1960s. The cocktail remained relatively under the radar until the late 1990s, when The Big Lebowski featured the drink as an additional main character.
While the ingredients and origin are widely excepted and escape debate, many have firm opinions about whether or not this drink should be stirred, shaken, or left alone once the ingredients have become acquainted. Some think it should be shaken so it has a frothy appearance, some think it needs to be stirred to mix and chill the ingredients, and others believe it should mix on its own, gradually, while sipping the drink.
Stir, Don't Stir, Just Sip
However you choose to add the finishing mixing touch to your White Russian is up to you. Presentation is in the eye of the beholder- or maker.