White Russian

Popularised by ‘The Dude‘, the White Russian is a drinking staple the world over, especially where I live, in Glasgow. It’s a drink that can be made quickly and, in some cases, reasonably cheaply, by throwing some ingredients into a glass and bars like Nice ‘n’ Sleazy‘s and BOX on Sauchiehall St do very well out of this method. However, there is another way, one which makes this a cocktail worth taking the extra time to create, the difference between the two being chasmic.


White Russian


Glass: Collins
Method: Build & Shake
Ice: Cubed
Garnish: Chocolate Powder

25ml Stoli Vanil vodka
40ml Double Cream
15ml Milk (Full fat or semi-skimmed)
[5ml Gomme, if needed]


– Add ice to the Boston and shake once more, quickly.
– Pour 25ml Kahlua into glass, over ice.
– Using bar spoon, layer Boston mix on top of Kahlua.
– Garnish & serve.


The recipe above suggests using some sugar syrup (gomme) if necessary. I have found that using the vanilla flavoured vodka often creates a dry mouthfeel and cancels out the sweetness of the double cream. When using vodka which isn’t flavoured, it’s rarely necessary to sweeten the mix.

While the drink is traditionally served in a Collins or Old-Fashioned (just dial back the vodka/cream mix), I often find myself reaching for a margarita glass to make this particular drink. The coffee liqueur sits nicely in the smaller section of the glass, nearer to the stem, while the Boston mix will layer nicely in the larger saucer-like bowl. In this version of the drink, I would not advise using ice.

Aside from the Black Russian, you can add or twist so many aspects of this drink to create new and interesting takes. Some of my favourites include the addition of Creme de Cacao, Amaretto or Creme de Menthe.


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